There are so many methods available to help improve the pelvic floor, but which one is right for you?
The first thing to do is get your pelvic floor assessed properly by a women's health clinician. Sometimes a scan will be necessary to determine the internal issues which may not be detectable upon an physical examination.
Once you have discussed your options of exercises and your clinician agrees, it will be a matter of an ongoing lifetime commitment to your pelvic floor. Just 15 minutes a day can help keep the pelvic floor is good condition.
It's not all about muscles. We now have clinical evidence that fascia plays an important role in the health of the pelvic floor and can conclude that pelvic organ prolapse can be caused due to trauma, tightness, adhesions within the fascia.
You may need myofascial release therapy rather before considering pelvic floor exercises.
Before diving into any of these, if you have pelvic floor dysfunction you should always be trained by a professional. Where the generic programs on YouTube etc may be helpful, they aren't aimed specifically at YOUR pelvic floor and if you haven't been assessed then you could be doing more damage than good.
For instance take Carole, a cross fit enthusiast, found out she had a uterine prolapse. She continued with her exercises and picked up a well known YouTube 'pelvic floor' program. Within a 6 months her prolapse and exasperated. Why? She couldn't work it out? She was not over weight, she was extremely fit yet her prolapse was getting worse. When she finally went to see a physiotherapist she found out she was hypertonic (Over tight pelvic floor).
All that training she was doing was making the fascia, muscles tighter and the fascia was so tight it started to pull the other organs out of place.
Here are some of the exercises which you should discuss with your clinician to see if they can help you.
These exercises are proven to help the overall health of the body, in particular the pelvic floor
Kegels using IncoStress
For beginners or those who have difficulty retaining Incostress
If you are having difficulty retaining IncoStress , you need to strengthen the
pelvic floor muscles to help you with retention. Pelvic floor exercises (or Kegels)
are exercises used to strengthen the muscles in your pelvic floor that help to keep
you clean and dry. Like all the muscles in your body, without proper
exercise these can become weak and cause involuntary loss of urine.
Assessment of your pelvic floor is important and if you are not improving it is strongly recommended you are assessed properly by a specialist.
Before you begin to exercise.
Insert the Incostress as far as it will go, it will find its own comfortable spot within the vagina.
Purpose of pelvic floor exercises:
Improve tone of the perineal muscles and pelvic organ support .
Prevent urinary incontinence or regain bladder control.
Prevent conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse.
Find a comfortable position to insert:
One that eliminates the force of gravity, such as lying down may be
easier or try putting one leg on a foot stool and knees slightly bent.
When to do the exercises:
Try this at least twice a day – at least morning and evening to work the inner core muscles.
Before you do the exercises:
Engage your core before any exercise.
How do you do that?
- Breath from your thorax (middle part of the body)
- Take a deep breath in and feel your ribcage expand, as you exhale slowly pull your belly button away from your clothes.
If you were lying down and had a glass of water on your tummy it would not spill - i.e. as you breath your tummy should not go up and down, imagine you have a pair of really tight jeans on .
Do this 5 times before you begin the pelvic floor training.
There are 3 sets of exercises
involving slow and quick engagement of the pelvic floor muscles, and
are progressive. We take you from the sitting position, to standing and then walking. If you find your IncoStress slips down as soon as you stand, don’t worry, keep on practicing the sitting position until you build up the
pelvic floor strength to go to the next level.
These exercises comprise of quick and slow squeezes, ensuring that your pelvic floor muscles get the best work out.
Sit on firm chair (dining chair) or on a birthing ball, ensure your legs are at a 90 degree angle to your body.
Back straight and feet hip width apart flat on the floor.
Slow pelvic floor counts
Tightly contract the muscles surrounding IncoStress in the vagina with an internal squeeze and imagine you pulling up the IncoStress to your navel.
Count aloud to 5
slowly and each count squeeze tighter and tighter. (1
second 2 second 3 second 4 second 5
second) Counting aloud will help with breathing.
On the 5th count hold this position for another 5 slow seconds.
Relax the muscles (DO NOT PUSH) for a count or 5.
Repeat this 3 or 5 times (or as much as you can manage to start)
Next exercise is the fast counts :
Fast pelvic floor counts
Tightly contract the muscles surrounding IncoStress with the vagina.
Count aloud to 5 quickly and with each count squeeze tighter and tighter. (1. 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 At the count of 5 relax the muscles (DO NOT PUSH) for a
fast count of 5.
And then again squeeze quickly for another count of 5
On the fast counts you will not hold for 5 seconds but will go straight back into the squeeze for 5
3 or 5 times or as much as you feel you can do.
Stand with your feet hip width apart.
Repeat the sitting exercise the same way for standing.
Walking is done to slow pelvic floor counts Stand, tightly contract the muscles surrounding IncoStress in the vagina with an internal squeeze and imagine
you pulling up the
to your navel.
Count aloud to 5 slowly and each count squeeze tighter and tighter. (1 - second 2 second 3 second 4 second 5 second, Counting aloud will help with breathing. On the 5th count hold this position for another 5 slow seconds.
On the 5th second continue to hold and take 5 steps forward squeezing on each step. At the end of the 5th step relax (DO NOT PUSH) then repeat the steps for walking.
EVERYWHERE!! If you are doing the exercises right, no one will know you are doing them! Some ideas:
At red lights (but be careful of the ‘sagged position of the pelvic floor’)
During commercials on TV, While brushing your teeth, when coughing, sneezing, laughing or climbing stairs
IncoStress is safe to use right through the night to give you extra support.
You will find the instructions indicating that Incostress is to be removed every 8 hours and before going to the toilet. Please note that these are recommendations only. You may find that with practise your pelvic tone will improve and you will be able to keep your Incostress in whilst empty ing the bladder and bowels.