The ability to achieve a healthy, strong, satisfying orgasm is a gift. When we have low libido, inability to orgasm or our quality of orgasm is not as strong as it used to be, can anything be done? Plenty! For women and in some cases, men, their low libido may be due to hormone imbalances. Levels of testosterone and other sex hormones can be checked by a doctor specializing in sexual medicine and you may be prescribed hormone replacement therapies. To find a doctor with this knowledge, go to www.isswsh.org. For most men and women, it’s a simple matter of becoming aware and retraining their pelvic floor muscles – the ability to be strong, have good endurance like any other muscle in the body, as well as the ability to relax.
WHERE TO GET ASSESSED for your Pelvic Floor
Consult a physical therapist who has been trained and is practicing in the field of pelvic physical therapy;
To find one:
The Section of Women’s Health of the APTA – American Physical Therapy Association, www.womenshealthapta.org.
Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute, hermanwallace.com
Both organizations have lists of Practitioners that have attended and received certifications in the field.
ASSESSING PELVIC MUSCLES
In pelvic physical therapy, we assess your core, hip, external pelvic and internal pelvic floor muscles – how relaxed, tense and strong they are using manual and biofeedback methods. We check your ability to breathe using your diaphragm. The breath and core/pelvic muscles work together in unison. The pelvic floor aka “Kegel” muscles are located inside your pelvis, running from the front of the pubic bone, attaching to your tailbone and to the sides on the deep hip external rotator muscles.
Pelvic floor muscles have two types of fibers: The slow twitch or the endurance fibers – they are the ones that hold against gravity if you jump, run, sneeze, laugh or cough. Fast twitch muscle fibers – these rhythmically contract during orgasm -10 – 15 contractions during an orgasm. We focus on strengthening the core muscles and the fast twitch muscle fibers for the pelvic floor. We find that 50-60% of our patients do not know how to recruit these muscles without holding their breath or using other muscles.
RELAXING THE PELVIC MUSCLES
To have a really good orgasm, your pelvic floor muscles need to be relaxed during the day - not in a high tense state, always on guard. Breathing properly and being mindful your pelvic floor can prevent automatic tension that occurs in the pelvic floor during a stressful situation (work, home, relationship, life stresses). Most people don’t realize they are holding tension in their pelvic floor, like a tight fist. If the pelvic floor muscles are constantly tense, it can lead pain to with sexual intercourse in women, difficulty in achieving/maintaining erection in men and for both, the ability to have a satisfying orgasm. Plus chronic PF tension can show up as difficulty in going to the bathroom, urinary urgency, frequency, bladder pain, abdominal bloating and bowel issues - chronic pelvic floor tension is a major contributor to Constipation.
EXERCISES FOR RELAXING PELVIC FLOOR
Start on all 4’s. Sit back onto your heels. If your buttocks cannot reach your heels, place a pillow so you can fully rest. Lower your head to the floor, resting on a pillow if needed.
Slightly widen your knees apart to provide space for your stomach to expand as you inhale. As you inhale, your stomach expands and very subtly, your pelvic floor muscle expands as well. As you exhale, your stomach deflates and the pelvic floor return to the rest position. Do slow, deep diaphragmatic breaths, inhaling for a count of 4 seconds, exhaling for a count of 6 seconds. Do 3 times. Once a day.
Happy Baby Pose
Lie on your back, bring both knees to your chest. Grasp underneath your knees and bring your thighs wider to each side and slightly down to open your groin/pelvic floor. For more advanced, grasp both feet and gently pull the feet and knees toward the floor. You are stretching and opening your pelvic floor. Inhale for count of 4, Exhale for count of 6. Do 3 times. Once a day.
Inner thigh groin stretch
Sit on the floor. Straighten both legs and comfortably widen to either side. You may need to place a small folded towel under your seat if you’re rounding hunching forward too much. Place both hands on the floor behind you as this will help you keep an upright posture. Hinge your body slightly forward from the hips. The inner thigh muscles attach to the pubic bone. If they are tight and restricted, it will affect how the pelvic floor works. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Do 2’x. Once a day
EXERCISES THAT STABILIZE AND STRENGTHEN
PF Slow twitch exercise
In lying or sitting position, Inhale. As you exhale, Squeeze your anal and vaginal/penile region tight for five seconds (“one-one thousand, two one thousand”, to five). Breathe as needed versus holding your breath. Avoid contracting your larger gluteal or abdominal muscles. Work up to ten seconds. Release slowly and relax fully for ten seconds before trying again. If you can contract for ten seconds, rest for 20 seconds. Do 2 sets of 10 repetitions twice a day.
PF Fast twitch exercise
Squeeze your anal, vaginal/penile area strong, quickly holding one second (“one one-thousand”) Fully relax for about 2 seconds.
Exhale in a faster pace during the squeeze, inhaling during the relaxation
Do two sets of 10 reps twice a day.
Lie on your stomach. Elbows bent on the ground, Bent toes on the floor. Exhale as you tighten your abdominals and lift your
body off the floor keeping shoulders, hips, knees is in a straight line.
Hold for 10 seconds, up to 30 seconds. Do 2 sets of 10 reps. Once a day
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet hip width apart, arms by your sides, palms down.
Inhale. Exhale as you first think of bringing your pubic bone upwards towards your navel (recruiting the Transverse Abdominals) then squeeze your gluteals (buttocks muscles) together, raising your hips off the floor. Hold end position for 5 seconds. Lower your hips to the floor, fully releasing the abdominal and gluteal contraction as you inhale. Exhale and repeat. Do 2 sets of 20 reps. Once a day
At EMH Physical Therapy, we offer a PelviCorFit Program http://emhphysicaltherapy.com/pelvicorfit-program/ that teaches you how recruit and relax your pelvic floor muscles in 1-3 sessions.
My app PelvicTrack , free on iTunes store has a compilation of pelvic and core exercises.
If anyone in NYC needs to see pelvic floor physical therapist please visit us http://emhphysicaltherapy.com/pelvic-floor-dysfunction-therapy