2024 is the year to prioritise your pelvic floor and help prevent future problems!

The pelvic floor is not strengthened by general exercise – this means you need to know how to activate the muscles and strengthen them specifically.

The pelvic floor muscles are in an awkward place and it takes a pelvic floor physiotherapist with specialist training to be able to assess and prescribe the appropriate exercises for you.

The pelvic floor is a very important group of muscles and when they don’t function correctly, things start to go wrong….
● 1 in 3 people who have ever had a baby wet their pants
●  Up to 60% of people who are pregnant have bladder leakage
●  50% of people who have ever given birth suffer from prolapse
●  After prostate surgery, most will have bladder leakage and sexual dysfunction
●  People of any gender can experience genital pain and sexual problems related to the pelvic floor
●  1 in 10 New Zealanders have leakage or accidents from the bowel


Self help tips for better pelvic health:


Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help

Click here for information on how to do pelvic floor exercises. If you are having problems identifying the correct muscles, or you experience pelvic pain or pain with sexual activity – come and see us – you could have pelvic floor muscles that are not relaxing well, which requires a different treatment approach.

Maintain a healthy weight

If you need some help see your GP or other health provider e.g. dietitian or nutritionist.

Ensure you carry out regular physical activity

This should include some cardiovascular exercise and some strength training. If you have symptoms while exercising you may need to modify what you are doing. We give individualised advice based on what we find during an assessment, and what you want to be able to do. Click here for further general information.

Avoid constipation and straining

● Ensure you have adequate fibre intake. Whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, fruit and vegetables including leafy greens, should be part of a balanced diet for most people.
● Keep your fluids up – see our blog here for more information.
● Don’t strain on the toilet – keep your bowel motions soft but formed. If you are having problems emptying talk to us for advice on techniques and positioning on the toilet.

When you cough or sneeze

Try to tighten your pelvic floor and lower abdomen to reduce downwards pressure on the pelvic organs.

Take care with heavy lifting

Use correct lifting technique, including exhaling and switching on your pelvic floor and core as you lift. Reduce the load if there is any pressure on your pelvic floor. And it’s not just weights at the gym you need to be mindful about – think about your pelvic floor when you move firewood, lift a buggy, carry in shopping bags etc.


Pelvic floor problems are common, but they are not normal – and you can do something about it!