The average person might think they have a pretty good knowledge of their own anatomy. They may even remember the names of a few obscure bones from their biology class days. However, ask someone to describe their pelvic floor, and chances are they won’t know exactly what you’re asking. They’ll probably imagine it has something to do with the pelvis, but the pelvic floor is much more than “the pelvis.” And those who are familiar with the term often associate it with pregnancy and childbirth. After all, it’s common for women who have had children to leak a little when they sneeze or cough, and the stretching that takes place during pregnancy is obvious. However, women who have never been pregnant can have problems with their pelvic floor, too. Pelvic floor pain develops from many different things, and pregnancy is only one.
What is the Pelvic Floor?
First of all, let’s clear up what the pelvic floor actually is. It’s the group of muscles that pretty much sit like a bowl in your pelvic region. The bowl has connection points to the pubic bone, tailbone, and pelvis. This group of muscles works together to help you urinate and have bowel movements, help support your internal organs against gravity, help control movement of your sacroiliac and hip joints in your core, help men achieve and sustain erections during intercourse, help men and woman achieve orgasm, and act like a sump pump for the pelvis to help blood and lymphatic fluid get to where they need to go.
So clearly, anything that chronically puts pressure on the pelvic floor can cause problems—not just pregnancy. Hysterectomies, chronic constipation, excessive coughing, being overweight, and a lot of high-impact exercise such as running can cause problems with the pelvic floor. Menopause is also a common cause of pelvic floor pain because of the loss of estrogen and progestogens that affect the elasticity of the muscles and connective tissues.
Consult with Your Physician
If you’re experiencing pelvic floor pain, the first thing to do is go see a doctor. After discussing your symptoms, a urogynecology or colorectal referral may be in order. You may need to have some tests done to pinpoint the location of your pain. Pelvic floor physical therapy might also be appropriate.
What the specific course of action will be depends on the issue. In many cases, the supervised therapeutic use of vaginal dilators is recommended. In fact, even if surgery is necessary, vaginal dilators and pelvic floor therapy are essential in helping to ensure the patient gets the most out of the procedure.
Find Relief with a Vaginal Dilator
The simplest way to describe the function of vaginal dilators, which are tampon-shaped and come in many sizes, is to stretch and elongate the vaginal muscles over time. But actually dilators have just as much of a psychological effect on the pelvic floor as a physical one. For example, if someone has experienced pain for a while before seeking help, their brain is already on high alert anticipating pain. The nervous system has been conditioned and the person automatically starts to feel anxious at the mere thought of contact, let alone penetration. The thought of therapy by penetration might seem scary to some, but when used in a clinical setting, the patient can retrain their brain over time. Patients can start small and work their way up to gently allow the vaginal canal as well as the pelvic floor muscles to stretch or relax. Plain insertion can help, but there are many ways to also apply pressure, which a trained physical therapist can assist with. Over time, a therapist might suggest the patient try using dilators at home to help further transition to pleasurable intercourse. At-home use is also helpful for those who want to further their own therapy on their own schedules.
Pelvic floor pain is treatable, but the first step is to ask for help. Vaginal dilation has helped so many women live pain-free, and it might be what you need to get you feeling like yourself again. But remember, it’s always best to consult a doctor before starting any kind of treatment.
Start feeling like yourself again and purchase an antimicrobial vaginal dilator from BioMoi and begin your journey with vaginal dilator therapy.