In this episode of Pelvic Floor and Where to Find It Series we’ll give your more details on what happens during pelvic floor rehabilitation, which techniques or instruments can be used so that you know what to expect.
First thing Anna wants to be clear about is: rehabilitation (as well as the evaluation visit) is not and should not be painful. We’d like also to remind you all that it has to be done by a doctor, physician, physiotherapist, midwife or nurse specialized into pelvic floor.
Before giving you an overview on what to expect during a pelvic floor training, we must want to talk about Kegel exercises.
When those exercises have been invented by Dr. Kegel in the 19th century, it was a big deal. Definitely something good and new for women’s health. But we have to consider that over a century we - thank god - made progress in the studies on the pelvic floor area and figure out Kegel exercises have some limitations.
If you are not familiar with Kegel exercises, they are made by a series of muscolar contractions alternating a fast contracting/relaxing phase and a phase where you hold the contraction and then release.
The first limit is due to our general lack of knowledge on our pelvic floor muscles so when we are asked to contract them, rarely we activate the correct muscles.
The second limit is in the act of contracting per se. If you are not aware of your pelvic floor status, more precisely, if you are not sure to have a hypotonic pelvic floor, then you most probably will create more damages to your pelvic floor doing Kegel training. If your muscles are already contacted, and you train by contracting them even more, that would be a damage. In that case we should lean to relax our muscles.
Said that, in case of a hypotonic pelvic floor Kegel exercises are a very good way to help you getting back your tone - if you are well aware of your pelvic floor and supervised by an expert.
You may also like: Your Lifestyle Can Have a Big Impact on Your Pelvic Floor; Do's and Don'ts
How rehabilitation works
Let’s now have a better idea on how the rehabilitation works! No matter if your pelvic floor is hyper or hypotonic (or a mix of the two), rehabilitation should consist in an active and a passive/done-by-machine part.
The active part is fundamental for two reasons:
- the person has to lean how to move, feel and control the pelvic floor properly in order to be aware of what’s happening
- being aware of your pelvic floor will also give you control over it an you’ll be able to do your homework alone (which are the most important part of a rehabilitation)
During the active part you should learn to be aware of your breathing and relate it to your pelvic floor as well as to relax those muscles. It’s also important to learn how to feel the different muscles in your pelvic floor for being then able to work on the ones that need to be treated.
The passive part is done using specific machines like: electronic stimulation, Trancutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), tibial nerve stimulation, biofeedback, radiofrequency and electroporation.
You might have heard about those techniques already, as many are used in standard physiotherapy. Once again, none of those hurt. Maybe the stimulation of the tibial nerve is a bit less known; it is an amazing technique to avoid any instrument to be used into the vagina (perfect in case of pain or if working with kids) - just a plug on your ankle!
Watch out: Yoni Eggs and pee control
Why Yoni Eggs are not ideal for pelvic floor training? Yoni Eggs are quite heavy and usually spherical. If we insert them into the vagina for a long time (15min) they will likely get stuck within the “pliche” and pull our muscles down - damaging a pelvic floor that is not tonic.
So we suggest to use them for other purposes (pleasure, healing, stone energy).
Another exercise that sometimes is linked to pelvic floor training is the one for pee control. It has many names (pee-stop is probably the most used). The exercise is stopping your pee several times.
Anna doesn’t recommend to do the pee-stop because you intervene into the natural flow with an input that is not ideal and you might also push pee back into the bladder causing infections.
Last but not least, even though we have said it already in the previous episodes, consent if fundamental during the rehabilitation.
The expert should explain you each and every steps as well as ask for your permission before touching you or using any machine.
Take outs episode six
Kegel exercises could be very good to help you getting back the tone of your pelvic floor, but only if you are supervised by an expert and you know that they are the right exercises for you. Otherwise you can keep damaging your pelvic floor.
The rehabilitation of the pelvic floor should always be done by an expert - as for example a doctor, physician, physiotherapist, midwife or nurse - specialized in this specific training.
The rehabilitation is divided into two parts: one active, where the patient becomes aware of their breathe and their muscles (to be ready to do more exercises alone) and a passive part done with specific machines.
Yoni Eggs and pee control are two exercises that we do not recommend to replicate at home, because they can do more damage than benefit.
What's the next episode about?
We have reached half of our Pelvic Floor and Where to Find It Series so by know you should have a better understanding on the pelvic floor and why it is fundamental for your intimate health. The next episode will be fully dedicated to menopause.