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  • Writer's pictureOrigin Physiotherapy



The purpose of the pelvic floor

  • It supports the organs including urethra, prostate, large intestine, rectum and anus

  • It helps to open and close the urethra, vagina and anus.

  • It has a sexual function: relaxes during penetration and contracts during orgasm and ejaculation

  • It stabilizes the trunk during arm and leg movements.

  • It assists in moving lymphatic fluid from the legs.

These functions become more difficult when you have a weak pelvic floor. The pelvic floor can be weakened by pregnancy, childbirth, prostate cancer treatment, obesity, prolonged coughing, lower levels of oestrogen after menopause, pelvic floor tension caused by painful periods or endometriosis

and straining owing to chronic constipation.

Signs that there is a problem with your pelvic floor are

  • unwanted bladder leaks, especially when coughing or sneezing

  • constantly needing to go to the toilet

  • difficulty emptying your bladder or bowel

  • reduced sensation in the vagina

  • pain with sex or difficulty achieving orgasm

It’s worth familiarising yourself with your pelvic floor. The muscles of the pelvic floor assist at the urethra, the vagina (if you’re a lady) and the anus. You can feel where each part is by imagine you’re stopping the flow of urine for the urethra, squeezing your vagina (you can insert 2 fingers to feel this) and imagine you’re stopping yourself from passing gas for the anus.



Exercises can be done in any position but lying down or sitting are often easier to start. There are two ways, slow or quick.

Slowly lift your pelvic floor as if you’re trying to stop the flow or urine or passing gas. Lift as high as you can and then hold firmly for a few seconds, start with five with the aim of reaching ten seconds. Then slowly release making sure you completely relax your pelvic floor.

You can also do quick bursts where you lift as high as you can and then release quickly making sure you relax completely before the next contraction. You should do at least ten of these.

You can also practice by lifting your pelvic floor before coughing, sneezing or clearing your throat. It’s important that these exercises are done correctly and if you don’t know if you’re doing them correctly contact us to assist with rehabilitation. You can also assist your pelvic floor health by losing excess body fat, prevent constipation by eating fruits, vegetables or taking a stool softener and seeking medical help for a chronic cough.

You should see results in 4-6 weeks and if you don’t see a women’s health physiotherapist.

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