Pelvic Floor

In yoga, the pelvic floor is known as the root chakra. In sex research, the pelvic floor is known as the root of female orgasm! Many of us learn to tone the pelvic floor with the Kegel exercise, named after Dr. Arnold Kegel who also studied how the pelvic floor contributes to our sexual health. The pelvic floor is made up of the muscles and tissues that line the pelvis. During penetration, the pelvic floor is stretched and widened. During orgasm, the pelvic floor contracts. And a toned pelvic floor that can contract and release its muscles more deeply, helps us to experience orgasm more deeply.

Ah, the vagina! One of the most celebrated parts of a woman’s body and for good reason. Vaginas are fierce and have made a comeback in pop culture as the unofficial mascot for some modern Internet feminist movements and even politicians! From Vagina Monologues to vagina Halloween costumes, it seems that every day more and more people are becoming open to seeing and talking about vaginas. But few women, and even fewer men, are open enough to talk about some of the problems that women may face with their vaginas, such as vaginal prolapse.

Image: Getty

Zosia Mamet, one of the stars of HBO’s Girls, got real at the AOL’s Makers Conference in LA in February. Her revelation? Her six-year struggle with pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD), a common pelvic condition.

“For six years it felt like I had the worst UTI of my life,” Mamet told the crowd. Despite suffering from symptoms including intense pain during sex and urinary incontinence for six years, doctors wouldn’t take her seriously.

Many women believe that urinary incontinence is a problem for older women. Friend, this is a true myth, a misconception that causes many women that experience urine leaks when coughing, sneezing or running feel embarrassed and prevents them from talking about it. And there you have it! That’s how a very common health problem, which we can all prevent and improve, becomes a taboo that causes insecurities in many women. Yes, even though urine leakage isn't a common topic of conversation over dinner with friends, it is something that many many women have. One study reports that half of women in the USA develop some kind of urinary incontinence in their lifetime.

Stress affects everyone and, while small amounts of stress are a normal part of life, chronic stress is not. But being stressed all the time can do a lot of damage to your emotional wellbeing and, for women, your pelvic floor. Ok, so your pelvic floor might be the last thing you think about when you’ve got a million other things to take care of. We understand but, real talk, your pelvic floor should be something you’re concerned with. A strong, healthy pelvic floor can help you stay in shape, give you confidence, and keep your entire reproductive system operating at it’s best. So how does stress affect your pelvic floor? Read on!

By Susie Gronski Who says sex has to stop after you hit menopause? Well, according to an international survey of 4,100 women, up to 50% said that sex was painful (1) Ouch! 50%?! That’s a whole lotta deprived vaginas. Top 5 symptoms you might complain of in your golden years:
  • A vagina dryer than the Sahara desert
  • Getting “hot” and not it a good way
  • Waking up to a pool of sweat in your bed sheets
  • Insomnia
  • That annoying belly fat that won't go away no matter what diet or exercise fad you try

If you’re like most women, you’ve probably at least heard of Kegels. But did you know that they are for more than preventing bladder leaks? It’s true! In the mid-1940’s, Dr. Arnold Kegel developed an exercise to help women who were experiencing urinary continence. Many women who tried this exercise found that, in addition to having better control over their bladders, they were also experiencing better sex.

Constipation is a common problem and affects many women who end up accepting it as a part of life. What you maybe don’t know is that, over time, constipation can damage your pelvic floor. Find out why and how to fight the problem: advice, habits and exercises for relieving stasis of the lower bowel from its root.

Your body undergoes many changes during the pregnancy and postpartum period. These changes are common, like having painful sex after delivery, but should not be considered your new normal. Many of these changes can be successfully treated conservatively—without surgery or medication, through pelvic floor physical therapy visits and a home program. In this True or False Article, we demystify sex after the baby.

If you’re a female runner, be aware of how running affects your pelvic floor, and learn how to take care of it and prevent problems like urine leakage or organ prolapse. According to Kathrine Switzer, the first female runner to participate in a marathon in the United States, “the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other can change your life.’’ If you are a female runner, you know that running is not only a test of mental toughness, but also physical toughness. In addition to the most common injuries, running is also a contributing factor to the weakening of a woman’s pelvic floor that may result in problems such as urinary incontinence or organ prolapse.