Kegel exercises to alleviate post-pregnancy pelvic floor dysfunction

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Performing Kegel exercise regularly 3-5 times a week – before, during, and after giving birth - helps further strengthen pelvic floor muscles. (Source: Freepik)

Jakarta, IO – Some women complain of loosened vaginal muscles after giving birth naturally. They sense discomfort because this interferes with their daily life, especially in terms of post-birth urination and sexual relations with their spouses. 

During pregnancy, mothers undergo various physiological, hormonal, and morphological changes. Loosened vaginal muscles are caused by trauma to the pelvic floor muscles – either tearing or weakening of these muscles, due to the natural changes suffered during the nine months of pregnancy. The severity of this trauma depends on what risk factors are sustained during the pregnancy. 

“Significant risk factors for pelvic floor muscle trauma are: baby birth weight exceeding 3.5 kg, mother getting pregnant over the age of 30, or birthing process that uses devices like vacuum suction or forceps. Similar to natural birthing, Caesarean birth may also causes trauma on the mother’s pelvic floor muscles as it surgically changes her body,” said dr. Tyas Priyatini, Sp.OG(K), Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital Jakarta’s obstetrician/gynecologist, in a live IG session titled “Loosened Vagina After Birth: Myth or Fact?” held on Tuesday (21/06/2021). 

Pelvic floor muscles form an important organ that supports the functioning of the urinary tract, reproduction organs, and the digestive tract. Changes to the body because of pregnancy and childbirth cause trauma to pelvic floor muscles, nerves, and connective tissues in 80% of women. However, such changes do not automatically cause any major dysfunction of the pelvic floor in the form of obstructed urination and fecal excretion, prolapsing of the pelvic floor, or sexual dysfunction.