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Pelvic Floor 101

Where is your pelvic floor?

Everyone has a pelvic floor.  Your pelvic floor muscles are located at the base of your pelvis, wrapping from the pubic bone (front) to the tailbone (back), and then side to side between your two sitz bones.

Your pelvic floor muscles wrap around vital pelvic organs, including the urethra, vagina, and rectum. 

To the right is a graphic of the female pelvic floor.

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What does your pelvic floor do?

Maintain continence.  Your pelvic floor muscles are circular muscles around your urethra and rectum.  When the pelvic floor muscles contract, it keeps your pee and poo in.  When the pelvic floor muscles relax, pee and poo exit.

 

Stabilizes your pelvis and spine.  Your pelvic floor muscles are connected to your abdominals, gluteus (butt muscles), lower back, and hamstrings.  Your pelvic floor muscles do not function alone. All these muscles help stabilize your pelvis, support your spine, and allow you to move optimally!

Organ support. Your pelvic floor muscles support vital pelvic organs, including your uterus, bladder and rectum. 

Sexual function. The pelvic floor muscles contract and relax to allow orgasms; however, tightness in the pelvic floor can result in pain with intercourse. 

Circulation. The pelvic floor muscles act like a "sump-pump" and allow for blood circulation throughout the body.

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Kegels

Permission to reproduce copyrighted content from myPFM, Inc.

Permission to reproduce copyrighted content from myPFM, Inc.

Should I do Kegels?

Kegels are isolated pelvic floor contractions.  It is an exercise that many doctors tell their patients to do to strengthen their pelvic floor.  While Kegels are one exercise to do to strengthen your pelvic floor, there is so much more!

So yes, you can do Kegels, but DO MORE!  Strengthening your hips and doing movement in all planes of motion also help strengthen your pelvic floor!  It's about training your pelvic floor in diverse positions and planes of motion, rather than just laying on your back and squeezing your muscles tight!

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