Pelvic floor dysfunction
Have you noticed that a little amount of urine leaks out accidentally when you cough, sneeze or lift things during pregnancy? Then you may be having the conditi
What is the pelvic floor ?
It is a sheet of muscles and ligaments extending from pubic bone in the front of our body to base of the spine situated in the back of our body. Basically it is like a balloon membrane which can stretch up to a certain extent, according to the weight it is bearing and come back to original position when the weight is removed.
What is the role pelvic floor plays?
It bears the weights of bladder, bowel, uterus(womb in which your baby is growing in) and controls the emptying of bowel and bladder. When these organs are not well supported the sphincters cannot be squeezed properly and it causes a stress incontinence which leads to leaking of a little urine and some dragging feeling when you cough and sneeze. And also it can lead to sagging of uterus and other organs. Not only that, it also affects your vaginal muscles. If your pelvic floor is overly stretched due to some reason, you may find a less satisfaction in your sexual activities and feel less sensitivity in your vaginal area.
What is pelvic floor dysfunction during pregnancy?
Being pregnant means your body has an extra weight to bear now. This causes quite a lot of stress on pelvic floor making it over stretched than what it can normally withstand. As a result, floor can weaken from 12th week of pregnancy. And also Constipation, which is a common complaint among pregnant moms can also lead to pelvic floor dysfunction.
What can I do to maintain a strong pelvic floor?
Doing Pelvic floor exercises in a regular basis can prevent you from having this condition during pregnancy and even after that. It helps you to increase the blood supply to the perineal area after the delivery which will shorten the period of healing.
Always squeezing and holding your pelvic floor muscles before you cough, sneeze or lift something, eating plenty of food rich in fibre (eg. Mango, papaw, kohila ) to avoid constipation, emptying your bladder completely when you go to toilet, will help you to prevent from this condition.
And also, When you are sitting on the toilet, lean forward. Keep Your knees slightly higher than your hips (use a small stool to rest your feet on). Rest your elbows on your knees or thighs so that your back is straight. Gently bulge your abdomen. Now relax your pelvic floor and avoid pushing.
How can I do pelvic floor exercises?
First of all you have to find your pelvic floor muscles. For this, Insert a finger into your vagina. Tighten the muscles as if you are holding in your urine, then let go. You should feel the muscles tighten and move up and down. Now that you have find the necessary muscles go on repeating the steps given below.
First sit and lean slightly forward with a straight back and squeeze and lift the muscles as if you are trying to stop urinating. Next Hold the squeeze for up to 5 seconds, relax for up to 10 seconds. You can repeat these steps up to 10 times, 3 to 4 times a day. And also don’t forget to keep on breathing while exercising. Some people might feel that they can speed up the progress by increasing the number of repetitions and the frequency of exercises. However, over-exercising cause muscle fatigue and increase urine leakage. And if you feel any discomfort in your abdomen or back while doing these exercises, you are probably doing them wrong. Breathe deeply and relax your body when you are doing these exercises.
The most important factor about pelvic floor muscles is that they don’t get strengthened by their own after getting stretched more than a certain limit. After each delivery you should help yourself to make the muscles gotten back to normal. And also you have to remember that the hormonal changes after menopause can make this condition worse and your bladder will tend to leak often by the time you reach middle age after few child births. Making pelvic floor exercises a part of your routine, from today on wards will help you to lead a healthy life style.