Constipation and the pelvic floor

Why constipation can contribute to the weakening of the pelvic muscles.

The pelvic floor is an area of muscle that supports the internal organs and pelvis: keeping it fit is essential for the body’s well-being and for the prevention of disorders like prolapse and urinary incontinence.

Performing specific pelvic floor exercises every day brings a number of benefits: from greater sensitivity during sexual intercourse to greater self-control for preventing leakage of drops of urine caused by exertion, a sneeze or even laughing! Doing exercises like Kegel exercises every day is an excellent habit for keeping the health of the pelvic floor under control.

Weakening of the pelvic floor can be due to a number of causes. One of the most common occurs during pregnancy and childbirth, when the foetus rests on it, exerting greater pressure on the muscles. In addition to this, certain sports, constipation and obesity are also risk factors that can result in incontinence. Strengthening our pelvic floor is useful for both prevention purposes and for reducing or even avoiding certain problems, such as incontinence.

As a matter of fact, constipation can contribute to weakening the pelvic muscles, because straining to defecate can make them weaker. In addition, changes in intestinal transit can be associated with other disorders like headache, loss of appetite, listlessness or irritability. Irregular bowel movements can depend on a number of factors. They can be associated with times of particular stress or the use of certain medications, factors connected with an unbalanced daily diet, weight control and lack of exercise. In the case of chronic constipation, when instead of the disorder being occasional, constant and excessive strain is required to defecate, stools are very hard and there is a feeling of incomplete voiding, certain habits should be changed.

First and foremost, we should try to eat a healthy diet, keep our weight under control, by gradually increasing our intake of foods that are rich in fibre and mineral salts, drink at least 2 litres of water a day and avoid too much sugar and soft drinks. We should treat ourselves to 20 minutes of exercise a day, a brisk walk is all it takes to help our intestine to work properly and reactivate our energy muscle by muscle, to the benefit of both our body and our mind!