What is Pelvic Health?


There are many affecting reasons that a woman may experience pelvic floor dysfunction, however due to long held stigmas, many of these issues are not communicated or brought forward as a legitimate medical concern. Approximately one third of all women have urinary leakage, 10% have leakage on a weekly basis and 5% have leakage daily. (Brown, Kobashi et al., 2002). Incontinence is so often associated with elderly patients that it is often mistakenly viewed as a consequence of ageing, and therefore a problem that women must contend with.

Incontinence, however, is frequently observed in much younger patients and is often associated with a multitude of factors outside of ageing. Many factors, such as, age, childbirth, surgery (including cesarian sections), medications, family history, functional impairments and menstrual cycle changes are associated with incontinence. (Brown, Kobashi et al., 2002) In addition to incontinence, there are many other pelvic dysfunctions that women remain afflicted by.

Constipation is associated with pelvic floor dysfunctions as weak or afflicted pelvic floor muscles may be to blame for some constipation issues in women (Brown, Kobashi et al., 2002). Some pelvic floor dysfunctions may be correlated to sexual health. Some studies hypothesize that episiotomies, pelvic organ prolapse, and genital body image can greatly impact sexual health (Zelinski et al, 2012), by causing pain during intercourse, lower self body image or reduced libido in women.



Here are many other risk factors for urinary incontinence and reduced pelvic health. 


It is shown that the prevalence of incontinence increases with age. There is a variation in the type of incontinence as well that comes with natural ageing. Capacity of holding urine is decreased with age, along with bladder compliance and voluntary muscle movements of the pelvic floor (Brown, Kobashi et al., 2002).



Pelvic floor disorders are 2-3 times more common in women than men. Stress incontinence is also more reported in women and very uncommon in men (Brown, Kobashi et al., 2002).



Injury to pelvic support muscles from childbirth is regarded as a major risk to incontinence. In addition to vaginal deliveries directly damaging the pelvic support muscles, there may be additional damage to the urethral muscles and pelvic muscles during childbirth (Brown, Kobashi et al., 2002).



There is a significant relationship between smoking and urinary incontinence, however this data is applicable to both men and women (Brown, Kobashi et al., 2002).


Obesity, recreational stress, surgeries and medications

Obesity has been found as a well-established risk factor of incontinence in women (Brown, Kobashi et al., 2002). This is largely due to the added stress on the bladder and pelvic floor muscles. Surgeries, such as hysterectomies, may also correlate to increased incontinence. Caffeine, diuretics and endergonic receptor blockers may also be associated with increased incontinence, however more research needs to be dedicated to the direct correlation (Brown, Kobashi et al., 2002).




Stress incontinence

Urine leaks when you exert pressure on your bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting something heavy.


Urge incontinence

You have a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. You may need to urinate often, including throughout the night. Urge incontinence may be caused by a minor condition, such as infection, or a more-severe condition such as a neurologic disorder or diabetes.


Overflow incontinence

You experience frequent or constant dribbling of urine due to a bladder that does not empty completely.


Functional incontinence

A physical or mental impairment keeps you from making it to the toilet in time. For example, if you have severe arthritis, you may not be able to unbutton your pants quickly enough.


Mixed incontinence

You experience more than one type of urinary incontinence


Talking to your doctor should be the go-to for pelvic health issues, especially if incontinence or pain is involved. However, there are a few things you can try at home to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and maybe even increase your orgasms. 


Kegel Balls

These insertable balls are sold both for pelvic floor strengthening and for sexual pleasure. For more information on how to perform a Kegel, check out our other blog How To Do Kegels


Smart Pelvic Floor Trainers

Some companies are selling specific pelvic floor trainers that are to be worn internally and connect to a smart device in order to help train your Kegels. Some even come with sensors and an accompanying game to play!


Laser Therapy Devices

Other internal devices promise to let you sit back and relax while the machine does the work for you. These machines are often equipped with laser treatment and vibrations. However, make sure to talk to a professional about the efficacy of these devices as most are not backed by any scientific data.


Pump Internal devices

These internal devices derive from older traditions to reduce the chance of tearing before childbirth. The general concept of the machine is to pump a silicone balloon in your vaginal canal while you perform Kegels. The legitimacy of this device is debated and is difficult to find in Canada.



  • improve bladder and bowel control reduce the risk of prolapse (in women, this may be felt as a bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling, dragging or dropping)
  • improve recovery from childbirth and gynaecological surgery
  • increase sexual sensation and orgasmic potential
  • increase social confidence and quality of life 

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