Some truths about the pelvic floor: Kirsten asks an expert

Many of us who have gone through pregnancy and child birth recognize the term ‘pelvic floor muscles’. During and after pregnancy we are advised to do pelvic floor training. Still many women after pregnancy experience issues with the pelvic floor. Trust me, I speak from experience. 

Starting a conversation
There is a lack of conversations about this area. Only when I ask other women there seems to be a common experience. I think there is a taboo sphere around the intimate areas of the female body in general. Women try to solve these issues on their own and rarely talk about it with their partners, girlfriends or professionals. Others assume it is just something you have to deal with. That is why I try to open the conversation with other women. I sincerely hope this blog contributes to an open space to talk about women’s health.

Dedication to women’s health
One solution is to go to the pelvic floor physiotherapist. Another choice is to do the Carin exercises. I spoke to Marta from Spain who is a practising physiotherapist in Mallorca (Spain). During her studies in physiotherapy, Marta encountered pelvic floor revalidation programmes and was fascinated by the effective and simple methods to cure pelvic issues.

For 16 years Marta has been dedicated to women’s health and explains her motivation for the topic: “I want to contribute to solving a problem. Currently women are offered a choice between medication and operation. In each patient I see the challenge in helping them that helps me to develop and grow as a professional. Even after 16 years, I feel excited to go to work”.

A difficult area to exercise
“What are the most common pelvic floor issues?”, I ask Marta.  In her practice Marta notices many variations. The ones most mentioned are urge incontinence, prolapses or pain during sex: “For every patient I write a personal treatment plan consisting of a combination of individual training and group classes teaching women how to improve their posture and pelvic floor coordination techniques.”

“It is important to be informed about new developments in the field. I often go to conferences and read scientific studies to help my patients with the newest and best solutions and techniques. The difficulty lies however in providing training for the pelvic area. Compared to other body parts, pelvic floor muscles are a difficult area to improve by training”.

Know your body
Exercising the pelvic floor muscles can be confusing and this might be one of the reasons why women find it difficult to do. Marta makes me aware of the positive developments. She tells me there are an increasing number of pelvic floor therapists active in the field. Also for women who want to train their pelvic floor muscles at home there are a variety of products available to choose from. But awareness and education of the topic is still going slow: “The lack of knowledge amazes me. In my view the biggest taboo in women’s health is about this body part. This makes it difficult for our field to be acknowledged”.

The most important advice Marta gives us is to be self-aware of our body: “Know your body, and in specific the lower ‘pelvic’ part. Awareness about your body and health is important to notice changes in your body. In regard to the pelvic floor area it is important to know how to prevent constipation and to urinate properly, and probably as important, to be prepared for pregnancy and to recover well after child birth. Pregnancy after all is the main cause for pelvic floor issues”.

She advises to go to a pelvic floor therapist or you do the Carin exercises.

Kirsten van der Kolk Olympic gold medalist

Kirsten van der Kolk asks expert’s advise on women’s health issues. In this edition she wants to know why pelvic floor exercise is important.

If you want to get in contact with Kirsten after reading this, simply send her a message:

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