What You Can Do To Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor
For many of us, the pelvic floor muscles (the muscles that hold your bladder and other pelvic organs) are something we tend to forget about until they start to cause a problem. A strong pelvic floor can help to reduce symptoms of stress incontinence, increase sensation during sex and make orgasms stronger. Many of our clients at Elite Aesthetics experience some form of weakness in the pelvic floor muscles at some point in our lives, which often results in symptoms of stress incontinence. whether it’s for a few weeks after giving birth, or more chronic as we reach the menopause. In this blog post, we’ll talk about a few ways to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and keep the symptoms of stress incontinence at bay.
Why Is A Strong Pelvic Floor Important?
Having a strong pelvic floor helps to control the muscles around the bladder and prevent symptoms of stress incontinence.
Stress incontinence occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are weakened – most commonly by childbirth, surgery or menopause. During childbirth, the muscles undergo considerable strain, and can suffer lasting damage. In fact, a third of women will experience some level of incontinence after childbirth, but for the majority, it should resolve within a few months as the muscles work to repair themselves. However, if stress incontinence symptoms are lasting longer than a few months after birth, it is often advisable to look into methods of strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.
Stress incontinence during and after menopause is also very common during and after the menopause. During menopause, oestrogen production sees a significant drop, as does collagen, the substance that gives the tissues in the body strength and elasticity. This leads to a loss of muscle tone all over the body, including in the pelvic floor.
What Can I Do To Strengthen The Pelvic Floor Muscles?
The most commonly prescribed treatment for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles are Kegel exercises, which involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles to work them out like you would any other muscle groups. First, you need to identify the pelvic floor muscles, which you can do easily by stopping urination mid-stream. However, it’s important that you don’t do this regularly (no more than twice a month) as it can lead to other bladder issues.
Once you’ve identified the pelvic floor muscles, you can carry out Kegel exercises effectively:
- Make sure you’re sitting comfortably, and try to squeeze the pelvic floor muscles around 10-15 times.
- Try not to hold your breath or squeeze your stomach, thigh and buttock muscles at the same time, to make sure you’re targeting the pelvic floor muscles properly.
- As your muscles get stronger, you can try holding the contraction for a few seconds each time. However, you should always be careful not to overdo your exercises to avoid straining and damaging the pelvic floor muscles further.
- Always make sure you take a rest between sets of around 10-15 squeezes.
You can also try other kinds of exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor without doing kegels. These exercises can include the bridge, squats, and split tabletop, or certain yoga poses like bird dog.
Gentle exercise like walking regularly will also help you to maintain control over the pelvic floor, as will making sure you stand and sit up straight, with good posture. You should try and avoid heavy impact exercises such as running, jumping or intense aerobics and core exercises that put pressure on the pelvic floor muscles, as this may undo all your hard work.
If you’re pregnant, you should start doing kegel exercises as soon as possible, as this will strengthen the muscles before giving birth, and make damage to the muscles less likely.
Treatments To Help Strengthen The Pelvic Floor Muscles
If you continue to struggle with stress incontinence and a weak pelvic floor even after doing kegels and other exercises for an extended period, you may want to look into alternative treatments that can effectively treat these conditions. At Elite Aesthetics, we are passionate about women’s health and are industry leaders in the field of non-surgical treatments for conditions like stress incontinence and other intimate health issues.
The Emsella chair from BTL Aesthetics is a specialist treatment we offer to help improve pelvic health and reduce symptoms of stress incontinence in women. It is a completely non-surgical, painless and entirely non-invasive treatment that targets the pelvic floor muscles using HIFEM (High-intensity focused electromagnetic) technology. The treatment targets the pelvic floor muscles and causes them to contract and relax involuntarily, strengthening them in the same way kegel exercises would, but in a more intense treatment. In fact, one 28-minute Emsella session is equivalent to around 11,000 kegel exercises!
We also offer the Ultra Femme 360 treatment by BTL, which uses radiofrequency waves to gently heat the vaginal tissues and trigger natural collagen production in the area, including the muscles around the neck of the bladder and in the pelvic floor. Ultra Femme 360 is also painless and entirely non-surgical, and can also help to rejuvenate the vaginal canal and surrounding tissues to improve our patient’s sex lives in one simple treatment plan.
To find out more about pelvic floor rehabilitation, and how Elite Aesthetics can help free you from the symptoms of stress incontinence, contact our experienced team today.