All you need to know about the pelvic floor

Almost 1 in 4 women have a pelvic floor disorder such as incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse (Wu et al., 2014). In addition, nearly 1 in 7 women experience chronic pelvic pain (Mathias et al., 1996). Because pelvic floor disorders are poorly understood, they are often difficult to identify and treat. Extreme cases of pelvic floor disorders may even require pelvic surgery. Surgical intervention is invasive and associated with risks, so it is best to maintain a healthy and strong pelvic floor with a safe treatment option like Perifit before it is too late.

1 in 4 women have pelvic floor disorder


What is the pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor is the muscular sling that supports the major pelvic organs including the bladder, bowel, vagina and uterus. It has two major functions:

Sphincter Control (closing): Contracting pelvic floor muscles closes the urinary and anal sphincters, allowing for continence to be maintained. Relaxing pelvic floor muscles opens the urinary and anal sphincters, allowing for voluntary urination and defecation. This function is very important for sexual health.

Supporting Pelvic Organs: The pelvic floor muscles, ligaments and connective tissues are vital to maintaining intra-abdominal pressure and supporting pelvic organs in the correct position to prevent prolapse.

What are pelvic floor disorders?

Pelvic floor dysfunction occurs when the pelvic floor is injured or weakened. Pregnancy and childbirth are major contributors to pelvic floor weakness, along with increased body weight and advanced age. Improper body mechanics and impaired breathing can also contribute to uncoordinated, tight or weak pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor disorders are significantly associated with urinary incontinence, reduced sexual arousal, and pain with intercourse (Handa, Cundiff, Chang, & Helzlsouer, 2008).


How can you prevent pelvic floor disorders?

The quick solution to preventing pelvic floor dysfunction is to maintain a strong pelvic floor. As long as the pelvic floor is strong and the muscles are firing appropriately, it will function well. Unfortunately, we are not able to see muscle atrophy of the pelvic floor before symptoms begin. The first symptom of a weak pelvic floor can be small leaks of urine when sneezing or laughing. This indicates the closing function of the pelvic floor is not working as well as it should. The pelvic floor must be strengthened to improve its control of the urinary and anal sphincters. Strengthening the pelvic floor, with appropriate guidance and feedback, is the best way to maintain pelvic health.


Here are 3 most important things to know about your pelvic floor:

  • the pelvic floor is a muscle located in the pelvic bone
  • It has two important functions: closing (useful for continence and sexual intercourse) and supporting
  • There are many health and wellness benefits in keeping a strong pelvic floor



Handa, V. L., Cundiff, G., Chang, H. H., & Helzlsouer, K. J. (2008). Female sexualfunction and pelvic floor disorders. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 111(5), 1045-52. Retrieved from 

Mathias, S.D., Kuppermann, M., Liberman, R.F., Lipschutz, R.C., Steege, J.F. (1996). Chronic pelvic pain: prevalence, health-related quality of life, and economic corelates. Obstet Gynecol, 87(3): 321-7. Retrieved from 

Wu, J. M., Vaughan, C. P., Goode, P. S., Redden, D. T., Burgio, K. L., Richter, H. E., & Markland, A. D. (2014). Prevalence and trends of symptomatic pelvic floor disorders in U.S. women. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 123(1), 141-8.Retrieved from