Did you know that 16% of men under 50 experience pelvic pain? This is only one potential consequence of a weak pelvic floor. A weak pelvic floor can also cause incontinence, poor sexual health, and generally reduce the overall quality of life.
Many people think that only women have to worry about their pelvic floor health. While it’s true that childbirth is one factor that can weaken the pelvic floor, both men and women can benefit from pelvic floor exercises.
Men who regularly strengthen their pelvic floors can enjoy greater sexual performance, better urinary health, and fewer health complications! There are lots of benefits to pelvic floor exercises, so read on to learn more!
What Is the Pelvic Floor?
Many people think of your core as just your rectus abdominis, also known as the six-pack muscle that lines your stomach. It’s actually better to think of your core as a cube, muscle on all sides. Your six-pack is just the front face of the cube.
The sides of the cube are your obliques. Your lumbar multifidi, a pair of back muscles, make up the back of the cube. Your diaphragm is the top, and your pelvic floor makes up the bottom.
Your pelvic floor is therefore a set of deep core muscles that can impact your overall balance and strength, in addition to your urinary and sexual health.
The pelvic floor is made up of several muscles that act like a hammock across the top of your pelvis. They hold your organs in and cushion their impact so they don’t hit your pelvis bone. For example, when you run, your pelvic floor supports the bounce of your organs so they don’t hit bone or slip out of place.
The primary organs supported by the pelvic floor are the bladder and bowel. In fact, the urethra and rectum, the openings for these two organs, go through the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor muscles, therefore, control the opening and closing of these two openings.
This is why a weak pelvic floor can result in incontinence over time.
Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles
Your pelvic floor muscles naturally weaken over time, but weakness can also be caused by several factors. Surgery can cause the muscles to atrophy and weaken.
Furthermore, if you exercise a lot, you might be doing your core exercises in a way that focuses on the six-pack instead of the core as a whole cube. This can cause the larger, dominant muscles to take over and allows the pelvic floor to atrophy.
Excessive coughing, such as a smoker might have, or excess body weight can cause a weak pelvic floor too.
How You Can Benefit From Improving Your Pelvic Floor Health
You might not notice any weakening of your pelvic floor. It’s not a visible muscle, and only in severe cases will the symptoms be evident. However, there are still many reasons you can benefit from taking a few minutes out of your day to strengthen this important muscle.
1. Better Sexual Performance
Your genitals aren’t a muscle, but they are controlled in part by pelvic floor function. Your penis needs healthy blood flow to function and well-balanced nerve function to achieve an erection and avoid premature climax.
A weak pelvic floor can result in unhealthy sexual health, with a range of complications like penile shrinkage, ED, and more. None of these are the end of the world, but it’s definitely worth doing a few Kegels to prevent them!
This article goes more in-depth on how to improve and strengthen pelvic floor function and increase your penis health, so check it out to get the full picture!
2. Better Urinary Health
As you now know, your pelvic floor strength is connected to your urinary health. A weak pelvic floor can result in incontinence, frequent urination, and poor bowel control. These symptoms will get worse as you age, but the more pelvic floor therapy you do, the less severe they will become.
Pelvic floor PT experts recommend doing 3 sets of 10 Kegels every day to maintain your urinary health over time. It only takes a minute or two, and the benefits will serve you well!
3. Stronger Core Muscles
If you think about your core as a cube, you need all six sides to be strong to achieve full core strength. If you hit the gym a lot, you might focus only on the aesthetic muscles, and this can cause muscle imbalances in your core that can lead to a weak pelvic floor.
If all your core muscles work well together, you will enjoy less back pain, greater overall strength, and fewer pelvic floor complications. This doesn’t mean you should ditch your regular core routine, but instead, try to tie in your pelvic floor muscles while you do it.
For example, if you do a lot of sit-ups, pull your pelvic floor muscles in during the duration of your exercise. This allows you to engage your core as a whole.
4. Lower Risk of Prolapse
Sometimes the pelvic muscles weaken so much they can’t support your organs at all. In these cases, the organs will fall through the pelvic floor resulting in a deep bulge and pelvic pain.
You can prevent this extreme consequence of weak pelvic floor muscles with just a bit of pelvic floor therapy. Save yourself a lot of potential pain!
5. Experience Better Recovery From Surgery
If you’ve recently had surgery on your prostate or bowels, your pelvic floor will be weak which can also result in bladder issues. In the same way that you have to strengthen your leg muscles after knee surgery, you have to strengthen your pelvic muscles after pelvic surgery!
One post-surgical exercise that a pelvic floor PT will give is to try to stop the flow of urine halfway through. This is difficult without a strong pelvic floor and can help you build your strength back up.
Take Some Time for Your Kegels
Now that you understand the pelvic floor and the benefits of taking care of it, hopefully, you’ll take some time every day to work on it. These small muscles have a huge impact on your daily life, so improving your pelvic floor health can go a long way! Enjoy better sexual health, a smoother aging process, and better core connectivity with a few Kegels a day.
If you learned something from this article, you’re sure to find our other content valuable! Check out our blog for more!