The pelvic floor is, on many occasions, a great unknown for women , not so much because it is not important to them, but because there is a historical lack of knowledge on the subject. Despite this, the musculature of this part of the body is especially important for the female sex , since having it weakened significantly affects the quality of life of the female, both physically and psychically.
Fortunately, the disorders caused by a weakened pelvis are becoming more and more known. Women no longer suffer their problems in silence, and today it is known that most of them have an easy and effective solution if a little work is done.
First, it is necessary to know what this fundamental part of the female anatomy is and how it works in order to work on it.
What is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is the muscle group responsible for supporting the organs of the abdominal cavity, that is, the uterus, vagina, bladder, urethra and rectum. The main function of this musculature is to close this cavity and ensure that the organs remain in a good position so that they can function normally.
When this area is weakened , a woman can experience a series of problems of greater or lesser importance, such as urinary incontinence , sexual dysfunctions, back pain or prolapse.
The ligaments that support the pelvic organs can be weakened by different circumstances and the consequences of this lack of tone will manifest themselves in the woman until she is able to strengthen them again. Some factors that influence the pelvic area to weaken are the following:
- The pregnancy : during gestation, pelvic ligaments support pressure due to excessive weight gain varies because the body distribution to accommodate the fetus. In addition, hormones contribute to the laxity of the area in order to facilitate the opening of the birth canal.
- The obesity : is also a factor against pelvic health, since excessive weight makes the area must withstand greater pressure and will weaken.
- The impact exercises : running, jumping, playing tennis and sports otos impact negatively affect muscle tone in the pelvis.
- Delivery with appliances: on many occasions, when a woman has been a mother and has had a difficult delivery, aided by forceps, the area may be damaged and may cease to perform its function properly.
Although there are many circumstances that can lead to weakening the pelvic area, there are also resources to put it back in tone and strengthen it. The main ally that women have are the so-called Kegel exercises .
What are Kegel exercises and what are they for?
These types of exercises, increasingly popular among women who want a good postpartum recovery , were invented in the 1940s by the German gynecologist Arnold Kegel , as a method to solve urinary incontinence after childbirth. These exercises, which contract the pubococcygeus muscle in apnea, were discovered almost by chance during a routine examination and gradually spread thanks to their innumerable benefits for women’s health.
Over time, it was discovered that Kegel exercises not only served to help with urinary incontinence but, thanks to them, it was possible to have greater control of the pelvic area and allowed to hold the viscera more effectively, thus how to improve the sexual condition of women.
Currently, this type of training is routinely recommended by gynecologists, after the woman has recovered from childbirth, or when a lack of tone is observed in the area in a routine check-up . Although, before women thought that certain discomforts were unavoidable and that they were part of their normal life, now it is known that it is not necessary to suffer certain circumstances, due to the fact of getting older or having been a mother.
How are Kegel exercises done?
To perform Kegel exercises, no apparently visible movement of the body is required, since the area that is being worked on is inside the body. This training can be done anywhere and at any time, although it is recommended to find a comfortable space and a quiet moment, at least while you are a beginner. Experts recommend doing the exercises sitting down , but until the woman is used to them, they can be done in a lying position to make them easier.
First of all, it is necessary to place the hip in a balanced or neutral position, from here the exercise is carried out in four phases:
- Muscle contraction and elevation.
- Position maintenance.
- Recovery of the initial position.
It is important to perform the exercises in a correct way so that they fulfill their function of restoring the tone of the pelvic area.
When Kegels are performed, the muscles around the sphincters contract, which are responsible for containing urine, feces or gases, but this must be done well for the expected result to be achieved.
Here’s how to do them correctly:
- In the so-called neutral position , you will take plenty of inspiration to oxygenate your body before starting the exercise itself. Next, all the air will be expelled until the rib cage and abdomen are completely empty.
- In a state of apnea, that is, holding your breath , the exercises will begin. The entire pelvic and abdominal area must be contracted, taking it inwards and trying to achieve an elevation.
If only the muscle contractions are carried out, it is not possible to exercise the deep area, which is what helps to support the viscera. Special attention should be paid to the lifting movement and practiced until it is achieved.
As in other circumstances, quality is preferable to quantity . If you do too many Kegel exercises, but are not done well, they can lead to hypertonia in the area that can also cause problems.
Contracting your muscles constantly, on the way to work, while watching a movie on the couch at home, in the office chair, can end an injury and cause dysfunction of the area.
The key for this workout to accomplish your goal is to do it right, following these three guidelines: contraction, elevation, and relaxation .
All the pelvic muscles work as a group, so sometimes a weakness in another area can affect them.
The benefits of Kegel exercises
These types of exercises have innumerable benefits for the pelvic muscles. Over time, as a woman ages and, due to trauma such as childbirth and other circumstances, the muscles weaken, lose tone and cause the usual problems of incontinence , sexual disorders, lower back pain, etc.
By correctly performing this zone training, so many benefits are achieved that these exercises have become popular throughout the general population.
Among the advantages obtained from performing Kegels, the following can be highlighted:
- Improved sphincter control , both when it comes to retaining urine and controlling stool or gas.
- It is possible to strengthen the abdominal girdle , so many back pain caused by a lack of tone in the area can be prevented and improved.
- At the sexual level, Kegel exercises help to improve the experience and contribute to making it much more satisfactory, both for women and men, since they increase friction during penetration and make the area more sensitive, thus facilitating reach orgasm .
- They prevent the internal organs from descending from the abdominal cavity and prolapse, that is, they prevent them from going outside. Prolapses can cause significant problems, as organs that are not in the correct position can stop working normally and cause significant injury. It is very important to consult a professional if any type of prolapse occurs.
- They improve a woman’s self – esteem . This occurs thanks to the avoidance of urinary incontinence, so that the woman can be calm both when laughing, coughing or sneezing, without feeling the fear of leaking, as well as improving her sexual life.
Strengthening the pelvic floor is of vital importance to be able to enjoy a good quality of life. It is worth spending a few minutes a day to improve the tone of the pelvic floor to enjoy the tranquility and benefits that it brings to all women. Advances in the knowledge of the female anatomy, as well as a change of mentality in society, which has made visible the disorders of certain parts of the body of women, have achieved that they enjoy a better quality of life in every way .
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.