Just Do Kegels?

Its the age old advise: Just had a baby? Kegels. Leaking? Kegels. Feel like your uterus is going to fall out of your vagina? Kegels. Apparently all pelvic floor issues can be fixed by kegels. Except, for many, repetitive “kegeling” only makes the problem worse. 

That’s because sometimes your pelvic floor symptoms aren’t actually caused by a weak pelvic floor. They could be caused by a tight pelvic floor or an uncoordinated pelvic floor. Leaking, for example could be caused by weakness – it isn’t able to contract strong enough to stop the flow of urine; tightness – it is already in a state of contraction, and therefore not able to contract more to stop the flow of urine; or lack of coordination – it cannot contract at the appropriate time to stop the flow of urine. 

In the same way you strengthen your quads in a different way than how you stretch your quads, it’s important to have a good understanding of what type of dysfunction your pelvic floor has in order to treat it correctly. 

So what’s next? Below are examples of symptoms that can be treated by a pelvic floor therapist.

  • I sometimes have pelvic pain (in genitals, perineum, pubic or bladder area, or pain with urination) that exceeds a ‘3’ on a 1-10 pain scale, with 10 being the worst pain imaginable
  • I can remember falling onto my tailbone, lower back, or buttocks (even in childhood)
  • I sometimes experience one or more of the following urinary symptoms
    • Accidental loss of urine
    • Feeling unable to completely empty my bladder
    • Having to void within a few minutes of a previous void
    • Pain or burning with urination
    • Difficulty starting or frequent stopping/starting of urine stream
  • I often or occasionally have to get up to urinate two or more times at night
  • I sometimes have a feeling of increased pelvic pressure or the sensation of my pelvic organs slipping down or falling out
  • I have a history of pain in my low back, hip, groin, or tailbone or have had sciatica
  • I sometimes experience one or more of the following bowel symptoms
    • Loss of bowel control
    • Feeling unable to completely empty my bowels 
    • Straining or pain with a bowel movement 
    • Difficulty initiating a bowel movement
  • I sometimes experience pain or discomfort with sexual activity or intercourse
  • Sexual activity increases one or more of my other symptoms
  • Prolonged sitting increases my symptoms

If you checked yes to three or more boxes above, pelvic floor dysfunction is likely and it is best to be evaluated by a pelvic floor PT1

Find more information on how to schedule your first PT visit here: https://dockatiept.com/work-with-me/

1. Cozean N. Simple screening questionnaire for pelvic floor dysfunction. Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Continuing Education. October 22, 2018. Accessed April 17, 2024. https://hermanwallace.com/blog/simple-screening-questionnaire-for-pelvic-floor-dysfunction. 

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