The pelvic floor muscles have many different functions and dysfunction within them can present itself in many different ways. During a vaginal delivery the pelvic floor muscles have to stretch to three times their normal length, so it’s no surprise that they may need a little bit of help regaining their function post-natally.
- Do you have difficulty controlling urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh or exercise?
- Do you have a feeling of urgency to go to the loo, which you sometimes can’t control?
- Are you unable to fully empty the bladder and often have to go back?
- Have you noticed any heaviness or aching around the vagina?
- Have you felt any bulging in the vagina or felt that something might ‘come out’?
- Do you have difficulty controlling wind?
- Do you struggle to completely empty your bowel?
- Do you have a sense of urgency to empty the bowel?
- Do you experience discomfort or pain during intercourse?
- Do you have pain in any of the following areas: pelvis; lower back; hip; groin; abdominals?
If you are 8 weeks postnatal or over and the answer to any of the following questions is yes, then we strongly advise that you make an appointment to talk to one of our Women’s health physiotherapists.
The symptoms below are not normal because you have had a baby. It has been shown through research that practicing Pilates exercises has many benefits. However, Pilates exercises on their own will not strengthen the pelvic floor muscles: to be effective exercises must be taught and guided by a women’s health physiotherapist.
Thanks to our physiotherapist Stephanie Crossland for putting this information together