10 Pelvic Floor Heck No's
We don’t see very many things in black and white at Well + Core. Each individual’s lifestyle, health goals, needs, and whole health journey are very unique. That means, what applies to one person may not always apply to the next. However, there are some general pelvic floor no-no’s that we want everyone to know about. Here’s our top 10 list of things we want you to steer clear from in order to keep your pelvic floor as happy and healthy as possible!
We have an expanded list of 30 Pelvic Floor Heck No’s available for free in our community portal. Join now to see our whole list!
- Don’t wear too tight leggings. Wearing leggings that cut into your waist or that are too compressive creates a lot of downward pressure on our pelvis, which can increase symptoms of prolapse, urgency, incontinence and hyperactivity of our pelvic floor muscles. You don’t have to ditch leggings altogether, but they are supposed to be comfortable for heaven’s sake so make sure they fit comfortably.
- Don’t demonize coffee. Coffee and caffeine aren’t inherently bad, but coffee is a well-known bladder irritant. Before cutting out an entire food category that you love, do some science experiments with yourself and then decide what you want to live with. If you leak during workouts, try not having caffeine before a workout. If you feel like caffeine is increasing your urgency, try scaling back or even swapping one cup a day of regular coffee for decaf. You can help yourself out by drinking water and eating a well-rounded breakfast in the morning before you pour your first cup.
Don’t poo-poo the Squatty Potty. We think this is pretty self-explanatory…Use 👏🏼 a 👏🏽Squatty Potty 👏🏾 We love them so much, we give them as gifts. If you don’t want to spring for a Squatty Potty, use a step stool or an overturned laundry basket.
Don’t forget to exhale as you lift. Ever bend down to pick up your kid, a heavy Amazon box, or weights while you’re working out? It’s natural to want to hold your breath as you lift up the heavy thing. Don’t do it! This is where diaphragmatic breathing comes in. It feels a little unnatural at first, but try exhaling through your mouth as you lift. It helps prevent leaking, back pain, and prolapse symptoms, and supports your entire core.
- Don’t stop moving. Movement is medicine! Movement is good for our muscles, our organs, or bones, our mood, just about everything. It wasn’t long ago that a sprained ankle would be treated with rest, ice, and elevation. But now we know better! Most injuries improve when we figure out how to safely bring movement back to the problem area. If there’s something that’s keeping you from movement, find a safe way to modify movements so that you can keep…MOVING. (We would love to help you with this!)
- Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. So many people live with pelvic floor dysfunction because they’re embarrassed to ask for help, even from a doctor! Your pelvis is part of your anatomy. It should not be any more embarrassing or complicated to get help with pelvic floor dysfunction than it is to get help with a broken arm. You are not weird for having incontinence, pain with sex, issues with pooping, or a million other things you could be experiencing in and around your pelvis.
If you’re in the Kansas City area and need to talk to a medical professional about something that feels embarrassing, send us a message. You will not shock us or gross us out. It is impossible.
- Don’t “Just In Case” pee! “Just in case” peeing is not a healthy pelvic floor practice. You should be going to the bathroom when you get an urge, which in healthy adults with adequate water intake should be about every 2-4 hours. If we mess up this delicate system by going before we’re ready, you can confuse your pelvic floor and create more problems for yourself.
Don’t fake orgasm. You deserve better. Let us repeat, YOU DESERVE BETTER. Faking an orgasm does not help you, it does not help your partner, and it does not help your relationship. There are so many ways to do this differently while still preserving intimacy and sex.
- Communicate regularly with your partner about what works and what doesn’t work.
- Get to know your own body so that you can show or tell your partner what feels best.
- If penetration isn’t doing it for you, explore other ways of touching each other.
- Incorporate a vibrator.
- Lastly, know that sex isn’t all about the climax. It’s okay to enjoy intimacy and then just be done, even if it doesn’t end in orgasm.
There could be a number of reasons you struggle to orgasm. A lot of times, it’s just your anatomy. If you have a hard time orgasming and want to change that, that’s a great reason to talk to a pelvic floor PT 😘
- Don’t wash the inside of your vagina. Guess what? Your vagina cleans itself! Also, no one’s V smells like flowers or cucumbers. And it shouldn’t!!! Just use water and a mild soap on the OUTSIDE. We suggest a mild fragrance-free face wash. If it’s gentle on your face, it will be gentle on your vulva 🍑
- Don’t overdo Kegels. We know people get sensitive about their Kegels, so hear us out. Kegels are not inherently bad, but they are not a treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction. There is also such a thing as too many Kegels, especially if you’re pregnant or plan on giving birth. If you’ve ever gotten the advice to do X Kegels a day, or do Kegels every time you’re at a stoplight, or every time you’re doing your chores, just…just don’t.
If you want more content like this, including our expanded list of 30 Pelvic Floor Heck No’s, join us for free in Well + Core Circle! Well + Core Circle is a community space where we share highly valuable resources, chat in community forums, and offer free webinars, events, and more. There’s absolutely no charge to join!