What is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is the set of muscles and ligaments that surround the lower part of the abdominal cavity. It supports all the pelvic organs (bladder and urethra, uterus and vagina in women and rectum in men) and ensures their normal functioning. The pelvic floor is somewhat dynamic, it adapts to our movement but always maintains an adequate tension that holds the organs inside the pelvis. When the pelvic floor weakens, problems arise that can affect the functioning of the pelvic organs.
What are the symptoms of a weakened pelvic floor?
The main symptoms are:
- Urinary or faecal incontinence
- Discomfort and pain around one of the pelvic organs
- Prolapse of one of the pelvic organs
What are the causes of a weakened pelvic floor?
The main factors of a weakened pelvic floor are:
- Natural birth
- Chronic constipation
- High impact sports
- Chronic respiratory diseases and smoking
- Previous gynaecological surgery
Can pelvic floor weakening be prevented?
Some lifestyle tips can help prevent a weakened pelvic floor, such as:
- Training and exercising the pelvic floor muscles regularly
- Making it a habit to go to the toilet at certain times
- Including fibre and probiotics in your diet, that favour intestinal health and bowel movements
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Maintaining good posture, especially when sitting
- Doing low-impact activities, such as sit-ups, cycling, swimming or elliptical exercises
What is the treatment for a weakened pelvic floor?
If the weakening is not serious, the main treatment is pelvic floor physiotherapy, which aims to rehabilitate the affected area through specific exercises. In the event that prolapse of an organ has occurred, the appropriate treatment is pelvic floor reconstructive surgery.