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.
Doing squats correctly is key to the movement engaging the right muscles… and avoiding injury!
Split Tabletop Stretch
This is a great exercise for anyone with back issues as you’re able to lie down and take the pressure off your back.
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.
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!
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.