How to Tell If You Have a Weak Pelvic Floor
This article was medically fact-checked by Women’s health expert and Gynaecologist Dr. Alyssa Dweck.
We know, we know. We never shut about Kegel exercises, and how important they are for your pelvic floor. That neat, hammock-like structure does a pretty big job! This group of muscles supports your internal organs, and its contractions help not only with the last bits of the digestive process but are also engaged when you climax!
That’s why it’s important for everyone to get in the habit of doing squeeze-and-hold Kegel exercises to help strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. But, not everyone’s body is the same, so how can you tell if you have a weak pelvic floor? Here are some of the sure signs!
You May Have A Weak Pelvic Floor If…
…You’re Experiencing Some Leaks And Dribbles.
One in three women in the United States are affected by some form of incontinence, so you’re not alone if you’re experiencing leaks when you laugh, sneeze or jump. There are tips for managing your incontinence, and strengthening your pelvic floor can definitely make a marked change.
…You’re noticing a bulge from the vagina, and it’s not comfortable.
Nothing says “what the … is going on?” more than noticing a bulge from the vagina of something that clearly should be remaining inside. Risk factors for prolapse, or relaxation of, the bladder, cervix, or even rectum, include genetic factors, having had kids, or being overweight.
Kegel exercises can be super helpful to manage this when done regularly, they may even prevent the need for surgical correction.
…Breaking Wind Is Getting Embarrassing.
While dietary changes can be to blame when it comes to the sudden increase of flatulence, there are also other possible causes. If you find you’re not able to control it, or are farting suddenly more often when you bend over or sit, it may be a sign of weak pelvic floor muscles.
…You’re Not As Sensitive As You Once Were.
Pelvic floor strength is tied to our orgasm potential – given that an orgasm is a series of muscle contractions, that makes a lot of sense right? If you feel like your orgasm, whether achieved solo or with a partner, has become less intense, weakened muscles might be the culprit. The same goes for generally feeling like there’s less sensation during any sort of penetrative sex.
…Tampons Or Cups Aren’t Staying In Place.
We obviously recommend that you use cups for greater vaginal comfort and leak-control, but if you’ve found that either of the menstruation products you use now feels like they are going to ‘fall out’ then it may be a sign that your pelvic floor has weakened. Our bodies do change as we age and with wear and tear, but these changes should be noted.
For example, whether delivered vaginally or via C-section, pregnancy may weaken the pelvic floor – that’s why we recommend different sizes of cups based on age and pregnancy history.
…It Doesn’t Feel Right.
Feeling a heavy sense in your vagina can be a sign of something wrong. You can also do a self-examination to see if you can feel your muscles contracting. Get into a comfortable position and insert a finger into your vagina. Placing it against the wall of your vagina, try squeezing like you’re trying to stop yourself from peeing. If you’ve felt some movement, then those are your pelvic floor muscles at work!
If you can’t feel anything at all, it is time for the next steps.
What Should You Do If You Think You Have A Weak Floor
If you feel like some of these symptoms apply to you, but it isn’t that serious, then you may be able to tackle this problem by yourself with a Kegel training system like Laselle. It lets you work your way through a series of weights with exercises you can do at home to take you from a Kegel noobie to a Pelvic Floor pro!
Of course, if you’re still not sure how strong or weak your pelvic floor actually is, then KegelSmart is a great place to start!
Not only do its internal sensors measure how hard you’re squeezing, you’ll see your score (shown with flashing dots) every time you turn it on, so you’ll be able to see if you’re progressing!
Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about it if you’re worried that you have a weak pelvic floor, or if the exercises you’re doing don’t seem to be helping. They can refer you to a specialist who can make sure you’re doing your exercises properly, and devise a training plan to make sure you can minimize whatever negative symptoms you’re experiencing!
Facts checked by:
Dr. Alyssa Dweck
Alyssa Dweck MS, MD, FACOG is a practicing gynecologist in Westchester County, New York. She provides care to women of all ages; she has delivered thousands of babies. She is proficient in minimally invasive surgery and has special interest and expertise in female sexual health and medical sex therapy. She is top doctor in New York Magazine and Westchester Magazine. Dr. Dweck has co-authored three books including the most recent release The Complete A to Z For Your V.
Lane Baumeister is an internationally-based Canadian writer with several years’ experience creating educational and entertaining articles that discuss intimate health and sexual well-being. When not waxing profound about menstruation, she devotes herself to enjoying extremely good food and equally bad movies.