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  • Writer's pictureclairemcdonaldpt

5 Myths Related to the Pelvic Floor

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

1) Leaking is normal after having a baby or as we age

Far too often I hear that women think it is normal to leak or dribble urine after having a baby or when we get older. This isn’t true! Although its very common, it’s not the norm and pelvic floor physiotherapy can help address these issues.

2) Pain with sex is normal.

Pain with sex may be due to tight pelvic floor muscles and/or hypersensitivity of surrounding nerves and tissues, including scars and damage from childbirth. Again, although this is common, it is not normal!

3) My pelvic floor muscles are not related to my back pain.

The whole body is connected, especially the pelvis, hip and lower back. The pelvic floor is in the centre of the body, and can be the missing link in persistent lower back pain that hasn’t resolved with regular treatment. When you come in for an assessment, we look at how all these areas are working together as a unit and how/if the pelvic floor is contributing to these symptoms. 

4) I’m pregnant, so I can’t exercise.

False! Recent research from the 2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity Throughout Pregnancy released what we already know; exercise is good for you, especially during pregnancy! It has been shown to decrease pregnancy-related illnesses such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and preeclampsia by 40%, and symptoms of depression by 25%. Your pelvic floor physiotherapist can guide you through safe and effective exercise suggestions throughout each trimester and even help you prepare for labour with positions that open the pelvis for early and active labour. 

5) Kegels will cure all of your pelvic health issues.

Not all dysfunctions are related to weakness. Often pelvic floor muscles can become too tight or hypersensitive and cause problems. In addition, research shows that without proper instruction on how to perform a Kegel correctly through vaginal palpation, the majority of women are incorrectly contracting these muscles and recruiting some of the bigger players instead (gluts, core, adductors). 

Claire McDonald

Registered Physiotherapist

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