Have you ever had pain during or after sex? Do you accidentally fart and feel like you can’t control it or hold it in? Do you leak when you cough, laugh or exercise and not told anyone thinking it will go away? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, there are signs of possible Pelvic Floor problems or dysfunctions that you might need help with!
With a myriad of names out there our below our belt bits, nether regions, what’s downstairs, lady parts and undercarriage are cared for, adored, revered, and celebrated around the World.
Yet, they also unfortunately, even now and historically, encounter some unwanted or disrespectful attention. This has lent to some guarding of or squeamishness towards women’s’ business down below when it comes to sex and bodily functions. In this context, our ‘private parts’ are just that, private.
There are things Below our Belt we think we still need to keep secret or under wraps or feel embarrassed about.
However, that extreme has lent to many misunderstandings or taboos. This can affect our awareness of this area of health that we believe needs to be dealt with!! Becoming more aware of our health downstairs can help us feel more empowered to take control of things we can change or improve!
We’re about dispelling any misunderstandings and getting the word out.……like literally……trying to shout it out. No secrets, ok!
Getting in touch with your Pelvic Floor
Your health needs to be front and center, almost similar to where the Pelvic Floor resides in your beloved body. So, when there is any problem that’s causing you to wonder and question “this can’t be right” or “is this really what should be happening” then it’s a conscious warning mechanism to attempt understanding what’s going on with your body.
Although hidden from view, we all need to get in touch a little more with our pelvic floor as it can be consciously controlled and therefore trained for great overall general health for a lifetime.
Pelvic Floor problems – what causes them?
Pelvic Floor problems can happen when your pelvic floor muscles are too weak (so they can’t tense up), or too tight/stiff (so they can’t relax).
It’s a reminder that these affects can be caused by a lot of high impact exercise, like gymnastics or running. Pregnancy and giving birth are more well-known causes. Carrying extra weight doesn’t help either as extra weight increases pressure on our bladder and pelvic floor. A chronic cough or sneeze from conditions like asthma or hay fever can create consistent pressure that bears down on the Pelvic Floor.
Coughing and sneezing can generate massive pressures inside our bodies and can drive whatever is irritating your nose or throat up to 8 meters away. So that same pressure that drives with such power is pushing down on your bladder or bowel. The little sphincter muscle near our pee hole isn’t strong enough to resist that force on its own and needs to have its nearby big buddy the pelvic floor muscles join in quickly to stop pee coming out.
This is like the gas pressure build up with a fart. Our anus hole has a sphincter muscle too that needs to recruit some help from the pelvic floor to help prevent any of those accidental farts coming out.
Ongoing constipation can make going to the loo tricky, you start and stop, can’t get it all out, or you can’t get completely empty. Your Pelvic Floor can become weakened or stretched or tight or overactive. This can make things incredibly uncomfortable. Ensuring you’re getting enough fibre intake in your diet, keeping yourself hydrated and getting in at least 30 minutes of exercise most days…. but preferably all days…. are keys in helping keep better check with healthy bowel habits!
So, if you’re starting out on your sexual journey, you know and have heard sex is meant to be enjoyed and give you pleasure. If you experienced pain when having sex, this is not uncommon but indicates you might need help if it happens every time you have sex. This is not always straight forward and getting to the reasons for what is causing the pain is paramount.
It is important to be aware that the Pelvic Floor muscles play a role in sexual function. Sometimes we can hold stress and tension in these muscles which doesn’t help when we need to be able to relax when having sex. There are possible causes of pelvic muscle tension as well as potential influences on your sexual intimacy that can be helpful for you to understand in your efforts to get control back into your experience of sex. The big thing is that pain is not normal. So, if you’re starting out on your sexual journey then a talk with someone you trust like your GP is warranted to help you start to get to the bottom of things.
Help is at hand!
Our Go Against The Flow team has developed some helpful resources including a screening tool to get you more aware and in touch with what might be happening with your body down below and most importantly to seek help if you need it.
If you’re unsure about Pelvic Floor Exercises or any other issue seek further help…. usually either from a GP or Physiotherapist trained in looking after Pelvic Floor problems. Seeking out help from a professional is best because they can help guide you in the right direction. Being aware of the benefits of doing regular pelvic floor exercises correctly and as part of our exercise habits are important good health habits for a deeper connection with ourselves for a lifetime!
Reach out for more if you need!
Putting up with things that make us uncomfortable and affect our life enjoyment is never a good call.
Reaching out via contacting us or first asking us questions , even anonymously, if you’ve experiencing any pain, leaking and toilet issues is a good call. You can even take the plunge and make a call to the National Continence Helpline. We have supportive and experienced Health Professionals that can advise or direct you onto further help near to where you live if you need it!