Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Estimates for women suffering from urinary incontinence/pelvic floor dysfunction is 1 in 4, and it may be as common as 1 in 3, but people tend to underreport these issues because it’s embarrassing to talk about. There also seems to be some strange idea that “dribbling a little bit” is just a normal part of female life, especially after giving birth. This couldn’t be more wrong.
Urinary incontinence isn’t the only symptom of pelvic floor dysfunction, however. It can also manifest as painful intercourse, pelvic organ prolapse, chronic pelvic pain, and painful periods. The pelvic floor also plays a crucial role in trunk/core stabilization, so pelvic floor dysfunction may be related to low back pain as well!
So what can be done about it??? Believe it or not, BREATHING can be the bedrock for your recovery from pelvic floor dysfunction. The muscles of the pelvic floor have an intimate relationship with your main breathing muscle, the diaphragm. Essentially these two muscles (pelvic floor and diaphragm) work together to manage pressure changes within the abdominal cavity. If you have a weak pelvic floor you can imagine how the ability to manage pressures would be hindered and some internal fluids might just “dribble” out.
Overall, pelvic floor dysfunction is a very common problem that many people suffer with, often times in silence. Just know that there are professionals out there that can provide guidance and get you heading in the right direction.