Weak pelvic floor - it's not just a little old lady thing!

The pelvic floor is made up of the muscles that line the bottom of the pelvis from the pubic bone, sitting bones and the coccyx. It is a like a hammock that supports your bladder, uterus, prostate and rectum.


The key sign of having a weak pelvic floor is urinary incontinence, of which there are 2 types.


  1. Stress incontinence. This can be from sneezing, coughing, jumping etc. which cause a little bit of wee to come out.

  2. Urge incontinence. Effects the tone of the bladder wall. It means when you've got to go, you've REALLY got to go!


Reasons the pelvic floor can become weak:

  1. Age. Particularly around the menopause when our oestrogen levels lower.

  2. Pregnancy

  3. Chronic constipation

  4. Chronic coughing

  5. Not working the muscles.


You will be pleased to know that you can strengthen it, no matter what age you are! Like most things it is best to start at a young age so that you prevent it from weakening as opposed to waiting until you start to notice urinary incontinence.


How to do it?

  • Sit in a chair with your knees slightly apart. Imagine you are trying to stop wind escaping from your back passage (anus). You will have to squeeze the muscle just above the entrance to the anus. You should feel some movement in the muscle. Don't move your buttocks or legs.

  • Now imagine you are passing urine and are trying to stop the stream. You will find yourself using slightly different parts of the pelvic floor muscles to the first exercise (ones nearer the front). These are the ones to strengthen.

Pilates is an excellent form of exercise to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor.


Ideally we should do pelvic wall exercises every day no matter how old you are. If you have a weak pelvic floor do these exercises 3-5 times a day for a few minutes each. If not then once a day or whenever you are sat down or standing.


The beauty of it is no one will know you are doing it even in a public space!


Let's get those pelvic floors nice and strong ladies!!


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