Last year we hosted a Pelvic Floor Health Café with Helen Hodder, a physiotherapist specialising in pelvic floor function. Below is a write-up of the notes our coach Guy made during the workshop.
What are the pelvic floor muscles?
The pelvic floor muscles form a sort of “trampoline” at the base of your pelvis, stretching between your tailbone (at the back), pubic bone (at the front), and sit bones (the sides):
What do they do?
It’s important to think of the pelvic floor muscles as being multifunctional. They don’t just hold everything in. As with any other muscle, it is just as important that they are able to relax as contract.
- Control the pelvic openings (anus, vagina, urethra) and help prevent incontinence
- Support all the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, vagina, prostate, small and large intestine) and help to prevent prolapse
- Help with sexual arousal and sexual function
- Help stabilise the joints in your pelvis
Pelvic floor dysfunction can affect people of all genders and stages of life, though pregnancy and birth present particularly gnarly challenges to the pelvic floor.