Have you noticed that a little amount of urine leaks out accidentally when you cough, sneeze or lift things during pregnancy? Then you may be having the condition known as, pelvic floor dysfunction.
What is the pelvic floor ?
It is a sheet of muscles and ligaments extending from pubic bone in the front of our body to base of the spine situated in the back of our body. Basically it is like a balloon membrane which can stretch up to a certain extent, according to the weight it is bearing and come back to original position when the weight is removed.
What is the role pelvic floor plays?
It bears the weights of bladder, bowel, uterus(womb in which your baby is growing in) and controls the emptying of bowel and bladder. When these organs are not well supported the sphincters cannot be squeezed properly and it causes a stress incontinence which leads to leaking of a little urine and some dragging feeling when you cough and sneeze. And also it can lead to sagging of uterus and other organs. Not only that, it also affects your vaginal muscles. If your pelvic floor is overly stretched due to some reason, you may find a less satisfaction in your sexual activities and feel less sensitivity in your vaginal area.
What is pelvic floor dysfunction during pregnancy?
Being pregnant means your body has an extra weight to bear now. This causes quite a lot of stress on pelvic floor making it over stretched than what it can normally withstand. As a result, floor can weaken from 12th week of pregnancy. And also Constipation can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction; which is a common complaint among pregnant moms.
What can I do to maintain a strong pelvic floor?
You should take medical advice and learn a series of Pelvic Floor Exercises. Doing Pelvic floor exercises in a regular basis can prevent you from having this condition during pregnancy and even after that. It helps you to increase the blood supply to the perineal area after the delivery which will shorten the period of healing.
Always squeezing and holding your pelvic floor muscles before you cough, sneeze or lift something, eating plenty of food rich in fibre (eg. Mango, papaw, kohila) to avoid constipation, emptying your bladder completely when you go to toilet, will help you to prevent from this condition.
And also, When you are sitting on the toilet, lean forward. Keep Your knees slightly higher than your hips (use a small stool to rest your feet on). Rest your elbows on your knees or thighs so that your back is straight. Gently bulge your abdomen. Now relax your pelvic floor and avoid pushing.
Verified by: Dr Ravi Liyanaarachchi
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