Why you should train your pelvic floor

A weak pelvic floor does not only affect pregnant and older women. Men also benefit from pelvic floor training to prevent diseases and erectile dysfunction. According to a study, regular training is crucial for success.

Weak pelvic floor leads to diseases

Pelvic floor disorders affect women of all ages. In the age group over 20, one in ten women is said to be affected by it – in the age group over 80 even every second woman. For this reason, one in ten women will have to undergo surgery one or more times in the course of their lives ( 1 ).

However, not only women are affected by pelvic floor diseases, but also men. Pelvic floor diseases are when symptoms occur due to weak pelvic floor muscles.

The consequences of a weak pelvic floor

In women, weak pelvic floor muscles can also lead to a lowering of the uterus and vagina, which manifests itself in abdominal and lower back pain and an unpleasant feeling of pressure. The bladder itself can also sink if the pelvic floor is too weak, which can lead to bladder weakness up to the aforementioned incontinence.

In extreme cases, parts of the uterus or bladder protrude from the vagina. This increases the risk of urinary tract infections such as bladder infections, as the affected organs now come into contact with bacteria more easily. In men, on the other hand, a weak pelvic floor can lead to erection problems or premature ejaculation.

Since the symptoms and consequences of a weak pelvic floor are so serious and massively worsen the quality of life, surgery is performed frequently, often even several times. However, operations can only “repair” provisionally, but they cannot strengthen the weak pelvic floor. Only you can do this! With regular and consistent pelvic floor training.

The causes of a weak pelvic floor

The causes of weak pelvic floor muscles include, for example, pregnancy, childbirth, heavy physical work, lack of exercise, obesity and operations on the uterus or prostate.

What to do? Train the pelvic floor regularly

It is therefore important that you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles – also preventively. A first sign of a weak pelvic floor can be, for example, that small amounts of urine are released when laughing, coughing, sneezing, hopping, jogging, etc. and you simply can no longer prevent this.

However, with pelvic floor training, the pelvic floor muscles can be easily trained from home. British researchers have created a guide to pelvic floor training and published it in the journal The BMJ in 2022. They highlighted the following points in particular ( 1 ):

  • A pelvic floor workout at home should be done three times a day, with the pelvic floor contracted 8 to 12 times each time (only the pelvic floor, not the buttocks and not the leg or abdominal muscles). A short break is taken between each contraction.
  • Regular pelvic floor training is often neglected over time. However, the long-term implementation is crucial for the success of pelvic floor training. But how do you manage not to become careless in this regard?

Train your pelvic floor with fun!

Even if the recommended exercises three times a day are not really time-consuming, you forget them all too quickly – or simply don’t feel like it. However, since there are also sports methods that automatically train the pelvic floor and sport is important for your health, simply combine both: sport and pelvic floor training.

For example, some yoga, Pilates or normal fitness exercises (e.g. side plank, bridge (see cover photo)) can strengthen the pelvic floor very well. So if, for example, you do Pilates and/or yoga intensively three times a week, then this training often has such a lasting effect that you no longer have to incorporate small exercises into your everyday life three times a day (which you can of course still do if you want).

You can also find very good pelvic floor training sessions on the internet, which you can do on those days when you have no training/classes.

Studies have also shown that masturbating with a vibrator strengthens the pelvic floor and has other positive effects on health.

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