Kinnary Patel
Kinnary Patel, MA, PT, Pelvic Floor Therapist 

Whether you had sciatica during pregnancy or having the urge to go more after menopause. Kinnary has some tips to help you master your pelvic floor.

Q: How do women know they may have a pelvic floor issue?

A: Most women would not know unless they have symptoms localized in the pelvic region, like pain, incontinence and prolapse (feeling line the internal organs are dropping). I would recommend any women to consult a pelvic floor therapist if there is low back, hip or abdominal pain that does not resolve with conventional treatments; if they feel bloated or have lower abdominal cramps associated with bowels; if they are pregnant or post-partum; have sciatic pain during and after pregnancy; or have groin pain and discomfort with urination or sexual intimacy.

Q: What is the role of your pelvic floor?

A: The pelvic floor is the most needed stability for your thorax and spine. The pelvic floor also supports all reproductive and excretory organs. Weakness in the pelvic floor can cause pain in lower back or abdominal region, organ prolapse and urinary and fecal incontinence. If there is tension or tightness in the pelvic floor, it may cause pain and or difficulty with many functions, such as urinating, sexual coitus and difficulty passing gas or bowels.

Q: Do women need to just “cope” with these issues as a “normal” part of aging?

A: Women having to cope with these “normal” age issues is just a myth! Nobody needs to cope with these issues, especially incontinence, that worsens after menopause Pelvic floor muscles can be retrained, and urinary and fecal control can be improved! Age just determined the amount of effort needed.

Q: What can women do at home to strengthen their pelvic floor?

A: The most basic method is to have a regular low impact exercise routine like walking, hip mobility and core strengthening exercises, including pelvic floor squeezes and lifts.

Q: Why should you seek help from an expert?

A: Yes, there are YouTube and internet exercises, but it may not get to the core of your troubles. Pelvic floor strengthening is required in many cases, but a lot of conditions also require pelvic floor relaxation. Knowing how the support system works for the pelvic floor is essential for pelvic floor retraining, which experts can help you do correctly. Low back, abdomen, breathing patterns, hip mobility are some of the factors that affect the way your pelvic floor reacts.

Q: What does the MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center’s Pelvic Floor Program offer?

A: We provide one of the best and comprehensive pelvic floor rehabilitation programs with a wholesome and holistic approach to care.