This post has been sponsored by TENA, but all thoughts are our own.
One in every two females experience light bladder weakness, in which they pass small amounts of urine involuntarily. The littlest things may cause it. In 62 percent of women, it comes right after a cough or sneeze. Others leak when they laugh.
How to prevent light bladder weakness is a burning question in the minds of thousands of women. The answer is often overlooked: a healthy pelvic floor.
Introducing the pelvic floor
Your pelvic floor props up the spine and supports the abdominal cavity. Picture it as a crib that bears the uterus, bowel, and other organs in the pelvic region. Its strength relies on a mass of muscles and ligaments, which interweave around the pelvic walls and closes in at the bottom to create the pelvic and urogenital diaphragms. The pelvic diaphragm surrounds an important trio of openings: the vagina, rectum, and bladder. As such, the pelvic floor is instrumental in childbirth, urination, defecation, orgasm, and sexual stimulation.
Yet the pelvic floor is very much susceptible to overstretching and tearing. A weakened pelvic floor may be attributed to:
- childbirth, especially by Cesarean section
- chronic coughing
- large uterine fibroids
- excessive straining during defecation
- diet of processed food
- physical inactivity
Seven out of 10 women have conditions associated with disorders of the pelvic floor. Apart from light bladder weakness or full-blown urinary incontinence, a compromised pelvic floor could lead to the following conditions:
- incomplete excretion of urine or stool
- painful copulation
- reduced sexual satisfaction
- inability to attain orgasm
- sagging uterus, rectum or bladder
- lower back pain
- lower abdomen pain
Avoiding pelvic floor conditions
Opt for a high-protein diet of natural food. Such is vital for building and healing the muscles on the pelvic floor, including those in the vagina. If it’s tricky to obtain unprocessed food on a daily basis, include a safe, effective nutrition supplement in your diet. A nutritious diet can also protect the pelvic floor in a roundabout way, by preventing obesity, which exerts unnecessary pressure on it.
Quitting smoking also helps. One of the many causes of pelvic floor disorders, chronic coughing, is an upshot of frequent smoking.
Kegels exercises are traditionally held to be important for pelvic floor strengthening. Yoga and Pilates help too, considering their core-strengthening benefits. You may also like squatting or getting perineal massages.
Benefits of pelvic floor exercises
Doing pelvic floor exercises every day helps prevent light bladder weakness at least. If you do them long enough early in life, you would have fewer problems with your bladder as you age. But pelvic floor exercises do more than just preventing a leaky bladder. They enhance your sexual experiences and, if you’re pregnant, prepare your body for labor.
Not for nothing is the pelvic floor said to contain the ‘love muscles.’ The muscles that comprise the pelvic floor surround not only the vagina but also the clitoris. Your sexual responses therefore improve with the strength level of your pelvic floor muscles. Since it facilitates blood flow and nerve response around the vagina and clitoris, a strong pelvic floor ensures utmost sexual stimulation. Every touch would seem pleasurable. Research even shows that women with a strong pelvic floor achieve multiple orgasms, let alone an enhanced control of them.
Strengthening the pelvic floor is just as important to conceiving women. During pregnancy and delivery, the pelvic floor is under intense pressure, so it’s not unusual for you to leak upon laughing, coughing, sneezing, or overexerting. If you do enough pelvic floor routines, such leaks would be greatly lessened. Pelvic floor exercises also help restore your vaginal elasticity and shape after childbirth.
Pelvic floor exercising is all the more important when your maternal clock has stopped ticking. Estrogen levels dwindle significantly during menopause, weakening the pelvic floor. Fortifying your pelvic floor before and during this pivotal time strengthens your core; ensures gratifying sex; and reduces your vulnerability to stool/urinary incontinence over the years.
For all their advantages, pelvic floor exercises are a stretch to remember, especially within a fast-paced lifestyle. A spanking-new application promises to put you on track.
Called my pelvic floor fitness or ‘my pff,’ this app helps you achieve just that. This Android/iPhone app provides expert advice on pelvic floor exercises. You’ll know when, where and how to exercise your pelvic floor with its professionally made tutorial videos.
Pre- and post-natal exercise professional Liza Webb handles these easy-to-follow video classes with professional Pilates instructors. They would teach you how to correctly and effectively perform pelvic floor exercises for maximum results. my pff teachers would skillfully explain and guide you through each exercise.
my pff comes with a progress tracking feature, which keeps you aware of your gains in toning your pelvic muscles. The app also gives you the option of receiving reminders to perform the exercises every day, at a time you appoint.
my pff is as discreet as can be. You can perform its recommended exercises virtually anywhere. Nobody has to know.
Developed by lights by TENA, my pff is currently available for free via the Apple App Store and Android Market.
Know that you have a choice not to come down with really serious pelvic floor conditions. Don’t wait until you are left with no choice but undergo surgery for a compromised pelvic floor. The simple, free things in life—such as downloading my pff and following a healthy diet—can preserve your wellbeing for the long term.