If you're someone who struggles with tightness in your pelvic floor muscles, you're not alone. In fact, many people experience tension in this area and may not even realize it. The good news is that there are plenty of steps you can take to learn how to relax your pelvic floor muscles.
What are the pelvic floor muscles and why should I relax them?
Your pelvic floor muscles act as a sling around your pelvic region to support your bladder, and uterus. They also help you control your bladder, and play a part in sexual intercourse. If you have weakened pelvic floor muscles as a result of childbirth, menopause, or other strains on your pelvic floor region, you may experience stress urinary incontinence. Incontinence is a common problem that may cause you to leak urine when you laugh, cough, or sneeze.
Weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to a variety of issues, but did you know that having a tight or tense pelvic floor can also lead to problems? Incontinence, or even painful sex can all be signs of a pelvic floor that is too tense, also known as hypertonic pelvic floor dysfunction.
What causes tight pelvic floor muscles?
There are many reasons why someone may experience tightness in their pelvic floor. This can happen if you have had a child or from holding in your urine too often.
Other issues associated with a tight pelvic floor include:
- Dyspareunia - a burning or aching pain during intercourse
- Vaginismus - a condition where during intercourse, a medical exam, or the insertion of a tampon, the vaginal muscles will squeeze or spasm and cause discomfort and possibly pain
- Vulvodynia - chronic discomfort of either the vestibule, or “entrance” of the vagina, clitoris, or the superficial tissues of the vulva
- Pudendal Neuralgia - a condition that causes pain, discomfort, or numbness in the pelvis or genitals
Thankfully, if your pelvic floor muscles are too tight, there are techniques you can learn to relax them. Below are some simple exercises that may help you to relax your pelvic floor muscles. This can alleviate urinary or bowel problems, as well as improve your sexual health.
How To Relax Tight Pelvic Floor Muscles
One of the best things you can do to relax your pelvic floor muscles is to practice some gentle stretching exercises:
- Try lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor
- Then, slowly and gently lift your right knee toward your chest
- Using your left hand, grab hold of your right thigh and pull it in closer. You should feel a gentle stretch in your pelvic area
- Hold this position for 20-30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat with your left leg
Another great way to help relax your pelvic floor muscles is to practice some deep breathing exercises:
- Start by sitting up tall in a comfortable position
- Then, take a deep breath in through your nose, filling up your belly
- As you exhale, slowly release the breath through your mouth
- Repeat this several times, allowing your body to relax more with each breath
If you're someone who holds a lot of tension in your pelvic floor muscles, these two exercises can be a great way to help you relax. Remember to be patient and go at your own pace. You'll likely find that the more you practice, the easier it becomes to let go of that tightness.
What to do if you don’t see a difference
If stretches and breathing exercises don’t help alleviate any symptoms such as incontinence, it may be that you are experiencing pelvic floor weakness rather than tightness.
To combat a weak pelvic floor, a doctor or physical therapist may recommend trying Kegel exercises to help build up strength in your pelvic floor muscles. Kegels involve a series of squeeze and hold exercises using the muscles you use to control your bladder flow. Read more about how to do Kegel exercises.
Unfortunately, doing Kegels (also known as pelvic floor exercises) safely and correctly can be tricky. To benefit from Kegels, you must also do them regularly on a daily basis, which can be time-consuming and ineffective if you forget. This is where INNOVO can help.
How INNOVO can help
Because nearly 50% of women cannot do a Kegel correctly, INNOVO was invented to give you that perfect Kegel, safely strengthening your pelvic floor muscles from home. There are no probes to insert and no doctor visits needed.
That means all of the guesswork is gone, and you can rest assured that your pelvic floor will be exercised properly every time - plus you’re likely to see noticeable results much faster.
Using INNOVO for just 30 minutes a day, five days a week over 12 weeks has been proven to eliminate bladder leaks - with many starting to see results in as little as 4 weeks. Find out how INNOVO works and how it can treat your bladder leaks.