For many people, erectile dysfunction (commonly called “ED”) can be a source of embarrassment and frustration. And for those who experience it, the cause is often difficult to pinpoint. But did you know that your pelvic floor muscles can have an impact on your erectile function? Read on to learn more about the connection between erectile dysfunction and your pelvic floor.
What is the Pelvic Floor?
In case you’re not familiar with the term, let’s start with a brief overview of what we mean when we talk about “the pelvic floor”. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles located in your lower abdomen that control bladder and bowel functions as well as sexual responses. When these muscles are weak, they can cause problems such as urinary incontinence or even erectile dysfunction.
What Causes Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles?
There are many factors that can contribute to weak pelvic floor muscles such as age-related degeneration of muscle fibers; hormonal changes due to aging; chronic health conditions such as diabetes; traumatic injuries or surgeries; chronic coughing; heavy lifting; obesity/overweight status; smoking; sedentary lifestyle; poor posture/ergonomics during work/activities; prolonged sitting during work/activities; constipation/straining with bowel movements.
How Your Pelvic Floor Affects Erectile Dysfunction
When the pelvic floor muscles are weak, they become unable to fully support the bladder or rectum — or to properly control sexual response during intercourse. This leads to difficulty achieving an erection or maintaining it throughout sex. Additionally, weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to a decrease in sensation during intercourse, making it difficult for both partners to experience pleasure during sex.
If you experience any of the above symptoms it’s important to get checked out by a healthcare professional who specializes in pelvic floor physical therapy to determine if your erectile dysfunction is caused by weakened pelvic floor muscles. A Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist (like me!) can create an individualized treatment plan based on your specific needs.
This plan could include manual therapy techniques such as massage or deep tissue pressure release techniques, exercise programs tailored specifically for strengthening core muscles or improving flexibility of associated areas in order to reduce pain and increase mobility + function. Other treatments may include biofeedback training and electrical stimulation modalities.
Struggling with Sex? Let’s talk!
If you’re experiencing difficulties with erections or other issues related to sexual performance, it may be related to your weakened pelvic floor muscles. Talk with a doctor specializing in pelvic floor physical therapy (like me!) to get guidance on how best to heal these important muscles and improve your overall quality of life. You deserve an enjoyable sex life. Period.
Through completion of treatment plans, my patients have learned how to better control their pelvic muscle contractions and improve their sexual response. The best part? I offer consultations, where we can discuss your symptoms and issues to figure out the best route for your healing.
Looking for additional resources on pelvic health? My YouTube channel holds dozens of videos where I offer free pelvic floor training, yoga exercises, and more. My instagram page takes a little bit more of a light hearted approach while still providing educational content. And of course, if you have a specific pelvic floor subject you’re looking for more information on, a quick search of my blogs may give you the answers you need.
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