A Stronger Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles in the pelvic area that acts like a sling. These muscles support the bladder, uterus, and rectum while holding surrounding organs in place. A strong pelvic floor improves bladder control, prevents organ prolapse, and helps with pregnancy. The muscles also support vaginal health and sexual health. However, for some people, the strength of these muscles declines with age, obesity, poor exercise, and other health issues.

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Your pelvic floor and pregnancy

In some cases, the pelvic floor muscles can directly affect pregnancy. Some women suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD). This pelvic area is an umbrella term to describe weak or malfunctioning pelvic muscles that affect the quality of life. These weak muscles cause incontinence, pain during intercourse, infections, pelvic pain, and other undesirable symptoms. The pelvic floor is also essential during the childbirth process. PFD can delay pregnancy due to pain, repeated infections, and the stress surrounding intercourse.

Does it impact fertility?

A weak pelvic floor can impact sexual health. However, the condition does not cause infertility. Women with weak pelvic floors can heave healthy ovaries and uterus. Severe cases, however, can make intercourse undesirable, making pregnancy difficult. With age, fertility naturally declines, making conceiving even more challenging. Doctors recommend pelvic floor exercises to improve the strength of these crucial muscles. Over time, exercises like Kegels can improve the chances of pregnancy.

Pelvic floor exercises and fertility treatments

About 6% of married women have infertility. Some need fertility treatments to improve the chances of pregnancy, regardless of pelvic floor health. However, a healthy pelvic floor can improve success in some cases. For instance, fertility drugs correct hormonal imbalances that affect ovulation. Yet, these drugs still rely on a healthy sex life for conception. A weak pelvic floor can prevent women from enjoying or initiating sex, hindering this method. Pelvic floor exercises, over time, can improve the success rate of fertility medication.

IUI and IVF

Fertility drugs are usually the first step in treatment as more advanced assisted reproductive techniques (ART) are available. These include intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Both involve using sperm only or sperm and egg to initiate pregnancy. Pelvic floor exercises will not improve the success of these procedures. Healthy reproductive samples and a healthy uterus are necessary for a successful procedure. However, pelvic floor exercises can help for a successful pregnancy. The pelvic floor stretches to support the baby’s weight and is essential in childbirth. Strengthening these muscles reduces the chances of complications.

Exercises can help

The pelvic floor does not directly impact fertility but can indirectly impact fertility treatments. Fertility medication only will depend on a healthy pelvic region for conception. On the other hand, IUI and IVF can succeed without a strong pelvic floor. However, supporting the growing child will need stronger pelvic muscles. A doctor can recommend a physical therapist who can help with the best available exercises. Exercise and a healthy diet and weight can make the treatment process easier.

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