In the ideal situation the regulation of pressure within the abdomen happens automatically. If any of the muscles of the ‘core’, including the pelvic floor, are weakened or damaged, this coordinated automatic action may be altered.
During exercises that increase the internal abdominal pressure, there is potential to overload the pelvic floor. When this happens many times during each exercise session, over time this may place strain down on the pelvic organs and this may result in loss of bladder or bowel control, or pelvic organ prolapse. If a problem already exists, then pelvic floor symptoms can potentially be worsened.
Pelvic floor muscles need to be flexible to work as part of the ‘core’, which means that they need to be able to relax as well as lift and hold.
Pelvic floor muscle stiffness commonly coexists with muscle weakness and can contribute to problems such as urinary urgency and leakage. Other problems often associated with the pelvic floor muscles being too tight include pelvic pain, pain with intercourse and difficulty emptying the bladder.