Let’s dispell some myths that keep women from healing their pelvic floors
By Isa Herrera, MSPT, CSCS, founder of www.PelvicPainRelief.com
Pelvic floor dysfunction is not something most pregnant women or even new moms commonly talk about. Heck, even your doctor left this part out. As a matter of fact, most women don’t even know they suffer from “ladyparts” issues. However, the women who do recognize something is not right with their ladyparts are often misdiagnosed, ignored and or worse given medication, which only covers their symptoms and or pain.
Technology enables us to find information on this condition quickly. However, not all information out there on the Internet is accurate, and by taking in the wrong information, you may run the risk of having more symptoms and more problems. Because there are so many misconceptions and contradicting information out there for new moms, I want to set the record straight on several myths that surround pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. Knowledge is power.
As you read, relate and meditate on the information I provide, understand that there is a solution to your condition and that does not require medication, expensive and complicated equipment and you do not need to schedule many appointments with doctors, specialists and other professionals who may misdiagnose you. I refer to it as the “I can’t diagnose you, so I will refer you to someone else”…the shuffle, or the “doctor road show.”
Let’s address some of the myths that are currently circulating that you may have heard about:
Here are the myths 1-5 that I hear all day long in my healing center
Myth #1 – Pelvic Floor muscles only function is to maintain healthy bladder health and avoid leaking.
The pelvic floor muscles (PFM) deal with more than just maintaining bladder health. These muscles are involved with sexual well-being and bowel movements. Also, many women who suffer from menstrual cramps may also suffer from PFM dysfunction since these muscles are heavily involved in supporting the uterus as well.
Myth #2 – Women that have experienced childbirth are the only ones who suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction.
One of the functions of the pelvic floor muscles is to help to maintain pelvic and lumbar stability and organ support. Many athletes suffer injuries that are actually PFM dysfunction related because they have unbalanced pelvic floor muscles that are either too tight. Women who are obese also have pelvic floor issues due to the constant pressure on the pelvis.
Pregnant women and new moms who suffer from sacroiliac joint pain, back pain or Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction are at high risk for pelvic floor issues that include pain, leaking and or pressure. The pelvic floor muscles are put under a lot of pressure during childbirth and during pregnancy. They require special attention and training to build them back up.
Myth #3 – There is something psychologically wrong with you, or you simply can’t achieve orgasms because you are just built that way.
Pssst… I have something to tell you. Your best orgasms are ahead of you so get ready!!! The PFM’s are heavily involved and connected to sexual function and actively contribute to the strength, power, and duration of your orgasms. Unless you have experienced some kind of trauma it is not in your head; it can actually be a muscle thing that is correctable.
Myth #4 – Kegel exercises are the nirvana and Holy Grail for pelvic floor muscle healing.
Uhhh….I don’t think so! And trust me I have thousands of patients who can attest to this. Actually, Kegels can do more harm than good, and this exercise is not suitable for everyone. Doing too many Kegels in the wrong way can lead to more pelvic floor dysfunction. In many instances, women need first to learn what I call the “Reverse Kegel” and relax their muscles, before they can safely contract your muscles in a Kegel exercise.
Myth #5 – Leaking during exercise or feeling pressure in the pelvis is normal.
Not even close. There is nothing normal about leaking during exercise, even if you never had kids. As a matter of fact, I have treated several marathon runners, endurance athletes, and triathletes who leak because their PFM cannot stabilize the pelvis nor dissipate the continually tightening and loosening of PFMs due to frequent movement.
Once you’ve made it through your own hurdles, you might be the beacon that drops knowledge on new moms to follow!