Pelvic floor health doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. It’s important that the pelvic floor, which consists of a group of muscles that lie at the floor of the pelvic area, is properly toned — not too weak or too strong. When the pelvic floor muscles are imbalanced, pelvic floor dysfunction can result and drastically decrease the quality of life of both women and men.
Are You Buying Into These Myths About the Pelvic Floor?
While the pelvic floor is widely researched and treated by healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, many people go without treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction. This is sometimes because they lack education about their pelvic floor or are believing myths about it such as these:
1) Pelvic floor dysfunction only affects women — Everyone, both women and men, has a pelvic floor. This means pelvic floor dysfunction isn’t just a women’s issue. For example, men as well as women can experience pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms such as painful urination, pain and/or pressure in the pelvic region, muscle spasms in the pelvis, and lower back pain.
2) Painful intercourse is normal — If you are a woman experiencing painful intercourse, it could be due to pelvic floor dysfunction, according to the Pelvic Pain Foundation. (Please note that this is not the only cause of painful intercourse.) After performing an examination, a physiotherapist who is trained in pelvic floor disorders can tell you whether or not your pain is likely being caused by pelvic floor dysfunction. If so, they can work with you to increase the health of your pelvic floor and lessen the pain you feel during intercourse.
3) Urinary incontinence is to be expected as we grow older — Many people believe that they should expect urinary incontinence as they age or after they give birth, but this is simply not true. “To say something (urinary incontinence) is normal is to accept that it is inevitable and that there is nothing to be done to change it,” wrote registered physiotherapist Lisa Flanders. “Let’s stop normalizing something that can be treated by physiotherapy intervention.”
Don’t Wait to Get Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Treated
It’s common for both men and women to avoid discussing problems related to their pelvic floor with a physician out of embarrassment. If you are struggling with urinary or fecal incontinence, painful intercourse, pelvic organ prolapse, constipation, or overactive bladder, don’t wait to get treatment. Pursuing physiotherapy treatment for pelvic floor problems can be very effective, so reach out to a physiotherapist near you today, in addition to your general physician.
Want to learn more about the many symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction? Check this out.