15 Ways to Improve Your Pelvic Health

Your pelvic floor doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Day in and day out, it works diligently to support you and hold things together, quite literally, by the way. Childbirth, sex, orgasms, pooping, peeing, and getting rid of gas in your guts (or on the contrary, keeping it in and from embarrassing you) are all possible due to it. Yet, pelvic floor health for many women is a topic that they start paying attention to only when serious problems arise. 

When’s a good time to start taking care of your pelvic floor health? 

Always! Regardless of whether you experience pelvic floor dysfunction or feel completely fine and believe that your pelvic floor is properly performing its functions, it’s always a good idea to integrate into your lifestyle holistic practices that help you improve it’s health.

What’s a Healthy Pelvic Floor?

To understand what a healthy pelvic floor is, let’s first define what it’s not. And that’s a weak pelvic floor. While weak is often interpreted as weak pelvic muscles and tissues, your pelvic can also be weak. It happens if the muscles are tight and unable to relax. It’s supposed to work tirelessly, but, instead, it’s overworked and extremely tired. 

Therefore, a healthy pelvic floor is reflexive. It can contract and relax when necessary. It’s also able to do so involuntarily or without you needing to consciously control it. 

Pelvic floor health is closely connected to a woman’s vaginal and womb health. So, keeping your pelvic floor healthy will result in fewer issues related to your vaginal and uterine health. Your sex life will also be better.

Taking care of your pelvic floor health can help prevent a wide array of disorders. In addition to that, it can also help you heal if damage has already occurred. You can regain your wellbeing and even feel better than you’ve ever had.

How to Improve Your Pelvic Floor Health in a Natural and Holistic Way

1. Avoid Causing Pelvic Floor Damage

Some ways of causing pelvic floor damage can be inevitable. This includes factors such as pregnancy, childbirth, aging, and menopause. If you experience trauma or suffer in an accident, this also can damage your pelvic floor.

Nonetheless, there are conscious choices we can make and habits we can adapt that can worsen our pelvic floor health. Here are a few ways in which you can avoid unnecessary pelvic floor damage:

  • Maintain a healthy weight and avoid weight gain. Excess weight increases internal pressure that can press against the pelvic floor. This additional strain can weaken and damage pelvic floor muscles and tissues, leading to pelvic floor dysfunction. 
  • Learn how to correctly lift heavy objects. Lifting heavy objects or even kids can damage pelvic tissues if done incorrectly. This is especially true if your pelvic floor is already weak. It’s essential to engage your entire core, including the pelvic floor, as you lift. In addition to that, keep your back neutral instead of rounding it. And finally, do most of the lifting with your leg and glute muscles. 
  • Ditch the smoking habit. There are many reasons why smoking is unhealthy. You can add an increased risk of pelvic floor damage to them. Smoking impairs the health of your lungs. So, it can cause chronic cough which increases intra-abdominal pressure and can strain and weaken the pelvic tissues. 
  • Avoid constipation and straining. If you regularly need to push to empty your bowels, you can end up weakening your pelvic floor. Instead, up your intake of water, fiber, and probiotics, exercise, and maintain a healthy weight. 

2. Maintain a Healthy and Balanced Diet

Diet & Pelvic Wellness
Look closely into your diet, and avoid fads.

Fad diets such as juice fasts and low-carb diets get the most limelight in the media. Yet, it’s not about short-term fixes, but a long-term habit that your body can benefit from. A healthy and balanced diet can promote healthy bowel movements. It can also support the health of your pelvic floor muscles and tissues even as your body ages. 

Here are a few ways in which you can support your pelvic floor health through diet:

  • Drink plenty of water. Fluids are necessary for healthy bowel movements, and dehydration can cause constipation which can weaken your pelvic floor. 
  • Avoid or reduce the consumption of caffeinated beverages. Coffee, tea, and soft drinks contain caffeine. Caffeine is diuretic and can irritate the bladder or make it overactive. An overactive bladder is more prone to infections, urinary incontinence, and other pelvic floor issues. 
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber. Fiber is necessary for making the bulk of the stool, and its lack in your diet can cause constipation. In addition to that, fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. They can support your pelvic floor health. 
  • Eat foods rich in magnesium. Bananas, nuts, beans, whole grains, and potatoes are rich in magnesium. This mineral is necessary for the optimal function of muscles and nerves and can also relieve constipation. However, about 50% of people are magnesium-deficient; so, chances are that you may be too.
  • Add oily fish to your diet. Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. These are essential in reducing inflammation. Other sources of Omega 3 include oysters, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. 
  • Eat eggs. Eggs as well as oily fish are great sources of Vitamin D, another nutrient that many are deficient in. Vitamin D deficiency can result in muscle weakness and cramps. Studies have shown a correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and weak pelvic floor muscles and tissues. While you can get Vitamin D from food and supplements, the body can also generate it. So, you can also spend about 15-20 minutes in direct sunlight. Keep your arms and legs exposed and don’t put any sunscreen on. 
  • Drink bone broth or take a collagen supplement. Collagen is an integral protein responsible for the strength and structure of connective tissues. This also includes those that make up your pelvic floor. Pelvic floor damage can lead to changes in collagen structure and content, making connective tissues weaker, looser, and stiffer. By taking collagen supplements you can support your body’s ability to protect and generate collagen. Alternatively, you can regularly drink bone broth which is rich in collagen and other beneficial nutrients.

3. Exercise Regularly

Exercise can help maintain a healthy weight as well as muscle tone. The pelvic floor doesn’t work in isolation. Instead, it works together with other muscle groups such as the abdominals, back and glute muscles, and the diaphragm. Keeping them strong can help your body move and function optimally and without putting unnecessary strain on the pelvic floor. 

Certain exercises such as bridges, clamshells, and lunges are also great ways on building pelvic floor strength. 

4. Integrate a Hypopressive Routine

Low-pressure workout, it connects your pelvic floor to your whole body

Hypopressives are a wonderful way to improve core and pelvic floor functionality. A regular hypopressive routine can also prevent and heal pelvic floor disorders such as incontinence and prolapse

Contrary to most forms of exercise that increase the pressure in the abdominal-pelvic cavity, the hypopressive technique does the opposite. It reduces the pressure. This can ease pelvic floor pain and discomfort as well as strengthens it and improves its ability to be reflexive. 

Take our comprehensive beginners Hypopressive course at WomenCycles

5. Manage Stress and Anxiety

Need another reason to get stress and anxiety in check? Well, here you go. It can improve your pelvic floor health. 

Biologically, stress has a very important function – to keep us safe. Stress gets us in fight or flight mode. This way, it prepares us to either stay put and protect ourselves or dash away to safety. To do so, it causes us to tense our muscles. 

The problem with modern stress is that we tend to experience it continuously. In addition to that, we may also suffer from anxiety. It causes us to worry even if stressors aren’t actually present. Our muscles remain tight and ready to fight or free and do not get a chance to relax. As a result, the pelvic floor can become tight and painful which is another form of weak. The sphincters can be too tense to be able to properly function when needing to support bowel or urine movements. 

Integrating stress and anxiety management techniques can help you cope and improve pelvic floor health. You can try meditation, journaling, talking therapy, exercise, and improving the quality of your sleep. These are just some of the ways to accomplish that. 

Find your calm and manage stressors with our simple and powerful techniques

6. Practice Yoga or Pilates

Yoga and Pilates are low-impact forms of exercise that can help to strengthen and stretch the pelvic floor. Pilates is a more anatomy-oriented technique that will integrate repetitive exercises that target specifically the pelvic floor. 

In the meantime, yoga tends to be more spiritual. Yoga sequences often involve poses such as lunges that can develop pelvic floor strength. In addition to those, they also include poses such as squats that develop flexibility of the pelvic tissues. Movement is linked with breath. Moreover, classes often integrate meditation practice and breathwork which can also help in managing stress and anxiety. 

Yoga & Movement for C-Section Recovery

7. Belly Dancing

Belly dancing is an exotic and very sensual form of dance. It looks sexy, sure. But that’s not all that there is to it. It may be called “belly dancing” but it can’t happen without the pelvic floor and the muscles surrounding it. 

To move the belly you need to move the hips, and hip movements are impossible without the pelvic floor. It’s a low-impact form of exercise that gradually increases in intensity as you progress and isn’t boring. Moreover, the environment is women-friendly and the practice itself can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also help you get in touch with your femininity and feel more confident. 

8. Maintain a Good Posture and Breathe the Right Way

While various forms of exercise help us develop pelvic floor strength, there is a lot more time in a day. So, maintain a good posture while you walk or sit. It can help you support your pelvic floor health and keep it working optimally. 

To have a proper posture, start by positioning your feet hip-width distance apart. Balance your weight evenly between both feet if you are standing. If you are sitting, balance evenly between both of your sit bones. Slightly tuck your pelvis and your lower ribs in. Then draw your shoulders back and down but without puffing out your chest. Finally, pull your chin slightly back so that your ears are stacked over your shoulders and hips. 

If you are sitting on a chair, sit on the edge keeping your back neutral rather than lean back. 

Avoid slouching as it constricts your breathing.  This will not only affect that amount of oxygen your body gets but also can worsen your pelvic floor health. 

Breathing incorrectly can contribute to imbalances in the pelvic floor or even worsen existing issues. Your entire core, diaphragm, and pelvic floor work together as you breathe. Breathing is what we all do daily without even needing to think about it. But, many of us don’t do it right and aren’t even aware of it. 

To avoid developing or exacerbating pelvic floor issues, avoid doing the following:

  • holding your breath, 
  • continuously taking short and shallow breaths (Hello there, stress!),
  • wearing clothes that are excessively tight and restrict breathing, 
  • consistently sucking in your tummy and holding it that way.

Instead, take long and deep breaths and breathe with your diaphragm. Your chest should be expanding in all directions, and your belly should be moving as well. 

If you have a hard time controlling your breath and breathing properly, consider regularly engaging in practices such as yoga and meditation. Both have a strong emphasis on breathing and can also help you lower your stress and anxiety levels. 

9. Try Vaginal Steaming

Vaginal or yoni steaming is an ancient practice. Due to Gwyneth Paltrow and her website Goop, it has regained its once lost popularity. The practice has a long list of benefits. It can cleanse the vagina, reduce menstrual pain, heal hemorrhoids and hormonal imbalances. It can also ease fatigue, stress, and anxiety, and much more. 

Vaginal steaming involves sitting or squatting over a container with herb-infused hot water. The steam coming from it is directed toward your pelvic floor and into your vagina. Some upscale spas may facilitate the procedure, and you can also do it at home. Keep in mind that you must exercise caution as you are dealing with hot water and steam. 

10. Book a Course of Acupuncture 

Even Western medicine agrees that acupuncture can relieve physical pain and promote overall well-being. It can be used for both weak and tight pelvic floor as well as to treat pelvic floor disorders. Acupuncturists are able to directly access the pelvic floor. They use needles to either promote the relaxation of tight muscles or mildly recruit them.

Targeting specific points in the body can help relieve pelvic, genital, or nerve pain that you may be suffering from. 

11. See a Homeopath

Homeopathy is a gentle form of alternative medicine. It uses minute doses of natural substances that can potentially produce effects similar to those of a disease or disorder in healthy people. Homeopathy targets a wide range of pelvic floor disorders. It also aims to both alleviate the symptoms and address the underlying cause. 

Homeopathic treatments are highly personalized. So, make sure to see a skilled professional who can advise the best course of treatment for your pelvic floor health. 

13. Massage Your Scar Tissue

Despite being extremely durable, the pelvic floor can undergo a variety of experiences that can weaken or injure it. Natural tears during childbirth, episiotomies, pelvic surgery, and other forms of trauma can damage the original muscles and tissues. This can lead to the development of scar tissue. 

While it’s made up of the same elements, scar tissue is less elastic, tighter, and shorter than the original tissue. This can result in tightness and pulling, especially if a muscle has been damaged. 

Massaging the scar tissue can help remove any bumps, knots, holes, or other irregularities in the scar tissue itself as well as the surrounding tissues. This smoothens it and allows it to better integrate with the rest of the tissues. 

14. Work with a Pelvic Floor Therapist

Luckily, there are professionals who specialize in exactly that – pelvic floor health. The therapist individually assesses each woman to determine the best course of action. 

Pelvic floor work can involve techniques aiming to relax and lengthen pelvic muscles and tissues. This can be done, for instance, by using tools like vaginal dilators and less invasive methods like mind-body connection. If the pelvic floor is weak, then an exercise routine may be prescribed. It will aim to strengthen the tissues and improve pelvic floor health. 

15. Integrate Block Therapy

Block therapy works on releasing blocks in the fascia, the connective tissues found throughout the entire body. These blocks can restrict the mobility of fascia, causing pain, discomfort, inflammation, and more. Block therapy decompresses the body, softens and releases the tissues, as well as improves blood and oxygen flow. 

But What about Kegels?

Surprised that we left those out? That’s for a good reason. While Kegels can potentially be helpful in certain instances, it’s extremely common to do them incorrectly. Moreover, Kegels are ineffective as a means of healing pelvic floor dysfunction and can actually make matters worse. 

Which Should You Choose? 

There is no right or wrong. It ultimately depends on your needs and the issues that you may be experiencing. However, in many cases, women benefit the most from integrating a variety of pelvic floor health practices into their lifestyle. Each woman is unique. So, try at least a few and see what works best for you specifically.

Improve Your Pelvic Floor Health with courses on Women Cycles

At Women Cycles, we have developed a wide range of online pelvic floor courses that are dedicated to holistically improve female pelvic floor health. Start improving your well-being without judgment, stigma, or criticism. All you need is your presence and an online connection.

Did you enjoy this article? Rate it here
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

More from Pelvic Healing category

3 Things Doctor’s don’t tell you about your pelvic floor. Plus 1 Bonus Tip