5 Myths About the Pelvic Floor

Written by: Dr. Jessica Papa, PT, DPT


1. It is normal to leak urine when you work out. 

At no time at any age is it normal for anyone to leak urine. Some workouts may be adding stress to the pelvic floor and challenging those muscles to do their job of keeping you dry. It is important to take a look at your work out and seeing how your fitness routine maybe contributing to the leakage. Coordinating your breathing with movement  can help enhance your pelvic floor function – the opposite is also true! If your breath is working against your movements you maybe actually be facilitating the leakage. 

2. Going to the bathroom before you need to go is a good idea.

Nope. Actually that will likely make your urinary urge and frequency increase. Continence is a behavioral skill. Your bladder learns the feelings of full and empty. If you go when your bladder is not sending you signals that your full – your brain starts resetting what registers as full to a smaller amount of urine. 

3. If you have pain with urination it is a good idea to limit how much water you drink- this way you don’t have to go to the bathroom as much. 

If you drink less this will make your urine more concentrated. This could possibly make thinks worse -very quickly. If you have anything in your urine that is an irritant – it will now be more and concentrated in the urine. When you do go to the bathroom the pain could increase. 

4. Sexual intercourse is painful.

Sex should not hurt. Pelvic floor muscles are the same type of muscle tissue that you have in the rest of your body. It is possible that your pelvic floor muscles have taught fibers. Unfortunately, this taught state often nay not allow for the normal expansion of tissue needed during intercourse. 

5. Kegels are the answer. If I just do some Kegels I will be fine.

Traditional Kegels are concentric -shortening contractions of the pelvic floor. If you are having tight muscle fibers in the pelvic floor when you activate these muscles in a shortening contraction it may increase your pain. Some people benefit from lengthening these muscle fibers and techniques to relax the pelvic floor to relieve pain. A healthy pelvic floor not only contracts but lengthens. 

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact Arancia PT today!

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