Pelvic Floor Pandemic - How COVID-19 could affect your pelvic floor
So by now we are all familiar with Covid-19, the different variants, symptoms and some of the side effects but, have you thought about the effect it could potentially be having on your pelvic floor? Don’t worry we have you covered and we are going to tell you just that in this blog.
What is the Pelvic Floor?
So before we begin to talk about how COVID-19 effects the pelvic floor let’s just discuss exactly what the pelvic floor is. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that runs from the front of the pelvis to the tail bone and coccyx at the back. The pelvic floor looks like and acts like a hammock, holding up the pelvic organs (the bladder, bowel and uterus).
How can COVID -19 affect the pelvic floor?
So it’s been said the most common symptom of COVID -19 is the continuous cough, which can last for weeks once the infection is gone. Coughing can put extreme amounts of pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and can increase your chances of developing stress urinary incontinence and in some extreme cases a vaginal prolapse (when 1 or more of the organs in the pelvis slip down from their normal position and bulge into the vagina.) This is a side effect that hasn’t been mentioned much at all when discussing COVID 19 and the recovery from contracting the virus. However it’s not just the pressure of the continuous cough that can affect the pelvic floor. Your respiratory diaphragm has an impact on the ability of the pelvic floor to contract and relax, people who have suffered from COVID-19 often develop a weakness or change in this muscle that can lead to pelvic complications such as an overactive or underactive pelvic floor.
Stress and the Pelvic Floor
With the pandemic of COVID -19 came plenty of stress, disruption and mental health issues, this can equally have an effect on your pelvic floor too. When we are disrupted, worried or down in any way we can forget to look after ourselves and daily routines can become lost completely. Naturally if part of your daily routine was those all-important Kegel exercises for your pelvic floor and they get forgotten in the stress of the pandemic, your pelvic floor is going to suffer.
Symptoms of a weak pelvic floor
There a few signs that can indicate you have a weak pelvic floor, here are a few to keep an eye out for:
- A feeling of pressure inside the vagina, and/or a dragging feeling that something is going to fall out
- Vaginal bleeding, outside of menstruation
- An excessively widened vagina, so much so that tampons don’t stay in place
- Noticeable tissue protruding from the vagina, that may also be painful and bleed
- Discomfort/pain during sex and/or loss of feeling or tightness when having sex
- Unexplained pelvic or lower back pain
- Pain that reduces when you lay down and increases when you stand for a long time
- Persistent or frequent urinary tract infections (cystitis)
- Urinary stress incontinence – the inability to hold in urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, exercise or lift heavy objects
- A frequent need to urinate and/or difficulty passing urine
- Difficulty having a bowel movement – constipation and a feeling of not having fully emptied the bowel
How can I look after my pelvic floor during the COVID -19 Pandemic?
Whether you have had COVID -19 or not it’s always important to look after your pelvic floor, but the most important thing you can do for your pelvic floor is to not ignore it! Exercise is key for a strong, healthy and toned pelvic floor. Regular Kegels are the best gift you can give to your pelvic floor and if you get into this habit sooner rather than later your pelvic floor will be in a better position to tackle the continuous coughing COVID-19 will bring you.
My Pelvic floor is weak after having COVID-19, what can I do?
Already had COVID-19 and haven’t got the strongest pelvic floor afterwards? Not to worry there is a solution - Kegels. Kegels are the exercises used to work the pelvic floor muscles to help strengthen, tone and tighten them, this is exactly what your pelvic floor will need if it’s had to tackle the continuous coughing and stress COVID-19 has placed onto it.
Our Kegel exercise kits are the perfect tool for the job, they help to engage the correct muscles helping you get those perfect Kegels in, as you slowly increase the weights with our 6 step system your pelvic floor will begin to build its strength back and become tighter and stronger once again. You can shop our Kegel Exercise Kit
If you think you are struggling with your pelvic floor, need any advice, support or guidance then you can join our supportive facebook group
We hope you enjoyed this blog, why not check out Everything You Need To Know About The Pelvic Floor and 7 Positive Mental Health TipsFancy a freebie? Download our FREE guide to holistic period pain remedies