The things you have been ignoring can give you clues about the health of your pelvic floor
Misinformation has led women to ignore various symptoms or discomforts within their own bodies. We simply accept these problems as part of womanhood without really digging any deeper into what our body is trying to tell us.
Painful periods, discomfort with sex, leaking, and difficulty orgasming are all common but NOT normal and you do not have to live with them. These symptoms are your body’s way of letting you know that you may be holding on to something that is affecting you physically.
Your pelvic bowl is always talking to you. Are you ready to listen?
What Women Are Often Told
I’ve realized through my work as a physical therapist, that a lot of women spend years trying to get to the root of their period or sexual problems. Unfortunately, many of those women are misinformed regarding their own bodies and are told some shocking stuff by the doctors that they trust.
Within the last decade or so, researchers are starting to point out the lack of women involvement in clinical trials and biological experiments. Most of the knowledge we have about the human body and how it reacts to medications and treatments is all based on studies performed on men.
This is problematic as newer research confirms what to me is obviously true, which is that women are biologically different from men at a cellular and molecular level- not to mention, the differences in lifestyle, behavior, and environment that also play a role on health.
There is so much to learn about the human body, and with most of our research history disproportionately involving men, it’s no wonder that there is a severe lack of information and education for women and their bodies.
In fact, in a study done in the UK in 2016, only half of women ranging in age from 26-35 were able to identify and label the vagina correctly. The charity that conducted this research stated that their concern for women is that this lack of knowledge regarding their own bodies puts them at much higher risk for gynecological cancers.
I’d have to agree that this lack of information is incredibly harmful. As women, we have to accept that some of the things we’ve been told about our bodies (even by “experts”) may not be accurate.
I believe that the symptoms women often experience are more rampant than they need to be. If we can approach these issues with a more holistic approach, women can stop accepting the incorrect things they have been told and start living happier and healthier lives.
Is Cramping Normal
The dreaded period cramp- one of the many reasons women learn to loathe their monthly cycle. I’ve got some news for you.
Women are told that cramps during your period are completely normal. I’ve known plenty of women that accept this as truth and spend a day or two in agony each month. But actually anything more than mild cramping (think 1/10 on the pain scale) is telling you that there's something more going on.
Additionally, there's quite a few pain diagnoses (like endometriosis) that tend to be severely under diagnosed because doctors don't believe women when they say that their cramps are really bad. I have so many women that come in to see me after 10-15 years of going to different doctors until they finally get the right one who does surgery and finds scar tissue within their pelvic floors.
Cramps are one of the many things that we feel like we have to deal with. We are told from our very first period that cramping and pms are all normal and something everyone goes through. It is my hope that eventually women start to realize that this doesn’t have to be the case!
“Drink More Wine”
As a shy 20-something, I worked up the courage to tell my OBGYN that I felt like sex was uncomfortable. Instead of any sort of reassurance that other women struggled with this or an actual answer on why this might be, she simply told me maybe I should try drinking wine.
In my experience, it’s not totally uncommon for doctors to tell women to drink to enjoy sex. This is extremely problematic and truly dangerous for many reasons. And because of misleading rhetoric like this, a lot of women tend to ignore discomfort with sex or difficutly orgasming.
Many women have difficulty orgasming but it’s become so normalized that it's even a running joke in movies and TV. Unfortunately women tend to hold onto sexual shame and even female masturbation is stigmatized. This is NOT ok.
If you feel discomfort around sex or have difficulty enjoying it- you are not alone! There is no shame to this, but there could be an underlying reason hiding in your pelvic floor.
What Your Body is Trying to Tell You
If you have experienced cramping, leaking, difficulty orgasming, and/or discomfort during sex, you have probably been told to just deal with it, but we don’t have to accept these things as a normal part of womanhood.
Even emotional symptoms like feeling dissatisfied or unfulfilled can be clues that something is blocked. I think as women, we put it on ourselves to power through life without giving ourselves the grace to explore our emotions in an intimate way.
You can listen to your body’s signals to understand more about what’s going on with your health and overall wellbeing. When we become more in tune with ourselves in this way, our own body becomes less of a mystery and we start to really understand our power.
The Wisdom of the Pelvic Bowl
The pelvic floor is the root and center of a woman’s body and holds all her reproductive and digestive organs. It’s supported by pelvic floor muscles that are shaped like a hammock that hold all of these things up.
These muscles hold onto tension just like any other muscles of the body. We tend to compartmentalize a lot of our emotions (especially fear) in our pelvic bowls. Same as we hold stress in our shoulders, we hold emotions in our pelvic floor.
Pelvic floor dysfunctions can be glaringly obvious, like severe pelvic pain or incontinence. However, other issues like tension in the lower back, discomfort during sex, or simply feeling stuck or disconnected in life, can also point towards the pelvic floor.
Often these physical manifestations have an energetic component to them as well and represent something more that is going on. Unresolved trauma, shame, or grief can take root in the body and many women are holding onto these things within their pelvic floors.
Because of this, the pelvic floor and confidence are directly related. When we start to connect this important area of the body, our lives start to change in powerful ways. We embrace a connection to our root and ground down into our true being so that life can start to flow more smoothly.
Your period “problems” tell a story
A lot of the things that you may experience during your period are the pelvic floor’s way of communicating with you. As women, our monthly cycle provides us the opportunity to honor the phases our bodies go through.
For example, if you experience leaking only during this time, it is likely due to estrogen levels being lowest right around your period. When estrogen levels are low, the strength of the tissues that support this area are not quite as robust as they usually are.
Stress and your quality of sleep can lower these levels even further. If your pelvic floor muscles are already on the weaker side, then you may experience leaking.
Additionally, when the pelvic floor relaxes to allow for the bleed, you may notice increased tension that may be related to things you are holding onto energetically. As mentioned, we tend to hold our emotions within certain parts of our pelvic bowl. Things that tend to get buried will come up more to the surface during this time.
Your period is a beautiful time to rest and reflect on what emotions are coming up for you. When you understand why your body is doing some of the things it does, it becomes easier to honor it’s processes. Life flows effortlessly when we start to understand our body’s natural rhythms and adjust accordingly.
Are You Ready to Listen?
I could talk about this topic for a very long time. It is one of the reasons that I am passionate about coaching women and helping them connect to their pelvic floor. When we connect to our pelvic floors, we are connecting to the root of our being and the true essence of who we are.
Our bodies are so wise. When we start to listen to this wisdom, it becomes easier to live our most sensual and passionate lives. The physical and energetic components of the pelvic floor are foundations for women’s health and empowerment.
There is always more to the story. We can learn not to simply live with discomfort, pain, or shame. It is my mission to help women diagnose what is going on physically and energetically within their pelvic floors.
What have you been wrongly told? Are you ready to toss out the misinformation and start listening to what your body has to say?