A weak pelvic floor is a common issue among the elderly, but it doesn’t have to be. You can prevent and treat a weakened pelvic floor if you know what causes it, who’s at risk and how to strengthen your pelvic muscles. It is also easy to get along with the issue through some genius incontinence products that aim to enhance your quality of life.
What becomes loose?
The pelvic floor muscles are responsible for supporting the bladder, uterus, and bowel. They also help keep the pelvic organs and lower back. These muscles are made up of three layers:
The innermost layer: This is known as the “intrinsic” muscle layer. It’s located inside your pelvis and includes your pubococcygeus (PC) muscle. The PC muscle helps you pee when you go to the bathroom. It also helps with sexual pleasure during vaginal intercourse because it contracts during climaxes—but this can only happen if you have strong pelvic floor muscles!
The middle layer: Your levator ani is part of this middle-layer group. Two pairs of muscles (puborectalis anteriorly and pubococcygeus posteriorly) support your vagina, anus and rectum by connecting them at their openings in your body cavity like a bridge. The levator ani also contributes to bending forward from a standing position. But when they become weak from childbirth or aging, standing becomes difficult and bending over anything too low from around the waist level upwards.
Too young to have this problem.?
So, what causes pelvic floor dysfunction?
Menopause (the end of menstruation)
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
How to prevent pelvic muscles from getting weak?
If you're concerned about your pelvic floor strength, there are some simple exercises you can try to strengthen it.
Try doing these exercises several times a week at first, and then gradually increase the number of times you do them each week as they become easier:
Kegel exercises (also called "softening" or "clenching"): Squeeze the muscles that hold in urine. To do this properly, imagine that there is something small like a marble in your vagina and tighten around it. Then relax those muscles entirely so the marble can leave your body (i.e., urinate). Repeat this exercise 10 times at least three times daily until you feel more confident.
Vaginal weights: Insert vaginal balls into your vagina and squeeze them from side to side for 10 seconds. You should be able to feel them moving inside of you once inserted correctly. Do this about three times daily until soreness occurs (usually after about 30 days), then back off for a few days before increasing again. Since everyone has different levels of sensitivity here, pay attention to how much pressure feels comfortable for both long-term and short-term use.
There are ways to avoid getting a weak pelvic floor.
Constipation can lead to straining when going to the bathroom, which can damage pelvic muscles if it happens too often or if you have difficulty getting everything out at once. Eating more fibre-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help keep things moving smoothly without having to strain so much that they become damaged through excessive use of those muscles during bowel movements (or lack thereof). If the problem persists, using incontinence products can give you the freedom to lead a dignified life.
As you can see, there are many benefits to keeping your pelvic floor strong. It can help keep you from getting urinary tract infections, reduce your risk of pelvic organ prolapse, and even make it less likely that you'll develop other conditions such as endometriosis or bladder cancer later in life.