Pregnancy and pelvic floor

Pregnancy is a major life changing event both physically and mentally in a woman’s life and comes with its own set of challenges.

One such very common but under discussed change is that of the pelvic floor.

Pelvic floor muscles are the layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs and span the bottom of the pelvis. They all work synchronously to carry out the bowel and bladder functions, sexual function and provide support to the various pelvic organs.

Pelvic floor dysfunction includes urinary incontinence, incomplete emptying of bladder, pain during urination or defaecation, genital organ prolapses.

Women commonly have episodes of involuntary leaking of urine while coughing, sneezing and even laughing.

With already so many changes happening in the body, these issues often hamper a woman’s quality of life, personal and social as well. The lack of awareness and social taboo around it also prevents the woman from coming forward and seeking help.

How Does Physiotherapy help with it?  

Pelvic floor rehabilitation is one of the newer but very effective approach to treat these conditions. Pelvic floor exercises are one of the most effective exercises in preventing as well as treating these dysfunctions.

Depending on involvement pelvic floor is classified as hypertonic or hypotonic. With accurate external and internal examination methods physiotherapists are guided the type of involvement and treatment to be given. Few relaxation exercises to decrease the tone and few activation exercises to help with motor recruitment- are given, for example- Kegel’s exercise, elevator exercise, diaphragmatic breathing exercises and a few stretches that includes yoga too.

Few exercises started even before and at the beginning of pregnancy can help prevent these dysfunctions.