The pelvic floor

The pelvic floor plays a central role in our body. The muscle is still unknown to many, even though it is the basis for strength, energy and positive wellbeing. A strong pelvic floor can prevent stress urinary incontinence and descensus-related problems.

Often it is only during an antenatal class that attention is drawn to the pelvic floor and its unique significance, because it usually functions unnoticed, completely naturally and does its job reliably. As a highly elastic section of muscles and supporting tissue, it resonates with every movement and every breath, and keeps internal organs and structures in their anatomically correct position during use, thus enabling an upright posture.

The pelvic floor reacts to changes in tension in the body: it can “hang loose” when the woman feels unwell, it cramps when she “clenches her teeth”. This correlation also works in the opposite direction: a lively, powerful pelvic floor probably also influences facial expressions.

The pelvic floor is a muscle in the body for which one must develop awareness. Only then can you consciously train it to strengthen it.

A strengthened pelvic floor has many advantages: it brings the body back into balance and, through its function in the body, forms an energetic and powerful centre, which can have a positive effect on body, mind and spirit.

A balancing act of the pelvis

The woman’s pelvis is part of her femininity. Pregnancy and birth, but also cyclical experiences like menstruation or menopausal changes and sexuality are experienced through the pelvis.

The pelvis constitutes a closed, but not completely rigid bone ring. Essentially, three bones form the pelvis: the two arched hip bones and the sacrum at the back. The pelvis acts like a balancing frame that takes up the weight of the upper body and transfers it to the legs via the hip joints.

Strong ligaments, strong connective tissue, as well as strong back, pelvic, abdominal and leg muscles keep the frame of the pelvis in balance. This flexible interaction serves a variety of tasks.

As part of the prevention and therapy of bladder weakness and symptomatic descensus, we focus on the following:

The pelvic floor in interaction with:

– The bladder

The pelvic floor muscles close the urethra when urine accumulates in the bladder. Muscle fibres ensure the full bladder remains tight, even if pressure is built up, for example when sneezing. In order for urine to flow, the pelvic floor muscle must relax. Afterwards, the tension increases again. Overstressing the pelvic floor muscles can lead to bladder weakness and involuntary loss of urine, or a descensus of the bladder.

– The uterus

The pelvic floor muscles are the most important support for the uterus and the unborn child during pregnancy. During birth, the muscles are highly active and stretched. Strong and elastic pelvic floor muscles facilitate the birth and protect against injuries to the pelvic floor tissue.

– The rectum

The pelvic floor supports the rectum. If stool collects in the rectum, the pelvic floor muscles tense up. Targeted release of the muscles leads to bowel emptying. Similar to the bladder compartment, overstressing can lead to anal incontinence and bowel prolapse.

– Sex life

A strong pelvic floor increases sensitivity. Active muscles with a high blood flow trigger rhythmic contractions more easily, especially during orgasm.

Strong pelvic floor muscles require specific training. With restifem you can actively support training and make it even more effective. The recovery of the pelvic floor is basically aimed at restoring uterine stability and the urinary continence mechanism to a state as close as possible to that before pregnancy and birth.

Talk to your doctor as soon as you feel signs of weakened pelvic floor muscles, urinary incontinence or symptomatic descensus.

From the beginning of pregnancy, the weight and thus the strain on the pelvic floor increases week by week. The hormone Relaxin is responsible for loosening muscles and tissues throughout the body, especially in the pelvic floor and vaginal area, to make space for the unborn child and to prepare for the upcoming stretching during birth. The basic tension decreases. In addition, hormone-induced processes of change in the body become noticeable. Therefore, a strong pelvic floor plays a central role, especially during pregnancy. A weakened and overstressed pelvic floor can lead to conditions such as bladder weakness or stress urinary incontinence.

This is because of changes in body tension and posture during pregnancy: the muscles, ligaments and tendons stretch and loosen up, the abdominal muscles are pushed apart, the connective tissue is put under additional strain and the gain in weight increases the pressure on the pelvic floor, which in turn can weaken the muscles.

In order to be able to compensate for the stresses and strains caused by pregnancy in the best possible way, an intact pelvic floor is required. Specific pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy, specialised postnatal rehabilitation exercises and the supportive effect of restifem after the puerperium can prevent unpleasant consequences of an overstrained pelvic floor, such as urinary and faecal incontinence or problems with descensus and prolapse.

Even though the strongest forces during childbirth act on the uterus, the pelvic floor plays an important role, especially in the final stage of delivery, regardless of whether it is a spontaneous birth or a caesarean section. Hormonally induced tissue loosening makes it possible for the pelvic floor and the vagina to stretch a lot. The physical condition of the expectant mother, as well as a relaxed, fear-free atmosphere, influence the pelvic floor. If the pelvic floor is well trained, its elastic fascial fibres help the muscles to expand and quickly contract again after birth. If the expectant mother is able to actively control and relax her pelvic floor, these are optimal conditions for giving birth.

Nevertheless, birth injuries can occur during a natural birth. If the pelvic floor is not elastic enough and does not expand enough, muscles, ligaments, perineum and tissue can be injured. Lowering of the bladder, uterus and rectum, or injuries at the vaginal entrance and/or perineum, which can lead to urinary or faecal incontinence, can be the consequences of such birth injuries. It is therefore essential to keep the soft tissue fibres of the pelvic floor muscles elastic. Training, perineal massage, good support during delivery, including a pleasant atmosphere, can provide support towards the recovery of balance.

The pelvic floor after birth needs special attention. First and foremost, it must recover from the stresses and strains of childbirth. See “What is restifem?” for how you can actively and gently influence it.

The older a woman gets, the more the connective tissue loses its elasticity. This also affects the pelvic floor, which maintains its position via the connective tissue. If a woman now enters the menopause, hormone production decreases, which can lead to a loosening of the connective tissue and thus to a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. Dysfunctions of the bladder and bowel, right up to the uncontrolled discharge of urine (stress urinary incontinence), reduced libido, loosening of the ligaments and a consequent lowering of the uterus and bladder can be the crucial result of a weakened pelvic floor during the menopause.

So that you can enjoy life to the full at any age, targeted pelvic floor training and pessary therapy, especially with restifem, can reduce descensus-related problems or the risk of suffering from stress urinary incontinence.

Talk to your gynaecologist or contact us directly. We are happy to advise you.

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restifem - Zurück zur Balance
Restifem is a pessary for relief and stabilization of the pelvic floor, especially after birth. Find out more about the effectiveness of restifem in cases of urinary incontinence and prolapse.
If you lose urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing or during physical exertion, you should actively strengthen your pelvic floor. Read how you can actively take control yourself.
Active against
descensus-related problems
restifem - Aktiv gegen Senkungszustände
45-75% of women suffer from descensus-related problems during their lifetime. However, these can be treated non-surgically. Get active today and find out what you can do!