Women are often told to try and ‘activate’ their pelvic floor, this message becomes even stronger during pregnancy and post-partum, but for many women they have no idea whether they are contracting correctly or not!
Some women are able to contract strongly using their fast twitch fibres, but may not have the constant support of the slow twitch fibres or vice versa. When this occurs women may experience leakage of urine or incontinence, or feel as though something is ‘not quite right’ down there. It is therefore important to get your pelvic floor checked by a professional if you suspect you may have any problems, or are unsure how to do a pelvic floor contraction.
Here are some general tips to get you started with pelvic floor exercises:
- A pelvic floor contraction consists of both a squeeze around the entrance then a lift up.
- Women achieve their best contraction when they not only pull up through the vagina, but also draw the anus up (as though stopping wind).
- It can be useful to use a mirror to check for an upward movement of the anus and vaginal entrance to check if you’re getting the correct movement, or insert a finger and feel a squeeze and pull inwards.
- Start with holding the contraction for 5 seconds for 8 repetitions, if you are just getting started you will feel fatigued after this.
- Remember to continue relaxed breathing while doing your exercises.