What is the pelvic floor or kegels?

The pelvic floor is so underrated. It has SO many important functions for our bodies and shouldn’t be a topic we ignore, don’t speak about, or classified as taboo. We all have a pelvic floor; do you know what and where yours is?

What is it?

The pelvic floor isn’t just a group of muscles, it is a complex network of muscles, connective tissue, ligaments, and bones at our pelvis. If you looked down on yourself, between your two hip bones this is where the pelvic floor sits, the ‘floor’ of our pelvis.

This diagram shows the pelvic floor from a side view. It shows the pelvic organs which are the bladder, uterus and rectum, and displays our pelvic floor muscles which connect from the hard bone at the front of our pelvis (pubic bone), to our tail bone/coccyx.

What is the pelvic floor or kegels

What does the pelvic floor do and why is it important?

The pelvic floor has lots of different functions and it is working constantly to achieve all of its different roles (it doesn’t get a break sometimes!). Its jobs include:

  • Supporting our pelvic organs which are the bladder, rectum and uterus.
  • Maintaining continence of our bladder and rectum (to ensure wee and poo doesn’t come out!)
  • Relaxation to allow us to pee and poo when we need to
  • Controls sexual sensation including orgasms and ability to feel things during intercourse
  • Works in-conjunction with our diaphragm (breathing muscle), deep abdominal muscles, and deep spinal muscles to form our core and aid in core and spinal stability

There are 16 muscles that perform all of these jobs, and how well they are performing is different for everyone and lets us know what type of condition they are in. If they are not supporting us enough, we may then begin to experience an issue in one of the jobs it normally does. This is what we call ‘pelvic floor dysfunction’.

Pelvic floor dysfunction includes any change in our bladder, bowel or sexual function which isn’t optimal or ‘normal’. How do you know if you have pelvic floor dysfunction? If you answer yes to any of these questions, its time to get your pelvic floor looked at!

  • Do you ever leak urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, run, jump or lift anything?
  • Do you ever really urgently need to wee and cannot control it?
  • Do you feel like you go to the toilet a lot? Or need to wee a lot at night?
  • Is it painful to wee?
  • Do you ever feel like you cannot get all your wee out? Or when your finished you have to go again soon afterwards?
  • Do you have constipation?
  • Do you ever need to strain or push to get your wee or poo out?
  • Is it painful to poo?
  • Do you find it difficult to control bowel movements? Or difficult to control wind?
  • Do you ever feel you cannot get all your poo out?
  • Do you get pain when you have sex?
  • Can you not put a tampon inside? Or does your tampon fall out?
  • Do you feel a heavy, pressure or full feeling in your vagina?
  • Can you ever feel something inside your vagina? Or see something inside?

Pelvic floor issues can happen to anyone, its not just for women who have had babies. There is a lot of treatment options if you are experiencing any of the above, the first step is making an appointment.

If you answered yes – see you soon.