Functions of the Pelvic Floor
Because of their unique placement inside the pelvis, the PFM play an important role in some of our most important bodily functions...
They make up our urethral and anal sphincters, which are the muscular closures that squeeze to maintain continence (like a hand holding a water balloon). If the PFM are weak, sphincters cannot close effectively and leakage occurs.
They support the weight of the pelvic organs. Healthy PFM are thick and strong and form a sturdy floor underneath the bladder, uterus and rectum. If the PFM become thin and weak, one or more pelvic organs can descend toward the vaginal opening (referred to as prolapse).
They contribute to our core stability. The PFM work synergistically with the inner abdominal and back muscles to stabilize the trunk and pelvis. For this reason, PFM dysfunction can be a significant contributor to persistent back and pelvic pain.
They are required for healthy sexual function. In men and women, PFM dysfunction can contribute to a loss of sexual satisfaction and in many cases, sexual pain. Painful intercourse (aka "dyspareunia") affects around 50% of mothers in the first year post partum.