Your pelvic floor health is linked to a whole host of everyday functions in the human body. Dr Selena Langdon explains how you can ensure it functions well
Your pelvic floor muscles support your bladder, bowel, rectum, and uterus by wrapping around your pelvic bone. Pelvic floor dysfunction is a common condition where you are unable to correctly relax and coordinate the muscles in your pelvic floor. A weak or dysfunctional pelvic floor may cause you to have trouble with controlling wind, bowel movements, or as is most common cause urinary incontinence. If you’re a woman, pelvic floor issues may cause you to feel pain during sex, or reduced sensation, while men may have trouble gaining or keeping an erection.
Causes of a weak pelvic floor
A weak pelvic floor is more often associated with:
In my practice I see patients with pelvic floor issues most often following pregnancy. This is extremely common with around one in three women suffering some form of urinary or fecal incontinence postpartum.
At home remedies for pelvic weakness
The pelvic floor muscles can be exercised quite easily, but if you are unfamiliar with your pelvic floor, it is a good idea to seek out some professional help before undertaking any regular exercises. Just as you might hire a personal trainer at the gym to show you how to use the equipment, you might see a pelvic floor physiotherapist to learn how to exercise your pelvic floor in the right way.
Once you know what you are doing then pelvic floor exercises can be done anywhere and at any time. There is really no excuse for not doing your bit to keep your pelvic floor in shape.
Additional treatments for pelvic muscles
While at home exercises are easy and free, I do see patients who have ‘lost touch’ with their pelvic floors, meaning they have forgotten how to engage the muscles, or the muscles have become so weak that the muscles hardly respond. In these situations, I recommend my patients a course of Emsella.
Emsella uses electromagnetic energy to induce thousands of supramaximal pelvic floor muscle contractions in each session. The treatment itself is very easy and is done by sitting fully clothed in a chair. The electromagnetic stimulation works in a similar way to the how the brain sends signals to your muscles thereby creating a normal but spontaneous contraction. Importantly, these contractions happen at a faster rate. By inducing such a high number of contractions, the Emsella will help to quickly rebuild muscle strength. The treatment alleviates the symptoms of incontinence for many of my patients within just a few weeks of starting the treatment.
Dr Selena Langdon is an aesthetic doctor and founder of Berkshire Aesthetics – see more at berkshireaesthetics.com