Understanding Pelvic Floor Muscles

The pelvic floor muscles are the layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs; the bladder and bowel in men and the bladder, bowel and uterus in women.

The pelvic floor muscles stretch from your tailbone (coccyx) to your pubic bone front to back, and from side to side.

Firm, supportive pelvic floor muscles help support the bladder, womb and bowel, and to close the bladder outlet and back passage.

Pelvic Floor Muscles

Role of Pelvic Floor Muscles in our body

The pelvic floor muscles provide support to the pelvic organs. The muscles of the pelvic floor are kept firm and slightly tense to stop leakage of urine from the bladder and wind or faeces from the bowel.

When you pass urine or have a bowel motion the pelvic floor muscles relax. Afterwards, they tighten again to restore control.

The muscles actively squeeze when you laugh, cough, lift or sneeze to help prevent any leakage.

Your pelvic floor muscles are also important in sexual function for both men and women. Helping increase sexual awareness for both yourself and your partner during intercourse.


What can cause the pelvic floor muscles to weaken?

  • Chronic straining to have a bowel movement
  • Chronic constipation
  • Chronic cough from smoking or health problems
  • Heavy lifting
  • High impact exercise
  • Nerve damage post-surgery
  • Age
  • Overweight or Obesity
  • Pregnancy and child birth



  1. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/pelvicfloor/conditioninfo/causes
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/womens-health/what-are-pelvic-floor-exercises/#:~:text=To%20strengthen%20your%20pelvic%20floor,squeeze%20for%20a%20few%20seconds.
  3. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14459-pelvic-floor-dysfunction