Pelvic Floor Tightening - Everything You Need to Know About PFD
The pelvic floor comprises of a group of muscles and ligaments holding together the organs in your pelvis. More than 30% of all American women end up developing a pelvic floor disorder (PFD) in their lifetime.
A PFD occurs due to weakened pelvic floor muscles. Childbirth can cause tears in connective tissues and the vaginal walls, resulting in pelvic prolapse. A weak pelvic floor may also result in other disorders such as urinary and fecal incontinence, as well as bowel and bladder control issues.
What Is a Pelvic Floor Disorder?
A PFD includes conditions such as bladder and bowel control issues, as well as pelvic prolapse. Prolapse of the organs in the pelvis results in the bladder dropping, along with the cervix, urethra, and rectum. As the pelvic floor atrophies and weakens, the muscles and ligaments can no longer support the weight of the organs, causing them to prolapse.
In severe cases, some women may experience tissue bulging through the opening of their vagina. Incontinence issues are embarrassing and inconvenient. There are various types of urinary incontinence, but the most common with PFDs is “urge incontinence,” where you feel like you need to pee all the time.
You may also experience leakage from your bladder, known as stress incontinence. These symptoms of an overactive bladder are common in women that are pregnant or have given birth. Pelvic floor tightening techniques are the only way to restore structural integrity to the pelvis by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.
Are there Non-Surgical Options for Fixing the Pelvic Floor?
In severe cases of PFD, doctors may operate to reconstruct the pelvis. However, in most cases of PFDs, the patient can treat them at home. There are various programs on how to strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
However, we recommend you start with Kegels. Developed by Dr. Arnold Kegel in the 1940s, Kegel exercises are the best way to tighten your vagina and get rid of PFD symptoms naturally.
By working with a urogynecologist, you can develop a plan to strengthen your pelvic floor and eliminate PFD symptoms—some of the natural options available to your include the following.
- Physical therapy targeted at strengthening the pelvic floor muscles
- Medication to improve your hormonal balance and enhance estrogen production
- Pessaries and vaginal support tools to help tighten the pelvic floor
- Botox injections in the bladder to prevent incontinence
- Nerve stimulation therapy designed to reach the percutaneous tibial nerve
- Red light therapy to enhance collagen production
Is a Pelvic Floor Disorder a Normal Part of the Aging Process?
No, PFDs are not part of the normal aging process. However, they do become more common in women as they get further into their senior years. By the time a woman reaches 80-years old, there is an 80% chance she is dealing with one of more PFDs.
Specialists can assist women with training and stretching their pelvic floor. If you have a severe disorder, they may arrange surgery to reconstruct the pelvis.
What do You Do If You Think You Have a PFD?
If you feel like you are dealing with a PFD, make an appointment with your GP. Your doctor will do a basic evaluation and make a diagnosis. If they feel you need help beyond what they can offer, the physician will refer you to a pelvic specialist.
What Can I Do to Resolve Incontinence?
Kegel exercises are effective at strengthening the pelvic floor. After a few months of regular training, you’ll find that your incontinence clears up, or reduces until its barely noticeable.
Your diet also plays a role in your pelvic health. Make sure you avoid foods that contain sugar and avoid alcohol. Consider quitting smoking if you partake in the habit and avoid lifting heavy objects.
Obesity is also another contributing factor to PFDs, such as incontinence. Consider hiring a nutritionist to help you get down to a manageable BMI.
Will My PFD Go Away by Itself?
It’s highly unlikely that your PFD will get better if you leave it alone. It’s more likely that the condition progresses, creating more issues with the health of your pelvis.
However, besides physical therapy and medication – you are put of options. If your urogynecologist feels that your condition is getting worse, they may decide to operate. However, in most cases, women can sort out their PFD using Kegels and natural methods such as clean eating and losing weight.