There are lots of different factors that may contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction, and so best management almost always starts with a thorough assessment.

But mastering these 5 things is a great place to start.

Can you do all five?

Can you feel a squeeze around the openings AND a lift, with no abs and no butt muscles joining in?
This is important as the foundation for building strength, power & endurance in your pelvic floor.

Can you sense your pelvic floor muscles completely let go? Learning to relax the pelvic floor can be just as important as contracting it. Overactivity in the pelvic floor is common and many women hold chronic tension in their pelvic floor, sometimes contributing to tailbone/hip/back pain, difficulty emptying bladder / bowel or pain on sex. A great cue for relaxing the pelvic floor is to ‘release the tampon’.

3️⃣ HOLD Can you hold a pelvic floor contraction and continue breathing at the same time? Ideally you should be able to hold a steady pelvic floor contraction for 10seconds+ (and repeat that after a short rest for 10 repetitions!) It can help to remember that these longer holds do not need to be done at 100% effort (more like 60%)

Can you co-ordinate a few quick, strong contractions & releases of the pelvic floor muscles? These pulses can be closer to 100% effort (which means they can’t be held for a long time), and they should involve a full relaxation of the muscles in between. The most difficult part is often to keep the power and timing consistent and co-ordinated (without holding your breath!)

Have you mastered the ‘knack’ before coughing & sneezing? The ‘knack’ is a technique which involves a quick, strong pelvic floor contraction before a sudden increase in pressure (i.e coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting) and can help to reduce leakage in women who might otherwise experience it at these times.

Struggling with some / all of it?

Reach out for help