Pelvic Floor 101: Things I want my friends - and you - to know.

Originally, this article was going to be titled: Pelvic Floor Mythbusters: Things I want my friends to know about. It was meant to capture common beliefs that friends thought about their pelvic floor and kegel muscles - and determine whether there was truth behind it, or an old wive’s tale. 

Turns out, a majority of the recipients asked in various group chats and forums didn’t have many “beliefs” because they were unfamiliar with what a pelvic floor is, where it is and why it’s needed. 

Hence, the change of the post title. 

Pelvic Floor 101: Things I want my friends - and you - to know.

  • What is a pelvic floor or pelvic floor muscles?
  • According to multiple web searches like the Continence Foundation of Australia, “the pelvic floor is the base of the group of muscles referred to as your ‘core’. 

    The muscles are located in the pelvis and “stretch like a hammock from the public bone (front) to the “coccyx” (back) and side-to-side.

    Source: Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy, Physiofit Leeds

  • Why is a pelvic floor needed?

    Your pelvic floor muscles help support and control your bladder, bowel and uterus, playing a huge part in your ability to control the need to go to the toilet, pass wind, support a baby during pregnancy and can contribute to sexual sensation and arousal. 

    Sounds pretty important, right? It is. 

  • Women only have pelvic floor/pelvic floor muscles, right?
  • Men also have pelvic floor/pelvic floor muscles.

    Men can find their pelvic floor muscles at the base of their penis (front), that stretches to the coccyx (back). Similar to a female’s pelvic floor muscle, theirs also helps support and control their bladder, bowels and sexual sensation and arousal.

    Ok, now you know what pelvic floor/pelvic floor muscles are? 

    What do you do now?

  • Why and when should you be taking care of your pelvic floor?
  • Since young, women have been advised to take care of their skin and their external body to retain their youthfulness whether it’s through skincare, diet, exercise or surgery. 

    We are targeted ads to look like we’re twenty when we are thirty, thirty when we are forty and thirty when we are fifty. We tone our arms, stomach, glutes and legs almost on a daily basis and have added gua sha to our skin routine to tone our face. But we seem to have neglected one muscle that can help us feel young. 

    That pelvic floor muscle

    Remember, it controls our ability to go to the toilet, pass wind when we want - and supposedly, we have great sex because of it! 

    But like every muscle, with age and time - the muscle can weaken and may overstretch causing:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Decreased sexual sensation
  • Pelvic organ prolapse (POP)

  • One in three women experience pelvic floor disorders - yikes, it sounds common but in reality, it is completely preventable. Like exercising, the more we do it - the stronger the muscle becomes.

    No matter how old you are, it is never too late to start exercising (your pelvic floor).

  • How do you know if you have a strong or weak pelvic floor?
  • If you are unsure whether your pelvic floor muscles are strong/weak, here is the number one question to ask which may help determine whether you need to start paying more attention down there.

    Q: What happens when you dance, skip, jump, run, cough or sneeze?

    A: Nothing. I dance, skip, jump, cover my mouth and bless myself

    B: A little bit of pee/poop/wind comes out (sometimes/always)

    If you answered “B”, there is nothing to be ashamed of - as mentioned, it is common but it is preventable. So read on to see how you can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. 

    If you answered “A”, continue to dance, skip, jump, cough and sneeze without worry - but it doesn’t hurt to continue strengthening your pelvic floor muscle for maintenance, and your future self.

  • What can you do to strengthen your pelvic floor?
  • If you’ve watched Sex and the City then we are sure you know kegel exercises are the best way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and as Samantha Jones as proved it, you can do them anywhere with no one being none the wiser.

    Source: Instagram @theeverygirl

    Make it a part of your daily routine by squeezing and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. It is not just about holding your pee in but squeezing your vagina muscles right up to your coccyx muscle, and then releasing it. 

    Work on doing three kegels and really focus on the muscles you are using, think of the words in your head: vagina - coccyx. 

    It will feel strange in the beginning but the more you focus on the words, the more intention your body will have in working the correct muscles.

  • Squeeze the vagina to coccyx muscle for three seconds.
  • Relax for five seconds and repeat step one.
  • Continue for four more sets.

  • It will take some time getting used to - and please do note that these exercises should not cause pain or extreme discomfort (see disclaimer). 

    What if I need assistance or an incentive if I workout? 

    If you are the type of person who requires a workout program, a milestone challenge or would prefer just to play a game instead of working out. We have you covered too. 

    Meet the Perifit, the kegel exerciser with an app. 

    Designed by world-class physiotherapists that lets you control video games with your pelvic floor. 

    As the only connected device that uses a unique patented double pressure-sensor technology, Perifit can identify faulty contractions, guide your movement, and track your progress. 

    So you can feel a workout without feeling like you’ve worked out. 

    Pretty cool right? And until 30th of July, you’ll be able to receive S$20 off. 

    So why not start to make your pelvic floor health a priority? It's time to feel confidence inside and out.

    Disclaimer: We are not medical experts. If you do find yourself having bladder, bowel problems - or experiencing discomfort or pain during kegels. We always recommend that you visit your physician to get assessed.

    Cover photo: kike vega on Unsplash