What are pelvic floor muscles?

What are pelvic floor muscles?

The term “pelvic floor” refers to the group of muscles across the opening of a woman’s pelvis. These muscles, together with their connective tissues, keep all the pelvic organs in place. The muscles supporting and controlling the bladder can be weakened by childbirth, illness, weight, injuries or aging.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
When you hold urine in your bladder, then release it as you urinate, you are drawing on a complex web of tissue known as the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles form a kind of saddle at the base of the trunk. Pelvic muscles relax to allow urine to drain out of the bladder, into the urethra, and out of your body. If these muscles become too weak, you may develop urinary incontinence, or the frequent and urgent need to pee. Your doctor can teach you exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which can help you to manage urinary incontinence.
The pelvic floor muscles support organs in the lower abdominal cavity, including the bladder and uterus. The largest pelvic muscle is stretched like a hammock to support the bladder and another muscle shaped like a triangle prevents urine leakage from the urethra. Stress incontinence can occur when these muscles, or other muscles in the pelvic floor, become damaged or weak.
Jill Rabin
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Your pelvic floor muscles are strong, flexible, and voluntary skeletal muscles that you can control and can strengthen or “pump up” through exercise in order to maintain continence. Attached to your pubic bone and to your tailbone (a.k.a. your coccyx), the pelvic floor muscles act as a sling to support and anchor the organs they surround within the abdomen: the uterus, the bladder, and the rectum. Weakness, loss of muscle tone, or damage to the pelvic floor muscles can cause these organs to shift or sag, creating a condition known as pelvic organ prolapse.
Mind Over Bladder: I Never Met a Bathroom I Didn't Like!

More About this Book

Mind Over Bladder: I Never Met a Bathroom I Didn't Like!

Advance praise for Mind Over Bladder "Where is the closest bathroom?" If you listen hard enough, these are the words you hear from the lips of millions of women as they enter malls, lobbies, museums,...

Continue Learning about Parts of the Muscular System

Parts of the Muscular System

Parts of the Muscular System

Your skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscles work together to keep your body running like a machine. Within this muscular system there are various parts, from muscle fibers to ligaments. You may know about hamstrings, quadriceps and ...

abdominal muscles, but there hundreds of muscles that move within your body. Some are involuntary, like parts of your digestive system, while you control others whenever you go for a walk or lift weights.
More

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.