Visit Us
2249 Carling Ave. Suite 201, Ottawa, ON K2B 7E9
Call Us
Message Us
Opening Hours
Mon - Fri: 9 AM - 6:30 PM | Sat: 10 AM - 5 PM

Is Your Pelvic Floor Weak? Learn the Signs Now!

weak pelvic floor

The pelvic floor, a group of muscles and tissues located at the base of the pelvis, plays a crucial role in supporting the pelvic organs and maintaining urinary and bowel control. When these muscles become weak, it can lead to various symptoms and complications. This article aims to shed light on the ten signs that indicate a weak pelvic floor, helping individuals recognize the symptoms and seek appropriate treatment. By understanding the causes, prevention, and management strategies, you can take proactive steps toward improving your pelvic health.

Understanding the Pelvic Floor: The pelvic floor refers to a complex network of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues that form a hammock-like structure at the bottom of the pelvis. It provides support to the bladder, uterus, and rectum, while also contributing to sexual function and stability of the pelvic region. When the pelvic floor weakens, it can lead to a range of uncomfortable and disruptive symptoms.

Common Causes of Pelvic Floor Weakness: Several factors contribute to the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. These include pregnancy and childbirth, hormonal changes, aging, obesity, chronic coughing, and certain medical conditions. By understanding the causes, individuals can gain insight into potential risk factors and take necessary precautions.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms:

  1. Urinary Incontinence: Involuntary leakage of urine during activities such as coughing, sneezing, or laughing.
  2. Frequent Urination: A need to urinate more frequently than usual, even in small amounts.
  3. Bowel/Fecal Incontinence: Accidental leakage of feces or difficulty controlling bowel movements.
  4. Pelvic Organ Prolapse: A sensation of pelvic pressure or the protrusion of pelvic organs into the vaginal canal.
  5. Pain or Discomfort in the Pelvic Region: Persistent pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen, pelvis, or genitals.
  6. Sexual Dysfunction: Decreased sexual satisfaction, pain during intercourse, or difficulty achieving orgasm due to weakened pelvic floor muscles.
  7. Back Pain: Weak pelvic floor muscles can contribute to lower back pain or discomfort, as they are part of the core muscle group that supports the spine.
  8. Difficulty Controlling Flatulence: Inability to control the release of gas from the rectum.
  9. Incomplete Emptying of the Bladder or Bowels: The feeling of not fully emptying the bladder or bowels after urination or defecation.
  10. Hip Pain: Hip pain can occur when the weakened pelvic floor muscles impact the alignment and stability of the hips.
  11. Straining During Bowel Movements: Difficulty in passing stools, often accompanied by straining or a feeling of incomplete bowel evacuation, can indicate a weak pelvic floor.
  12. Difficulty Engaging Core Muscles: Trouble activating or engaging the core muscles, which includes the pelvic floor muscles, during exercises or daily activities.
  13. The sensation of Heaviness or Pressure in the Pelvic Area: A persistent feeling of weight or pressure in the pelvic region.

Diagnosing Pelvic Floor Weakness: Proper diagnosis of pelvic floor weakness involves a thorough evaluation of medical history, physical examination, and specialized tests. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional specializing in pelvic floor disorders for accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment options.

Preventing and Managing Pelvic Floor Weakness:

  1. Pelvic Floor Exercises: Strengthening exercises, such as Kegels, can help improve the tone and function of the pelvic floor muscles. Your Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist can guide you.
  2. Lifestyle Modifications: Adopting healthy habits, such as maintaining a balanced diet, managing weight, and avoiding smoking, can positively impact pelvic floor health.
  3. Maintaining a Healthy Weight: Excess weight puts added pressure on the pelvic floor, so maintaining a healthy weight is crucial.
  4. Avoiding Straining During Bowel Movements: Straining during bowel movements can weaken the pelvic floor muscles. Adequate fiber intake and hydration can help prevent constipation.
  5. Treating Chronic Cough: Chronic coughing can strain the pelvic floor. Addressing the underlying cause of the cough can aid in managing pelvic floor weakness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. Can men have weak pelvic floors? Yes, men can also experience pelvic floor weakness, although it is more commonly associated with women.
  2. How common is pelvic floor weakness? Pelvic floor weakness is prevalent, affecting a significant number of individuals, particularly women.
  3. Are there any risk factors for developing a weak pelvic floor? Certain factors, such as pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, hormonal changes, and chronic coughing, can increase the risk of developing a weak pelvic floor.
  4. Can pregnancy and childbirth cause pelvic floor weakness? Yes, pregnancy and childbirth can place significant strain on the pelvic floor muscles, leading to weakness.
  5. Can a weak pelvic floor improve without treatment? In some cases, mild pelvic floor weakness may improve with lifestyle modifications and exercises. However, seeking professional guidance such as Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can ensure optimal recovery and prevent further complications.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a weak pelvic floor is crucial for early intervention and effective management. By understanding the causes, prevention strategies, and seeking appropriate treatment, individuals can improve their pelvic health and regain control over their daily lives.

If you experience any of the mentioned symptoms, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or your Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. They can provide a proper diagnosis and guide you in implementing appropriate exercises, lifestyle modifications, or other treatments to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and alleviate these symptoms. Remember, it is never too late to start taking care of your pelvic floor health and addressing the issue early can lead to improved quality of life and overall well-being.

Table of Contents:

    1. Introduction                                                  
    2. Understanding the Pelvic Floor                 
    3. Common Causes of Pelvic Floor Weakness                                                        
    4. Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms

      4.1 Urinary Incontinence

      4.2 Frequent Urination

      4.3 Bowel Incontinence

      4.4 Pelvic Organ Prolapse

      4.5 Pain or Discomfort in the Pelvic Region

      4.6 Sexual Dysfunction

      4.7 Back Pain

      4.8 Difficulty Controlling Flatulence

      4.9 Incomplete Emptying of the Bladder or Bowels

      4.10 Hip Pain

      4.11 Straining During Bowel Movements

      4.12 Difficulty Engaging Core Muscles

      4.13 Sensation of Heaviness or Pressure in the Pelvic Area

    5. Diagnosing Pelvic Floor Weakness                                                                                                                                      
    6. Preventing and Managing Pelvic Floor Weakness

      6.1 Pelvic Floor Exercises

      6.2 Lifestyle Modifications

      6.3 Maintaining a Healthy Weight

      6.4 Avoiding Straining During Bowel Movements

      6.5 Treating Chronic Cough                      

      1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

      7.1 Can men have weak pelvic floors?

      7.2 How common is pelvic floor weakness?

      7.3 Are there any risk factors for developing a weak pelvic floor?

      7.4 Can pregnancy and childbirth cause pelvic floor weakness?

      7.5 Can a weak pelvic floor improve without treatment?

    7. Conclusion


Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy: An Effective Solution for Incontinence

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and incontinence


Before delving into the details of Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy, let’s first understand what incontinence is and why it is important to address this condition. Incontinence refers to the inability to control the bladder or bowel, resulting in the unintentional leakage of urine or feces. It can occur in various forms, including stress incontinence (leakage during physical activities such as coughing, sneezing, or exercising), urge incontinence (sudden and intense urge to urinate followed by leakage), overflow incontinence (inability to empty the bladder fully, causing frequent dribbling), and mixed incontinence (a combination of different types).

Understanding Incontinence
Incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors, including weakened pelvic floor muscles, hormonal changes, pregnancy and childbirth, menopause, certain medications, and underlying medical conditions. Regardless of the cause, the impact of incontinence on daily life can be significant. Many individuals find themselves constantly worried about leakage, limiting their activities and social interactions. This can lead to feelings of embarrassment, shame, and a diminished sense of self-worth.

What is Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy is a unique and specialized branch of physical therapy that places its primary focus on the enhancement and rehabilitation of the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles, located in the lower part of the pelvis, play a crucial role in supporting the bladder, uterus, and rectum, as well as controlling urination and bowel movements. Pelvic floor physiotherapy aims to address the underlying causes of incontinence by improving the strength, coordination, and flexibility of these muscles.

Engaging in Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy offers numerous benefits for individuals struggling with incontinence. By working with a trained physiotherapist, patients can gain a deeper understanding of their pelvic floor muscles and learn techniques to strengthen and relax them effectively. This therapeutic approach is non-invasive, drug-free, and empowers individuals to take an active role in their own recovery.

The Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Process

The journey towards regaining control over incontinence begins with an initial assessment and evaluation by a pelvic floor physiotherapist. During this assessment, the physiotherapist will gather relevant medical history, perform physical examinations, and assess the strength and coordination of the pelvic floor muscles. This comprehensive evaluation helps to identify the specific issues contributing to incontinence and allows for the development of a personalized treatment plan.

Based on the assessment findings, the pelvic floor physiotherapist will create a customized treatment plan tailored to the individual’s needs. This plan may include a combination of exercises, manual techniques, biofeedback training, and lifestyle modifications. The physiotherapist will guide the patient through each step of the process, providing education, support, and regular progress evaluations.

Results and Effectiveness

The effectiveness of Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy in treating incontinence has been well-documented. Countless individuals have experienced significant improvements in their symptoms, allowing them to regain control over their bladder and bowel. Success stories from patients who have undergone pelvic floor physiotherapy are abundant, highlighting the positive impact it can have on one’s quality of life.

In addition to anecdotal evidence, scientific studies have also shown the efficacy of pelvic floor physiotherapy. Research has demonstrated that this form of treatment can lead to a reduction in incontinence episodes, improved muscle strength and coordination, and increased confidence and self-esteem. These findings further support the notion that pelvic floor physiotherapy is a valuable and effective solution for those struggling with incontinence.

Tips for Choosing a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist

When seeking pelvic floor physiotherapy, it is essential to choose a qualified and experienced professional. Look for physiotherapists who specialize in pelvic floor health and have received appropriate training and certifications in this area. A trusted and knowledgeable physiotherapist will ensure that you receive the best care and guidance throughout your treatment journey.

Lifestyle Changes to Support Pelvic Floor Health

In addition to Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy, certain lifestyle changes can help support pelvic floor health and reduce the symptoms of incontinence. A well-balanced diet rich in fiber and hydration promotes regular bowel movements and reduces the risk of constipation. Regular exercise, particularly activities that strengthen the core and pelvic floor muscles, can enhance muscle tone and improve bladder control. Additionally, stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga can contribute to overall pelvic floor well-being.

Overcoming the Stigma Surrounding Incontinence

Incontinence is often accompanied by a stigma that can prevent individuals from seeking help and support. However, it is essential to address and challenge these societal taboos to create a more open and understanding environment. By promoting education, awareness, and open discussions, we can break down the barriers surrounding incontinence and encourage individuals to seek the help they deserve.


Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy offers a highly effective and non-invasive solution for individuals struggling with incontinence. Through personalized treatment plans, education, and support, this specialized form of physical therapy empowers individuals to regain control over their bladder and bowel. By taking action and seeking the assistance of a qualified pelvic floor physiotherapist, individuals can improve their quality of life, regain confidence, and embrace a future free from the limitations of incontinence.


  1. Is pelvic floor physiotherapy suitable for both men and women? Yes, pelvic floor physiotherapy is beneficial for both men and women. While incontinence is more commonly associated with women, men can also experience bladder and bowel control issues due to various factors such as prostate problems or pelvic surgery
  2. Is pelvic floor physiotherapy suitable for everyone with incontinence? Pelvic floor physiotherapy can benefit many individuals with different types of incontinence. However, it is best to consult with a qualified physiotherapist to determine if it is the right approach for your specific condition. The physiotherapist will assess your symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.
  3. Can pelvic floor physiotherapy help with other pelvic floor issues apart from incontinence? Absolutely! Pelvic floor physiotherapy is effective in addressing various pelvic floor issues, including pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, and sexual dysfunction. The techniques used in pelvic floor physiotherapy can help improve muscle strength, flexibility, and coordination, leading to overall pelvic floor health
  4. Are pelvic floor exercises the only treatment offered in pelvic floor physiotherapy? No, pelvic floor exercises are just one component of pelvic floor physiotherapy. Depending on the individual’s condition and needs, the treatment may also include manual therapy, biofeedback, lifestyle modifications, and education on proper bladder and bowel habits. The treatment plan is tailored to address the specific concerns and goals of each individual
  5. How long does it take to see results with pelvic floor physiotherapy? The timeline for seeing results can vary depending on the severity of the condition and individual factors. Some individuals may start noticing improvements within a few weeks, while others may require a more extended treatment period. Consistency, adherence to the treatment plan, and regular communication with the physiotherapist are key factors in achieving positive outcomes.
  6. Are there any side effects associated with pelvic floor physiotherapy? Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a safe and non-invasive treatment option. When performed by a qualified professional, the risk of side effects is minimal. However, some individuals may experience mild muscle soreness or discomfort initially as they engage in new exercises and techniques. These sensations should subside as the muscles strengthen and adapt.
  7. Can pelvic floor physiotherapy prevent incontinence during pregnancy? Pelvic floor physiotherapy can play a crucial role in preventing or reducing the severity of incontinence during and after pregnancy. By strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and providing valuable education, physiotherapy can help expectant mothers maintain better bladder control and support their overall pelvic floor health.
  8. How can I find a qualified pelvic floor physiotherapist in my area? To find a qualified pelvic floor physiotherapist near you, consider requesting referrals from your primary care physician, gynecologist, or urologist. You can also search online directories or contact local physical therapy clinics specializing in pelvic floor health.


I. Introduction

  • Definition of pelvic floor physiotherapy
  • Brief overview of incontinence
  • Importance of addressing incontinence

II. Understanding Incontinence

  • Types of incontinence (stress, urge, overflow, mixed)
  • Causes of incontinence
  • Impact of incontinence on daily life

III. What is Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?

  • Explanation of pelvic floor muscles
  • Role of pelvic floor physiotherapy in treating incontinence
  • Benefits of pelvic floor physiotherapy

IV. The Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Process

  • Initial assessment and evaluation
  • Customized treatment plans
  • Techniques and exercises used in pelvic floor physiotherapy

V. Results and Effectiveness

  • Success stories and testimonials from patients
  • Research studies supporting the effectiveness of pelvic floor physiotherapy

VI. Tips for Choosing a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist

  • Qualifications and certifications to look for
  • Importance of finding a trusted and experienced professional

VII. Lifestyle Changes to Support Pelvic Floor Health

  • Diet and nutrition tips
  • Importance of regular exercise
  • Stress management and relaxation techniques

VIII. Overcoming the Stigma Surrounding Incontinence

  • Addressing the societal taboos associated with incontinence
  • Encouraging open discussions and seeking help

IX. Conclusion

  • Recap of the benefits of pelvic floor physiotherapy
  • Encouragement to take action and seek help
  • Final thoughts on regaining control and improving quality of life