Pee a Little When You Laugh? 4 Signs Your Pelvic Floor Needs a Tune-Up
If that headline caught your attention but you’re not sure exactly what the “pelvic floor” is, you’re not alone. Fear not, we explain it all below.
The pelvic floor is a hammock-like group of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues that runs from the base of your tailbone to your pelvic bone. Part of your core, the pelvic floor keeps your bladder, lower colon, cervix, uterus, vagina, and urethra firmly in place.
By keeping everything nice and tucked in, strong pelvic floor muscles help you maintain urinary and bowel control. A strong pelvic floor can also enhance sexual experience.
Many women will experience weak pelvic floor symptoms like bladder leaks at some point. The good news is that pelvic floor muscle training can help.
Here are four signs you’re having pelvic floor troubles:
1. You pee a little (or a lot) when you cough, laugh, or sneeze
This is not normal. We repeat: This is not normal! Many women, especially those who have had children, just accept that weeing a little when a friend cracks a funny joke or when they do heavy lifting is just the way it is.
While it’s true that a large number of women—as many as one in three—will experience urinary incontinence at some point in her life, it’s not normal, and you don’t have to accept it as a part of life.
Doing Kegel exercises with PeriCoach can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles for improved bladder control
2. You experience pain during sex
Painful sex is often caused by pelvic organ prolapse. When an organ in the pelvis (like the uterus) slips from its normal position it can press against the walls of the vagina. Prolapses of the uterus are common and can range from mild to severe. If you feel pressure or a bulging sensation in your vagina, you may have a prolapsed organ. See your doctor right away.
Your doctor may recommend pelvic floor muscle training, which may help reduce pain with sex over time by lifting the prolapsed organ.
Thinning of the vaginal tissues is another common cause of painful sex. It’s more common in menopausal and post-menopausal women. Hormonal change can cause dryness, a feeling of tightness, and pain—sometimes severe. Oral and topical estrogen can help.
3. You keep getting urinary tract infections (UTIs)
There are lots of reasons women can get recurring UTIs, from kidney stones to complications from diabetes. More often they’re caused by bacteria that enters the urethra during sex. This is why it’s so important for women to pee after sex.
Recurring UTIs can also happen when a prolapsed organ puts too much pressure on the valve between the bladder and ureter (the ureter connects the kidneys to the bladder). Extra pressure on the valve can force bacteria up into the ureter and kidneys, causing an infection.
Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises can help lift up sagging organs, relieving pressure on the bladder and ureter and putting an end to miserable UTIs.
4. You’re backed up.
If you experience constipation, straining, or hard or thin stools, all the fiber in the world may not be enough. Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) could be the culprit. Pelvic floor dysfunction causes impaired relaxation and coordination of the pelvic floor and adnominal muscles, making it hard to have a bowel movement.
Another possible cause of constipation: A prolapsed organ that pulls the rectum downward and creates a blockage (imagine squeezing a garden hose). The rectum is the lowermost section of the colon ending at the anus.
Biofeedback that uses electrodes directly on the skin, along with pelvic floor training with or without a pelvic floor exerciser, can help reduce the symptoms of constipation caused by PFD or prolapse.
If you have weak pelvic floor muscles symptoms, training with PeriCoach can help. Learn more about how PeriCoach works and why it’s one of the best Kegel exercisers on the market today, and hear what the experts are saying.