The pelvic floor muscles form the base pf the pelvis and run between your pubic bone and tailbone (Coccyx).
There are two layers of the pelvic floor muscles
- The deep layer which consists of:
- External sphincter (closure muscle) of the bladder
- Levator Ani muscles which support the pelvic organs and resist increases in abdominal pressure. In women these muscles also prevent the bladder and bowel and uterus coming down into the vagina.
- The superficial layer consists of muscles that surround the openings to the vagina, bladder and bowel in women and muscles that surround the penis in men.
- In women these superficial muscles close the vagina and assist in anus closure
- In men these superficial muscles work to:
- Stabilise the penis
- Initiate and maintain erections
- Empty the urethra at the end or urination
- Ejaculate semen
- Assist in anus closure
What happens when the pelvic floor muscles don’t work optimally?
Signs of pelvic floor dysfunction:
- Leakage or urine of faeces
- Frequently needing to empty your bladder
- Urgency of urine – feeling like you can’t get to the toilet in time
- Inability to hold wind
- Inability to have intercourse due to tightness or pain
- Sexual pain including during orgasm