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How to Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscles

How to Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscles

Your pelvic floor muscles form the bottom of your pelvis and support your pelvic organs (uterus, bladder, and bowel). Are you ever in the bathroom and someone barges in unexpectedly? You’re startled and you stop peeing! Or you keep yourself from passing gas at an inopportune moment? Thank your pelvic floor muscles! They’re also the muscles that can contract (tighten) during an orgasm. Here are tips to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. They are important to the wellbeing of anything south of your belly button!

How do I know if my pelvic floor muscles are weak?

Here are some tall-tale signs your pelvis could use a workout!

  • Leaking urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing or during physical activity
  • Passing wind when bending over or lifting (from the front or the back!)
  • Not being able to reach the toilet without an accident
  • Tampons that dislodge easily or fall out
  • Bulge at the vaginal opening 

How do pelvic floor muscles weaken? 

So we’ve talked about them possibly being weak, but how does it get there?

  • Pregnancy! The heavyweight of the uterus continuously for months. 
  • Vaginal childbirth and how it can overstretch the muscles
  • The weight of obesity 
  • Continuous constipation and straining yourself during bowel movements

How do I strengthen pelvic floor muscles? 

Good news! They can be strengthened! Like any other muscle in our bodies, with knowledge, patience and consistent work, we can fix a weak pelvic floor. 

Kegel Exercises. To identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream. Once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles, you can do the exercises in any position, although you might find it easiest to do them lying down at first. To do Kegels, imagine you are sitting on a marble and tighten your pelvic muscles as if you’re lifting the marble. Try it for three seconds at a time, then relax for a count of three. It’s recommended to do these a handful of times a day!

The key is to try not to use your abdomen, leg, or butt muscles when you contract your pelvic floor muscles. Exercising these muscles won’t help and will distract you from your mission! To find out if you are contracting your abdomen, leg, or butt muscles, you can place one hand on your stomach and your other hand underneath your buttocks or on your leg. Squeeze to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. If you feel your abdomen, leg, or butt move in any way, you’re using the wrong muscles. 

Squats

squat giph

Doing squats correctly is key to the movement engaging the right muscles… and avoiding injury! 

The Bridge 

bridge giph

Split Tabletop Stretch

split tabletop giph

This is a great exercise for anyone with back issues as you’re able to lie down and take the pressure off your back.

Bird Dog

 

Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles + a tilted uterus

Tilted, tipped and retroverted — all names for the same thing. If you have a tipped uterus, your uterus curves back towards your spine versus being relatively straight or leaning slightly towards your belly button. Studies show that weak pelvic floor muscles can help in the “relaxing” of your entire pelvic area, including contributing to a tipped uterus. 

A tilted uterus can cause pain during sex, problems with fertility, urinary incontinence, recurrent urinary tract infections and discomfort wearing tampons. 

Typically, someone with a tilted uterus has a cervix that sits lower in the vaginal canal. A lower cervix also has a few of the symptoms mentioned above: painful intercourse, and discomfort wearing a tampon. If you have tried menstrual product alternatives like menstrual cups or a menstrual disc, you probably have found those are difficult or uncomfortable too! 

Wait! Before you throw in the towel!

When wearing a menstrual disc, the lip of the disc catches the underside of the cervix and you “tuck” the opposite side of the disc behind your pubic bone. If you’ve tried this with no luck, you aren’t alone! Your cervix is altogether placed differently. If you have a tipped uterus and are attempting a menstrual disc, keep in mind that in most circumstances you won’t be able to catch the underside of the cervix. 

Tilted uterus regular uterus

When wearing a menstrual cup with a tilted uterus, you may find that because of your lower cervix, your cup sits much lower in the vaginal canal. This can actually be quite uncomfortable, depending on the width and depth of the cup. Here at Pixie Cup, we have created a cup, especially for a low-sitting cervix! Our Pixie Cup Luxe is shaped  differently compared to the traditional Pixie Cup and is meant to be worn lower in the vagina. It is purposely thinner and has a shorter stem so you don’t feel it for complete period freedom!

If you’ve had children, any sort of ultrasound or have had an IUD placed (or removed) your doctor is able to tell if you have a tilted uterus already. Some of us are just born with it and these pelvic floor exercises can be helpful! Share with us your experiences!

Head over to our online store to check out our Pixie Cup Luxe and other important menstrual cup products!

Shop menstrual cups

PLEASE NOTE: This blog post is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of your doctor. You should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to your health and particularly with respect to anything related to menstruation, bladder issues, constipation, incontinence, etc. If you have any concerns about using a Pixie Cup, consult your doctor before use. If you have any gynecological conditions, please talk to your physician before using any menstrual cup.

Yoga poses for menstrual cramps

Yoga poses for menstrual cramps

Do you ever get period cramps? If you have, you know how miserable they can be! Some months, even with a Pixie Cup and essential oils, we just need more help to get past those cramps.

Thankfully, while period pain sometimes feels all-consuming, there are some things you can do to decrease the pain of cramps and the list goes a little further than heating pads and pain reliever!

In this article, we will introduce you to five fantastic (and totally beginner-friendly) yoga poses that are proven to relieve menstrual cramps!

Wind Relieving Pose

While the name of this laugh might make you giggle – hey, a great mood lifter – this pose is wonderful for relaxing your lower core.

Wind Relieving Pose

For this pose, start by lying on your back. Next, lift your legs straight, then bend your knees and tuck your thighs into your stomach as demonstrated in the picture. Finally, wrap your arms around your legs and tuck your chin into your chest.

Ragdoll Pose

This pose stretches the lower back and can ease the tension and pain that builds there during your menstrual cycle.

Ragdoll Pose

Start out with your feet a hip-width apart. Bend forward gently, as far as you can. You can place your arms behind your calves as seen in the photo, or cross your arms, holding each elbow gently with the opposite hand. For maximum impact, very gently sway from side to side.

Half Pigeon Pose

This pose opens your hips and increases blood flow to the reproductive system. This naturally decreases menstrual pain.

Half Pigeon Pose

To complete this pose, place your left knee on the mat. Next, stretch your right leg straight behind you. Next, as seen in the illustration, bend your left leg slightly toward the left, bringing your shin to face the front of your mat. Place your hands on the mat next to your hips, making sure your hips are squared. Then, gently lower your body over your left leg, with arms out in front of you. Repeat this on the other side as well.

Child’s Pose

This pose is such a relaxing and wonderful to relieve anxiety as well as menstrual pain! If you are experiencing back pain related to menstruation, this pose is a wonderful choice for you.

Child’s Pose

To start this simple pose, place both knees on the mat and slowly bend until your torso rests on your bent knees. Allow your body to relax and stretch your arms out, resting on the mat in front of you. Next, just breathe and allow your mind to calm.

Bow Pose

This pose is a wonderful stretch for the lower back. The pressure of your body against your organs is also wonderful for the reproductive organs and can relieve bloating.

Bow Pose

Begin this pose by lying flat on your stomach. (If you end up falling asleep, that’s great, too! Sleep is great for extra energy during your cycle! ) Next, bend your knees and bring your heels as far up as you can, and reach back to grasp your ankles with both hands. Lift your feet, head, chest, and as much as your torso as you can, up from the mat and into the air. You can hold this pose for 30 seconds or less, and then gently release.

Give these yoga poses for menstrual cramp relief a try and comment below to let us know which ones were helpful for you!