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What do the Pelvic Floor muscles do?

When the pelvic floor is strong, it supports the pelvic organs to prevent problems such as:
  • incontinence (the involuntary loss of urine or faeces)

  • prolapse (lack of support) of the bladder, uterus and bowel.

The pelvic floor muscles also help you to control bladder and bowel function, such as allowing you to 'hold on' until an appropriate time and place.

What causes pelvic floor muscle weakness?

Some of the common causes of pelvic floor muscle weakness are:

  • childbirth – particularly following delivery of a large baby or prolonged pushing during delivery

  • being overweight

  • constipation (excessive straining to empty your bowel)

  • persistent heavy lifting

  • excessive coughing – causing repetitive straining

  • changes in hormonal levels at menopause

  • growing older.

How do I strengthen my pelvic floor muscles?

It is recommended that all women exercise their pelvic floor muscles every day throughout life, to prevent weakness or improve strength. Exercising weak muscles regularly, over a period of time can strengthen them and make them work effectively again. Regular gentle exercise, such as walking can also help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

What can I do to prevent damage?

To prevent damage to your pelvic floor muscles, avoid:

  • constipation and/or straining with a bowel motion

  • persistent heavy lifting

  • repetitive coughing and straining

  • putting on too much weight.

Make training part of your life by:

  • tightening your pelvic floor muscles every time you cough, sneeze or lift

  • doing some regular exercise, such as walking

  • progressing your exercises by doing them during the day in different positions e.g. standing, sitting or on your hands and knees.

For many women, it is important to follow a specific exercise program tailored to their individual needs, such as our Holistic Core & Restore programme.

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