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Pelvic Floor Muscles
What and Where are Pelvic Floor Muscles?
Pelvic floor muscles are the layer of muscles that support pelvic organs, they stretch like a muscular bowl from the tailbone (coccyx) to the pubic bone (front to back) and from one sitting bone to the other sitting bone (side to side). When healthy these muscles are firm, thick and supportive.
Pelvic floor muscles are also known as Kegel Muscle, PC Muscles and Pubococcygeus muscles.
What Do The Pelvic Floor Muscles Do?
The pelvic floor muscle layer has two holes in men (the urethra and anus) and three holes in women (the urethra, vagina and anus). The muscles wrap firmly around these holes giving control and there is also an extra circular muscle around the anus known as the anal sphincter and another around the urethra known as the urethral sphincter. These sphincters allow us to control the bladder and bowel. When the pelvic floor muscles are contracted, the internal organs are lifted and the sphincters tighten the openings of the vagina, anus and urethra. Relaxing the pelvic floor allows passage of urine and faeces.
The Pelvic Floor Muscles and Sex, Birth and Life
Pelvic floor muscles are also important for sexual function in men and women. It is important in men for erectile function and ejaculation and in women squeezing of the pelvic floor muscles is responsible for sexual sensation and arousal. In women our pelvic floor muscles provide support for the baby during pregnancy and assist in the birthing process. The pelvic floor muscles work with the core muscles of the abdomen and back muscles to stabilise and support the spine so they are vital for posture and support.