Almost 1 in 4 women have a pelvic floor disorder such as incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse (Wu et al., 2014). In addition, nearly 1 in 7 women experience chronic pelvic pain (Mathias et al., 1996). Because pelvic floor disorders are poorly understood, they are often difficult to identify and treat. Extreme cases of pelvic floor disorders may even require pelvic surgery. Surgical intervention is invasive and associated with risks, so it is best to maintain a healthy and strong pelvic floor with a safe treatment option like Perifit before it is too late.
How does the pelvic floor function?
The pelvic floor is the muscular sling that supports the major pelvic organs including the bladder, bowel, vagina and uterus. It has two major functions:
- Sphincter Control (closing): Contracting pelvic floor muscles closes the urinary and anal sphincters, allowing for continence to be maintained. Relaxing pelvic floor muscles opens the urinary and anal sphincters, allowing for voluntary urination and defecation. This function is very important for sexual health.
- Supporting Pelvic Organs: The pelvic floor muscles, ligaments and connective tissues are vital to maintaining intra-abdominal pressure and supporting pelvic organs in the correct position to prevent prolapse.
Pelvic floor dysfunction occurs when the pelvic floor is injured or weakned. Pregnancy and childbirth are major contributors to pelvic floor weakness, along with increased body weight and advanced age. Improper body mechanics and impaired breathing can also contribute to uncoordinated, tight or weak pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor disorders are significantly associated with urinary incontinence, reduced sexual arousal, and pain with intercourse (Handa, Cundiff, Chang, & Helzlsouer, 2008).
How can you prevent pelvic floor disorders?
The quick solution to preventing pelvic floor dysfunction is to maintain a strong pelvic floor. As long as the pelvic floor is strong and the muscles are firing appropriately, it will function well.
Unfortunately, we are not able to see muscle atrophy of the pelvic floor before symptoms begin.The first symptom of a weak pelvic floor can be small leaks of urine when sneezing or laughing. This indicates the closing function of the pelvic floor is not working as well as it should.
The pelvic floor must be strengthened to improve its control of the urinary and anal sphincters. Strengthening the pelvic floor, with appropriate guidance and feedback, is the best way to maintain pelvic health.
Why should you choose Perifit to prevent pelvic floor disorder?
Training the pelvic floor with Kegel exercises helps to minimize symptoms of pelvic floor dsyfunction. Unfortunately, it is difficult to see if you are performing your Kegel exercises properly or if your training is effectively strengthening your pelvic floor. We created Perifit to give you instant feedback about your Kegel exercises while you play games with our sleek app.
Perifit tells you exactly how to train your pelvic floor and provides statistics about your progress and strength. Using Perifit will ensure you are contracting your pelvic floor muscles with the correct intensity and duration to maintain pelvic health and prevent future complications.
Handa, V. L., Cundiff, G., Chang, H. H., & Helzlsouer, K. J. (2008). Female sexual
function and pelvic floor disorders. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 111(5), 1045-52. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2746737/
Mathias, S.D., Kuppermann, M., Liberman, R.F., Lipschutz, R.C., Steege, J.F. (1996). Chronic pelvic pain: prevalence, health-related quality of life, and economic corelates. Obstet Gynecol, 87(3): 321-7. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8598948
Wu, J. M., Vaughan, C. P., Goode, P. S., Redden, D. T., Burgio, K. L., Richter, H. E., & Markland, A. D. (2014). Prevalence and trends of symptomatic pelvic floor disorders in U.S. women. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 123(1), 141-8.
Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3970401/