A well functioning pelvic floor is essential in maintaining pelvic health throughout a person’s life. Research has shown that up to 30% of women perform pelvic floor exercises incorrectly. Here are 5 ways you can self-check to see if you are doing them correctly.
- Feel for lift. Sitting tall in a chair, firmly place your hand on your perineum (the area between your legs, where your pelvic floor is located). As you do a pelvic floor contraction, you should feel this area gently draw up and away from your hand. If you feel any sensation of downward pressure or a bulge, STOP and consult with your women’s health physiotherapist.
- Take note of any change in symptoms. If you have been doing pelvic floor exercises to improve issues of leakage or weakness, you should notice an improvement in your symptoms after a couple weeks or regular pelvic floor training. If you do not notice an improvement, you may be activating the wrong muscles or your program may need to be reviewed and updated by your physiotherapist. Furthermore, if your symptoms have been getting worse, STOP and review with your physiotherapist.
- Try to stop the flow of urine mid-stream. During urination, try and slow or stop the flow by contracting your pelvic floor. This may give you an idea of how strongly and how long you can contract. Be sure not to do this if you have any urinary retention problems or if your bladder is very full, and do not do this regularly as your pelvic floor exercises.
- Feel for contraction internally. If you are comfortable you can conduct a very basic self internal examination by inserting a clean finger vaginally and then performing a pelvic floor contraction.
- Notice an improved sensory awareness. Pelvic floor muscles usually respond quite well to small amounts of input. This should allow you to become more aware of how your pelvic floor is contracting and therefore become more conscious of improvements in your pelvic floor muscle function. If you are sexually active, you may even notice increased arousal or sensation during intercourse as your muscles get stronger.
Remember, if your symptoms are worsening or if you try these and cannot seem to get a successful contraction, seek help from a women’s health physiotherapist.Leave a reply