Your pelvic floor muscles span the bottom of your pelvis and support your pelvic organs including the bladder, bowel and the uterus (in women).

How do pelvic floor problems occur?

Pelvic floor problems can occur when the pelvic floor muscles are stretched, weakened or too tight. 

Some people have weak pelvic floor muscles from an early age, whilst others notice problems after certain life stages such as pregnancy, childbirth or menopause.

Some people have pelvic floor muscles that are too tight and cannot relax. This can be made worse by doing squeezing exercises and overworking the muscles without learning how to relax.

Pelvic floor muscle fitness is affected by a number of things. These include:

  • not keeping them active or overworking them 
  • being pregnant and having babies
  • a history of back pain
  • ongoing constipation and straining to empty the bowels
  • being overweight or obese
  • heavy lifting (e.g. at work or the gym)
  • a chronic cough or sneeze (e.g. due to asthma, smoking or hayfever)
  • previous injury to the pelvic region (e.g. a fall, surgery or pelvic radiotherapy)
  • growing older

Although it is hidden from view, your pelvic floor muscles can be consciously controlled and therefore trained, much like your arm, leg or abdominal (tummy) muscles. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles will help you to actively support your bladder and bowel. This improves bladder and bowel control and reduces the likelihood of accidentally leaking from your bladder or bowel. Like other muscles in your body, your pelvic floor muscles will become stronger with a regular exercise program. 

Signs there may be a problem with your pelvic floor

Common signs that can indicate a pelvic floor problem include:

  • accidentally leaking urine when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze
  • needing to get to the toilet in a hurry or not making it there in time
  • constantly needing to go to the  toilet
  • finding it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel
  • accidentally losing control of your bladder or bowel
  • accidentally passing wind
  • a prolapse
    • in women, this may be felt as a bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling, dragging or dropping
    • in men, this may be felt as a bulge in the rectum or a feeling of needing to use their bowels but not actually needing to go
  • pain in your pelvic area
  • painful sex

Connect with us

Stay informed on our latest news!

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.

Client survey

  • 'The White Hart clinic is a haven of peace, support, kindness and cheerfulness'
  • 'It's calm and friendly yet really professional. I feel absolutely confident that I'm in expert hands'
  • 'I most like the range of people working there so you can have alternative ways of combating a problem. Secondly, the friendly and supportive approach'
  • 'If in pain you are fitted in as soon as possible, never too much waiting time.'
  • 'Reception staff are friendly and welcoming.'
  • 'The treatment is effective-you do not feel as if the treatment is prolonged unnecessarily.'
  • 'The staff are friendly and professional'
  • 'Very welcoming, cosy & small, relaxing atmosphere - of course most of all my therapist who has given me life changing results'
  • 'I feel the recommendations for the course of treatments and return visits are always very honest. They never take advantage'
  • 'It's like having the best clinic in Harley Street around the corner - when you're in pain that's exactly what you want. What a relief! What a comfort!'
  • 'High quality treatment, delivered in a personal way, but with great efficiency and all in a very convenient location!'
  • 'Packed full of friendliness and expertise'
  • 'Friendly and efficient place that helps repair me when things are not working properly!'
  • 'Friendly, professional and broad ranging'

Find us

Map

Richmond, Mortlake, Barnes, Putney.