Endometriosis and the Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor muscles are made up of two layers of muscles shaped like a bowl at the floor of the pelvis supporting the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus and bowel), when functioning well they hold pee and poo in until your bum is on the toilet and aid in sexual function 👌
When in pain these muscles can pull up to cope with the pain protecting you (maybe helpful in the short term), however ongoing pain can then cause the muscles over time to become tight, short or overactive causing pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, this can cause symptoms such as pain with urinating, straining to pass urine or pain during or after passing a bowel motion, incomplete bowel emptying, pain during or after intercourse, groin/thigh pain, abdominal pain, low back pain or difficulty/ pain with tampons or speculum test (PAP/smear test) 🚫
Woman will often think they are weak and do pelvic floor strengthening, were in fact this will only make them worse. They feel weak because their muscles are tight, isn't that the same when you have back pain, we feel weaker, but we never say lets go to the gym and lift weights...no we stretch and move and the muscles get better.... same goes for the pelvic floor muscles 😬
But first to make sure this is the case with you a vaginal examination should performed to assess how the muscles are functioning. This examination is done by a physio placing a gloved finger at the vaginal entrance and if comfortable inside to assess the deeper pelvic floor muscles... if it is too painful we will stop, we have enough information. This tells us how well your muscles contract and relax. More commonly with endometriosis it’s the relaxation part that women have difficulty with 🙈 and saying relax really doesn't help
Your physio will then decide with you what is the best treatment for you.