A Pelvic Knowledge Primer

By Riva Preil

“Pelvic Floor” is the new buzzword.  You have read about it in Elle and Prevention, you saw Amy discuss it on the Dr. Oz Show, and you do your Kegels religiously, as you have been instructed by your OB-GYN.  But really now, what the heck IS the pelvic floor?

If you have ever found yourself wondering the aforementioned question, you are not alone.  You along with many others don’t truly understand what the pelvic floor is.  After all, it is a relatively small, unfamiliar area of the body which (hopefully) functions on autopilot, and its awareness is only drawn to our attention when it is not performing its tasks properly.  Dysfunction of the pelvic floor may manifest as urinary and/or fecal incontinence, sexual dysfunction, or pelvic pain, to name a few symptoms.

I don’t know about you, but I am a VISUAL LEARNER.  It is much easier for me to wrap my brain around concepts when I can see the structures being discussed.  That being said, I encourage you to check out the following 3D anatomy tutorial about the pelvic floor here.

It includes the skeletal structure, muscles, tendons, and pelvic floor organs.  I am well aware that most people don’t get as excited about anatomy as I do, but this video is excellent, informative, and extremely clear.  Even though it never went viral on YouTube, it happens to have more than 150,000 hits, for what that’s worth!  (I promise, they are not all from me)

Next time you visit your doctor or pelvic floor physical therapist, you will know exactly what they are referring to when they mention the pubococcygeus muscle or the pubic symphysis.  Enjoy your newfound knowledge!

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