Pelvic pain, or lower abdominal pain that occurs between your belly button and groin, can be a normal part of life, especially during your period. However, pelvic pain that’s severe, chronic, or interferes with your day-to-day life is often a warning sign that there might be an issue with your reproductive health.
If you’re afraid to cough, sneeze, or laugh too hard because you might pee, or if you have low back pain or pain “down there” that’s putting a damper on your life, you probably have pelvic floor dysfunction. And you’re not alone!
Whether you’re young, old, male, or female, pelvic floor dysfunction can affect you.
Talking about pelvic issues might be uncomfortable, but it’s important to discuss if you’re experiencing it. Because if laughter is the best medicine, you shouldn’t be afraid to laugh.
What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
The pelvic region is the area between your belly button and your thighs. The pelvic floor muscles act like a hammock, supporting the bladder, uterus (in women) and rectum. When you can’t control the muscles in your pelvic floor, either because they’re tight or weak, it’s called pelvic floor dysfunction.
This can lead to problems going to the bathroom, problems during sexual intercourse, pain that makes it difficult to walk and/or stand, and a whole lot of other issues.
Causes of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Problems with the pelvic floor can be linked to many things, including:
- Prolapse – when organs like the bladder, uterus or rectum dropdown
- Diseases and disorders with the pelvic floor
- Diastasis recti – when the abdominal muscles separate
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Other contributing factors include injury to the area, participation in high impact sports, strenuous exercise, and post-surgical complications.
Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
You should seek the care of a qualified pelvic health therapist if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Problems holding urine, stool or gas when you cough, sneeze, exercise or laugh (incontinence)
- A frequent and/or sudden uncontrollable need to go to the bathroom (including Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Difficulty urinating, incomplete voiding, or hesitancy
- Constipation, straining, or pain with bowel movements
- Pain in the tailbone, lower back, hips, genital area (internal or external), or bum that radiate down to the groin and/or thighs
- Difficulty rolling over, walking, getting in and out of a vehicle, or other everyday activities
- Painful intercourse, during and/or after
- Abdominal fullness, pulling or bulging
- Heaviness or pressure in the pelvic (you could also have the feeling that something is falling out of your rectum or vagina)
Treating Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic health therapy is a specialized form of therapy, specifically focusing on strengthening the muscles, ligaments, joints and tissues in the pelvic region. Pelvic health therapy is a natural, drug-free, non-surgical treatment option.
Pelvic health therapy is standard practice in most of Europe for every woman who is pregnant or has given birth. It’s no wonder, as it not only helps prepare the pelvic floor muscles for delivery and it gets mum back to regular activities sooner without pain.