From celebrities to Cosmopolitan magazine, it seems like everyone is starting to talk about the benefits of doing "pelvic floor exercises". Many times, these sources are talking about doing Kegels, or voluntary, repetitive contractions of the pelvic floor muscles. Just because people are talking about how "everyone" should be doing pelvic floor exercises, does that mean that you should be too? Is there such a thing as too tight of a pelvic floor?
In short, yes! Just as any other muscle in the body can get, or feel tight, your pelvic floor is no different. However, because the pelvic floor plays a crucial role in continence, sexual intercourse and support to our organs, tightness in the pelvic floor can have significant effects on bowel, bladder, sexual function and pain.
When we are talking about evacuating our bowels or bladder, or during penetrative intercourse, our pelvic floor must relax. Failure of these muscles to relax can result in constipation, urine retention, painful intercourse and orthopedic conditions such as lower back pain and tailbone pain. Therefore, for patients struggling with these symptoms, the ability to relax the pelvic floor plays a much more significant role than its ability to contract.
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