Unlocking Pelvic Wellness: 5 Habits for Optimal Pelvic Health
In the fast-paced rhythm of our lives, your wellbeing often takes a back seat. However, when it comes to pelvic health, adopting simple habits can make a world of a difference. Let’s explore five habits that can help unlock a healthier, more balanced you.
Habit 1: Relaxation at the Restroom If you find yourself straining or rushing when using the toilet, it’s time to change your bathroom habits. In order for the bladder and bowel to completely empty, your pelvic floor muscles must relax. Set yourself up for success by sitting all the way down (not squatting), tilting your torso slightly forward and taking a deep breath to help relax your muscles. Always avoid straining or pushing down, as this puts pressure on your pelvic floor muscles and can contribute to dysfunction like pelvic organ prolapse and overactive bladder.
Habit 2: Hydration Matters Water is not just essential for overall health, but it also plays a crucial role in your pelvic wellness. Staying hydrated supports the proper functioning of your urinary system. When hydrating, make sure to avoid excess caffeine, alcohol and artificial sweeteners, as these are bladder irritants that can increase the frequency of bathroom breaks and contribute to bladder urgency issues.
Habit 3: Say No to Peeing ‘Just in case’ Do you ever feel the urge to pee ‘just in case’ before a long road trip? You should resist that temptation! Making a habit of going to the bathroom when you don’t really need to can trick your bladder into telling your brain it’s full when it’s not. Over time, this urge will come earlier which means more bathroom breaks throughout day and night, potentially disrupting your sleep. Trust your body’s signals and go when it’s genuinely necessary.
Habit 4: Avoid Sprinting to the Bathroom A sudden urge to visit the restroom happens to the best of us, but it’s important to resist the sprint! Rapid movements involved with rushing to the toilet can make your bladder contract harder and may cause leakage. Instead, try stopping your activity for a minute and lightly contracting your pelvic floor muscles a few times. If the urge still remains, walk calmly to the bathroom to relieve yourself.
Habit 5: Routine Pelvic Floor Relaxation Most women are familiar with “Kegels”, however, what they don’t know is that learning to relax and lengthen your pelvic floor is just as important to achieve optimal pelvic wellness. The following simple exercises can contribute to increased flexibility and strength:
- Reverse Kegels This exercise is performed exactly as it sounds, the opposite of Kegels. Instead of contracting your pelvic floor muscles, take a deep breath in and simultaneously relax your pelvic floor. It may be tricky to feel the relaxation at first, so it can be helpful to imagine your pelvic floor dropping down and releasing a blueberry. Perform this exercise a few times a week while lying in bed, before you go to sleep.
- Elevate your hips after a long day This exercise is simple but effective after a long day of being on your feet. Simply lie down on your back and prop a pillow or bolster underneath your buttocks. This position alleviates pressure from the pelvic floor muscles, giving them a chance to fully relax. To take the relaxation up a notch, perform your reverse Kegels while in this position.
- Abductor stretch The adductor muscles run along your inner thigh from your groin to your knee. To stretch these muscles, you can lie on your back and bring the soles of your feet together while gently allowing your knees to fall out to the side. You should feel a relaxing stretch. If you feel any pain or pulling along your pubic bones, you can add a pillow under each knee for support. If you feel pain, ease off the stretch.
How Sword Can Help Incorporating these habits into your daily life might seem small but the impact on your pelvic health can be profound. Your pelvic health deserves the attention. Sword Health developed the Bloom pelvic health program to give millions of women access to comprehensive care. We encourage you to start cultivating these healthy pelvic health habits today!
If you find yourself using the bathroom frequently throughout the day, waking up multiple times a night to pee, or leaking when you get the urge to go, Bloom can help. With Bloom, individuals can strengthen their pelvic-floor and abdominal muscles through a customized exercise program, guided by a Pelvic Health Specialist with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. During the exercise sessions, members use the Bloom Pod by Elvie — an intravaginal device that connects to a mobile app and is used to track and measure pelvic-floor muscle movement to provide real-time feedback and results.
Bloom is available through employers and health plans. Give your members and employees the care they deserve. Learn more at https://swordhealth.com/solutions/bloom.
While we use the word "women" in some of our communications, Bloom is designed for all individuals with vaginal anatomy regardless of gender identity.
DISCLAIMER This article is intended for educational purposes only, using publicly available information. It is not medical advice nor should it be used for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease. Please seek the advice of your physician or another licensed medical provider for any health questions or concerns. In case of emergency, call 911.