The pelvic floor is a large sling (or hammock) of muscles stretching from the pubic bone in front to the coccyx (the tail end of the spine) at the back. It has three openings: the urethra from the bladder, the anus from the bowels, and the vagina from the uterus, all of which pass through the pelvic floor.
- It supports the pelvic organs and abdominal contents
- It supports the bladder and actively squeezes with increases in pressure (for example during coughing or sneezing) to prevent leakage
- It controls bowels and wind
- It has an important sexual function
Women’s health physiotherapy can help to treat weakness in the pelvic floor muscles which can contribute to urinary incontinence and/or prolapse. It can also help treat hypertonic pelvic floor muscles which is tightness or muscle spasm, which can contribute to pain and pelvic floor function. Physiotherapy can also help relieve scar tissue pain and pelvic pain, aid recovery from pregnancy and childbirth, and help in preparation for or recovery from gynaecological surgery.