It’s like a factory that never sleeps, churning out 25 million cells every second of every day. 1 If your brain were a supercomputer, it could perform 38 thousand trillion operations per second. 2 Your gut houses trillions of microorganisms, which help regulate your hormones, mood, body weight, and more. 3 Oh, and course there’s the fact that your body grows new humans . Yeah, you’re pretty amazing. Then there are your muscles. They seem like simple structures, but in fact they’re sophisticated, converting energy into motion and keeping oxygen-rich blood flowing throughout your body. This brings us to our topic of discussion: The pelvic floor muscles. Keep reading to learn more.
If you’re like many women, you’ve probably heard of Kegel exercises at some point and know they’re good for tightening things up below the belt. Kegel exercises work the muscles of the pelvic floor , a hammock-like system of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues that stretch across the inside of your pelvis. These important muscles hold your uterus, bowel, bladder, and vagina firmly in place.
The pelvic floor is part of your core system of muscles, which also includes the abdominal muscles, obliques, glutes, and several muscles that support your back. The pelvic floor muscles are shaped like a funnel. Thin but strong, they close off the bottom of your pelvic cavity, keeping your organs tucked away snugly inside your pelvis. Without these important muscles, your organs would have little support and could quite literally drop out of your body (through the vagina).
The major muscles of the pelvic floor include: • Levator ani : A broad sheet of muscle that supports the pelvic organs; it is further broken down into 3 separate muscles: • Puborectalis : Especially important for maintaining fecal continence. • Pubococcygeus : Supports the pelvic organs. • Iliococcygeus : Joins behind the anus to form a sheet of strong connective tissue called the levator plate, which supports the pelvic organs while you’re at rest. • Coccygeus : A smaller pelvic floor muscle located behind the levator ani that supports the pelvic organs.
When the pelvic floor muscles get stretched from pregnancy, childbirth, or hormonal changes during menopause, problems can follow. An organ, such as the uterus or bladder, can drop from its normal position and press on other organs. This is called pelvic organ prolapse (POP), and it can lead to urinary incontinence (UI) — an extremely common problem in women, especially those who have had several babies. A prolapsed organ can also cause other problems, like recurring UTIs, pain during sex, and bowel control problems.
If you’re wondering whether prolapse is something you really need to worry about, consider that a shocking one in three women will deal with urinary incontinence at some point. 4 Many women start to notice a few drops or small stream of urine slipping out when they laugh, cough, or sneeze, especially after they’ve had children. Others may not begin to notice problems until after menopause. Strong pelvic floor muscles are your first line of defense against prolapsed organs and UI.
Three words: Do your Kegels! Even if you haven’t had kids and aren’t currently experiencing issues with bladder leaks, you can still benefit from Kegel exercises. And, if you’ve had kids or are approaching menopause, it’s even more important to do them. It’s never too late to start . You can do Kegels while sitting or lying down and even while standing up. The key is to do them consistently and correctly. Check out our Kegel how-to guide on properly squeezing your pelvic floor muscles.
At least 50% of women don’t perform Kegels correctly with written instructions alone. 5 Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a device that could help you do Kegels properly? There is! PeriCoach was designed for this very purpose — to guide you through Kegels and let you know when you’re engaging the right muscles. PeriCoach is a vaginally-insertable Kegel biofeedback device that pairs with your smartphone and displays your progress in real time! PeriCoach can help you strengthen your pelvic floor over time, which can prevent/reduce bladder leaks and even improve arousal and orgasm.
The PeriCoach system is a vaginally-insertable pelvic floor biofeedback device designed to guide women through Kegel exercises. PeriCoach is outfitted with sensors that detect the contraction of your muscles as you squeeze against the device, and it pairs with your smartphone (via Bluetooth) so you can see your muscles working in real time. In just five minutes a day you can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and help reverse or eliminate the symptoms of prolapse, including bladder leakage. The PeriCoach system is FDA- cleared, which means it has met stringent product safety requirements and is safe to use. Learn more about PeriCoach, and hear stories from real women about their experience using the PeriCoach system.
1. https://www.factsandco.com/human_body/6104/Your%20body%20produces%2025%20million%20new.htm 2. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/news-blog/computers-have-a-lot-to-learn-from-2009-03-10/ 3. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/06/gut-bacteria-on-the-brain/395918/ 4. http://www.pericoach.com/what-is-the-pelvic-floor/#common 5. http://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au/pages/common-myths.html
Sum Summary ry The pelvic floor supports a woman’s uterus, bowel, bladder, and vagina against the constant pull of gravity. Learn more about pelvic muscle anatomy and the importance of this muscle group for pelvic health.
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