| Caroline Knight
Pelvic floor stretches are one of the best ways to improve various aspects of life, from sexual health to childbirth recovery, and bowel and bladder control. You may not be able to see these muscles, but they are easy enough to identify when you know how. Once you figure out the location of your pelvic floor muscles, you can start to train them just as you would other muscles in the body. With regular exercise they become stronger and you are more easily able to control them at will.
Exercising your pelvic floor muscles isn’t hard work; there are plenty of pelvic floor stretches you can do without even having to move from your desk, if you have a busy schedule. This article will cover the benefits of pelvic floor stretches, how to locate them, and some tips on getting the best from your pelvic floor exercises.
What are the benefits of pelvic floor muscle exercises?
Pelvic floor stretches can help you with all kinds of common problems, including:
- Improving control over the bladder and bowel functions
- Faster childbirth recovery
- Faster recovery from surgeries in the pelvic region
- Improved sensation during sexual intercourse (and stronger orgasms)
- Prevention of pelvic organ prolapse
- Improved self confidence (especially in sexual relationships)
Locating the muscles before pelvic floor stretches
In order to make sure you’re doing your pelvic floor exercises correctly, you should correctly identify the pelvic floor muscles before you start exercising. Check out our pelvic floor stretch program, which you can use ongoing.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Sit or lie down, and relax the muscles in your buttocks, thighs, and stomach
- Squeeze the anal muscles as you would when preventing wind escaping
- When you’re going to urinate, squeeze the muscles that stop the flow of urine
Once you have located these muscles, you’ll be ready to start your pelvic floor exercises.
How long does it take to strengthen the pelvic floor?
As we mentioned, you can do pelvic floor stretches wherever you are and whenever you want, without anybody noticing. Ideally, you’ll be sat down in a chair or lying on the floor or bed, as these positions are most comfortable and stable.
After you have been practicing the pelvic floor exercises for between four and six weeks you should start to notice some improvement. However, for some people, noticeable changes are not apparent until after three months of practice. We recommend that you do your pelvic floor stretches between eight and twelve times per session, for up to three times per day. Making this a daily habit will certainly improve your quality of life.
Note that if you struggle with any degree of incontinence, you might want to do them more often. There are no set rules on this as you can’t really hurt yourself, so feel free to do them as often as you see fit. We do recommend continuing your pelvic floor exercises for at least eight weeks though, if you want to see any real benefits.
If you find that you are struggling with ongoing pelvic problems despite doing regular stretches, it might be time to see a pelvic floor physical therapist. Don’t forget that PFPT can improve your sex life too, so it’s worth finding out whether it’s right for you.
Here is a list of stretches for you to start: Pelvic Floor Stretches from VuVa
Do you want to start pelvic floor therapy at home? Learn how VuVa Vaginal Dilators work here.