Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
Pelvic floor consists of pelvic floor muscles found as a broad sling in between your legs. This broad sling of muscles, connective tissue and ligaments stretch from the pubic bone in front, to the base of the spine at the back.
The pelvic floor is meant to provide support to a woman’s internal organs, which includes the bowel, uterus, vagina, bladder and rectum, and holds them in place. Not only does the pelvic floor provide support to these organs, they also play an important part in the efficient functioning of these organs.
The pelvic floor gives you control when you empty your bladder and move your bowels. It also helps in the maintenance of continence through the urinary and anal sphincters and helps in the birth process by resisting the descent of the different organs during delivery, letting the fetus freely rotate through the pelvic girdle.
These muscles in the pelvic floor are controlled by the muscles through nerves. However some medical conditions and injuries that affect the health of nerves like stroke, back surgery, childbirth trauma, spinal stenosis and Parkinson’s disease weakens the pelvic floor muscles.
Consequences of a weak pelvic floor
Even pregnancy can lead to a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, which leads to the reduced efficiency of the working of the muscles. Consequently, over-stretched and a weak pelvic floor leads to stress incontinence, which is a condition where you leak urine while coughing, laughing, exercising and sneezing. A weak pelvic floor also leads to decreased satisfaction during sex.
In some women, after menopause, a weak and damaged pelvic floor can also lead to prolapse, a condition where all the pelvic organs slip out of place and start pushing against the vaginal walls, and lead to stress incontinence. The prolapsed can reach such extremes that the woman feels and sees tissue of the cervix, uterus or vaginal walls coming out of the vaginal opening.