What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that lay underneath and inside the pelvis. The pelvic floor muscles are shaped like a hammock and run from the tailbone to the pubic bone and help to support the bladder, uterus and bowel.
Your posture, the way you move, breathe and use your abdominals all influence the function of your pelvic floor. Furthermore, your diaphragm “breathing muscle”, abdominals and pelvic floor work together as a “system” and dysfunction can occur when any part of this “system” is not working properly.
What are the signs & symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Many people assume urinary incontinence is “normal” after childbirth or as your age. Although unfortunately common, it is NOT NORMAL. Tightness or weakness of these muscles or any muscles in this muscle system can lead to Pelvic Floor dysfunction. Contrary to popular belief kegel strengthening exercises are not always the appropriate treatment for people who are suffering from Pelvic Floor issues. Some signs of Pelvic Floor issues include:
- Urinary incontinence, urgency or frequency
- Fecal incontinence, urgency and frequency
- Vaginal or rectal heaviness/fullness
- Constipation or poor control of flatulence (gas)
- Pain or discomfort with sexual intercourse, inserting a tampon or menstrual cup
- Unsuccessful treatment of previous low back, hip or pelvic girdle pain
What Conditions are Treatable with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
Some examples of conditions and symptoms that can be treated with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy are:
- Bladder Dysfunction (increased urinary urgency, incontinence, frequency or painful urination)
- Bowel Dysfunction (bowel urgency, discomfort or frequency)
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Vestibulodynia (pain at vaginal opening)
- Vaginismus (uncontrollable vaginal muscle spasm)
- Dyspareunia (superficial or deep pain with sexual intercourse)
- Pregnancy Effects (urinary urgency & incontinence during pregnancy can be the first signs of pelvic floor dysfunction)
- Menopause Effects (the decrease of estrogen can cause the vaginal muscles to change)
- Vaginal dryness, burning and itching
- Painful intercourse
How are Pelvic Floor issues detected and diagnosed?
If you exhibit any of the above conditions and are concerned that the condition is due to Pelvic Floor dysfunction you first need to consult with a medical professional. We recommend booking an appointment with a certified Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist as these medical professionals are specifically trained to diagnose and treat Pelvic Floor issues.
Once you have consulted with your Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist they will be able help you with the treatment of your specific Pelvic Floor issues. Contrary to popular belief Pelvic Floor issues are not always caused by weak muscles but also from tense or tight muscles as well.
How can Smitten help with Pelvic Floor dysfunction?
In some cases your physiotherapist will recommend kegel strengthening exercises which can be enhanced using kegel weights (also called kegel balls or ben wa balls) or they may recommend products that help to relax and stretch the muscles such as a dilator set. Smitten carries a wide variety of these products and we are happy to help you compare products so that you can find a product that will work best for your specific needs.
Kegel Exercisers vary in size, shape and material and obviously kegel weights are not a one size fits all solution. Some of our most recommended products include the LELO Luna Beads Mini, Climax Kegels and the classic Ben Wa Balls.
Dilators and Dilator Sets also vary in size, shape and material. When using a dilator it is important to start small and slowly work your way up to larger dilators. Some of our most recommended dilators include the Dr. Laura Berman Vibrating Dilator set and the Fuze Silicone Dilators.
Pelvic Floor Specialists in Brandon
Choosing the right professional for you and your needs is a very individual choice that is heavily dependent on personal preference. The following list of local pelvic floor specialists is in no particular order and we highly encourage you to do your own research to find the right professional for you.
Tryna DeGagne BMR, PT, BSc
728 18th Street, Brandon, MB (Baby Bump in Thomas Mall)
Kylie McGhee BSc, MPT
1100 Richmond Ave, Unit 2, Brandon, MB
Lindsay Thiessen MPT
1100 Richmond Ave, Unit 2, Brandon, MB
Marita Dowsett BPT
459 23rd Street, Brandon, MB