7 Signs You Need to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles (and the best way to do it!)

It’s normal for moms to experience weakened pelvic floor muscles.

Pregnancy, labor and delivery weaken our pelvic floor muscles and so it’s especially important to work at strengthening them during the postpartum period and afterwards.  The added weight of pregnancy wears down our pelvic floor muscles and the pressure of labor contractions overworks them.  And then there’s the big deal of pushing a human being right through them.  Women who experience a c-section are not exempt either, as we tend to tense our pelvic floor muscles whenever we feel pain or strain to move after surgery.

How do you know if you have weak pelvic floor muscles?  Check out some of these signs and find out how to strengthen them.
Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles with Perifit
*This is a sponsored post for which I received compensation. As always, the opinions in this post are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

You pee when you sneeze.

Or cough or squat or bend over to put on your shoes.  Leaking pee (a.k.a. urinary incontinence) is one of the most common signs of weak pelvic floor muscles.  It’s almost become a right of passage for moms, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  

You need to pee all the time.

Another common sign is the urge to pee more frequently.  If you’re feeling the urge to pee and just can’t hold it in, it could be due to the weakened muscles supporting your bladder.  During pregnancy there is added weight on the bladder combined with additional fluid intake so it makes sense that you need to pee more often.  But in the postpartum period, you should be able to go longer periods between bathroom breaks, or at least hold it in until you can get to a bathroom.

You have trouble emptying your bladder or bowels completely.

The inability to empty your bladder or bowels completely is another warning sign to watch out for.  The muscles in your pelvic floor are used for pushing out pee or poop.  They might need strengthening if you really need to strain on the toilet.  If you’ve been using a stool softener but you’re still having trouble pooping, this could be the reason.

9 Reasons Why Mothers Don't Speak Up About Chronic Pain .

Can’t control your farts.

(Oh this just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?)  Do you avoid yoga class because you’re worried about farting during downward dog?  Afraid to bend over in public or get up too quickly?  The uncontrollable passing of wind is yet another sign that your pelvic floor muscles are weak, as they should be tight enough to keep those in until you can release them privately. 

Tampons or menstrual cups don’t stay in place.

Inserting tampons or menstrual cups might be easy enough, but if you find that they slip out of place or feel uncomfortable when they’re in, it could be due to your pelvic floor muscles.  You shouldn’t need to try too hard to hold your menstrual products in, as your pelvic floor muscles should automatically keep them in place.  But when they’re weak, they don’t do a great job at that.  

Sex isn’t as enjoyable.

And finally let’s talk about the ways that weak pelvic floor muscles can affect sexual intercourse.  Many moms report that sex isn’t as enjoyable after giving birth and a lot of the time, it’s due to those weakened muscles.  Since these muscles control the vaginal opening, if they are weak then both partners will feel less sensation.  In addition to the uncontrollable peeing and farting, the entire experience may cause a woman to feel stressed out and not be able to enjoy it all.

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There’s a bulge in your pelvic area.

This can be a sign of a pelvic organ prolapse.  Basically, it means that one or more of the organs located within your pelvis falls through the pelvic floor.  It can cause a whole bunch of uncomfortable symptoms, depending on which organs it is.  The most common sign is that you will notice a bulge near the vaginal opening.


How to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles

There are specific exercises we can do that target the pelvic floor muscles, including pelvic lifts, squats and perhaps the most famous… Kegels.  But similar to working out our other muscles, it’s hard to remember and/or find time to do them.  And the results are often less impressive than working out a bicep. 

Pelvic floor physiotherapy is helpful in that you get targeted exercises to work the right muscles.   Plus, there are ways for physiotherapists to test your pelvic floor strength and monitor your progress.  But it does have it’s downsides as well.  Besides the costs and time associated with seeing a professional, many women also feel embarrassed talking about it and would prefer a more private solution. 

Thankfully, there’s a third option. 

It’s called Perifit and it combines the power of pelvic floor exercises with the benefits of professional guidance. Perifit is a small, medical grade silicone device that connects to an app via Bluetooth.  Once inserted, you use your pelvic floor muscles to play games on your smartphone which actually help to strengthen them over time. 

Perifit device in box
Perifit – Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles at home
Yes, you heard me right… you get to play video games with your vagina. 

It sounds a little strange to stick a game controller up your hoo-hah but it’s the only way to test your pelvic floor strength.  Inserting it is similar to inserting a tampon and once it’s in, you don’t even really feel it.


All you do next is get comfy, grab your phone, download the Perifit app and follow the on-screen instructions.  Basically, all you need to do in each game is squeeze and release your pelvic floor muscles.  It feels similar to doing Kegels, but having a purpose for each one keeps you from getting bored and giving up.  Like other games, the levels get harder and harder, so they work to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles over time. 

Perifit app games
Perifit – play games in the app using your pelvic floor muscles

At the end of each session, you get to see how strong your muscles are and track how they have improved.  Perifit also keeps track of how often you are performing the exercises as it should become a regular habit.  Try to incorporate a few minutes into your daily self care routine and you can see results within as little as 2 weeks.  

Perifit app stats
Perifit – track your progress

The thing that surprised me the most while using Perifit was how hard I had to squeeze my pelvic floor muscles to complete some of the levels.  While doing Kegels, I never would have squeezed that hard, which is probably why they didn’t work well enough.  Having a real guideline for how hard to squeeze, and for how long, makes such a difference compared to winging it with Kegels. 


If you are struggling with symptoms of a weak pelvic floor,  Perifit is the best way to strengthen them.  You get the professional guidance of a physical therapist within the convenience and privacy of your own home.  Having weak pelvic floor muscles following pregnancy and childbirth is totally normal and never something you should be embarrassed about.  But that doesn’t mean that you have to live with it forever.

For more information about the benefits of Perifit, visit https://perifit.co/.


Don’t Forget to Enter our Instagram Giveaway!

You could win your very own Perifit pelvic floor exerciser!  Click here to enter.

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Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles with Perifit Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles with Perifit

Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles with Perifit

Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles with Perifit

Battling Endometriosis while Suffering From Postpartum Depression

Endometriosis is a condition that plagues nearly 10% of women but is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all.

Like postpartum depression, endometriosis is something that isn’t talked about enough.  It causes a considerable amount of pain but so many women learn to live with it and don’t seek the proper treatment.  And those who do seek help, are often told it’s nothing, because endometriosis doesn’t show up on ultrasounds or x-rays or ct scans.

While there is no link between endometriosis and postpartum depression, they do have a lot in common:
  • They are affected by hormones
  • They affect women in their childbearing years
  • They are under-diagnosed conditions
  • They are invisible diseases
  • They are stigmatized and need more awareness
Every women’s struggle with endometriosis is different, just like postpartum depression.  Here is MY story…
Battling Endometriosis While Suffering From Postpartum Depression
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. **Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

Battling Endometriosis While Suffering from Postpartum Depression Battling Endometriosis While Suffering from Postpartum Depression Battling Endometriosis While Suffering from Postpartum Depression

Battling Endometriosis While Suffering from Postpartum Depression


It was a mere coincidence that both my endometriosis and postpartum depression were diagnosed at the same time, because the two conditions are not exactly linked to each other.  But ever since that diagnosis, they have been intertwined throughout my journey of highs and lows.

It all began when my daughter was 5 months old.  Actually, the postpartum depression symptoms had been going on for a few months already but I was still in denial. 

We took a family trip to Disney World (both kids were still free to get in, so we thought we’d take advantage)!  Despite exclusively breastfeeding, I got my first postpartum period – right there in the Magic Kingdom.  

I was disappointed and annoyed but what else could I do, on this trip of a lifetime, but suck it up and waddle around in blood-soaked pants for the rest of the day?

The next day, we planned to go to Cocoa Beach.  When you’re from the Canadian Prairies, trips to the ocean are few and far between, so I was definitely NOT missing out on it.  I bought the biggest box of tampons I could find and tried my best to enjoy the day.

But the cramping was worse than labor pains and the bleeding was relentless.

I made it through that vacation but the following month was even worse.  I probably wouldn’t have said anything to my doctor, except that it happened to fall on the same day as my daughter’s 6 month checkup.

I was lucky enough to have a great doctor with whom I already had a close relationship, and it was in that appointment that I broke down crying – overcome by the pain of the menstrual cramps and the dark place my mind had been in for the last 6 months.

Based solely on my symptoms, he figured it was endometriosis that was causing the pain and heavy bleeding.  It was the first time I had ever heard the word.  When he told me that it can cause infertility, I actually felt relieved because I had zero desire to have another baby.  He gave me some samples of birth control pills and advised me to take them continuously in an effort to “skip” my periods.

Then we discussed the postpartum depression and came up with a treatment plan.

Prenatal & Postpartum Depression - Vanessa's Story
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I was supposed to follow up with him in a few months to see how things were going.  But by then, we had relocated for my husband’s job – a 9 hour drive away.

For a while, things were alright…

My mind was distracted by the move and I remembered to take my birth control pills everyday, avoiding the painful cramping that accompanied my periods.

Until I ran out of samples.

Trying to find a good doctor in a new town where I didn’t know anyone was tougher than I thought.  So I chose to suffer instead.  I loaded up on painkillers and wore adult diapers to soak up the extreme amounts of blood and just dealt with it.

With each month that passed, the pain got worse and worse.  The cramping started earlier and lasted longer until I was only pain-free for one week each month.  I turned to essential oils for help with the pain, but even their magic wasn’t strong enough.

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The chronic pelvic pain exacerbated my postpartum depression symptoms.

I felt defeated by the pain.  I didn’t feel like being strong or fighting through the pain – I hoped and prayed it would just kill me.  I thought about how my daughter might someday experience this kind of pain, and I felt responsible for that.  I felt like all I did was inflict pain on those around me, because I was also in pain.  And I was certain that everyone would be happier, myself included, if I was just gone.

Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles with Perifit
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When my year of maternity leave was over, things got better.

I found a job that I loved and began to make friends.  The daycare we chose for the kids was wonderful and they settled into it without any problems.  I appreciated my children more because I cherished the short amount of time we had together each day instead of dreading the long hours of nothingness.

Finally, I was happy!  I pushed through the endometriosis pain every month because I didn’t want anything to destroy my happiness.

But after a year of being happy and ignoring the pain – the pain pushed back.

I couldn’t ignore it anymore and eventually wound up in the emergency room.  Much to everyone’s surprise – I was pregnant!  I guess endometriosis doesn’t always cause infertility…

The anxiety began almost immediately.  I didn’t want to go through another HG pregnancy and I definitely worried about dealing with the postpartum depression all over again.  Plus we had just moved again, and hadn’t even bought a house yet.

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Despite the exciting news, the pain was still there… worse even.

The doctors suspected a possible ectopic pregnancy and rushed me into emergency surgery.

When I woke up, I had mixed feelings about losing the baby.  Part of me was relieved to avoid another tough pregnancy, but another part of me felt disappointed that I didn’t get another chance to make things right.

The next day, I found out I was still pregnant.  The pregnancy was a healthy one, and there was nothing they could tell me about the endometriosis because they didn’t want to do anything to disturb the pregnancy.

And so I had my third child.  I suffered from the worst case of hyperemesis gravidarum of all three pregnancies, but for a while, I didn’t have to worry about the menstrual pain.  This time I did everything in my power to prepare myself for postpartum depression again but thankfully was spared from it.  I was given a second chance!  I immediately felt a bond with this baby and she made our family complete.

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I had a good, solid 8 months of bliss with my happy baby before my first postpartum period arrived.

And, in true dream-crushing fashion, it came back on Christmas Eve so I spent most of that night hopped up on painkillers and hovering around the bathroom door in order to change my tampon every 30 minutes.

After another steady 8 months of pill popping, I missed another period.  Oh no, not another pregnancy.  It can’t be.  I can’t do it again.  But the tests were all negative…

My menstrual cycle finally had a nervous breakdown.

It would skip months for no reason and then come every other week.  The pelvic pain got worse and it was no longer limited to my menstrual cycle – it was there 24/7.  I ended up in the emergency room regularly looking for something to help with the pain.  Nothing ever showed up on any of the tests, and I’m certain everyone thought I was a hypochondriac.  Even though I was in an intense amount of pain, I started to wonder if they were right.

The pain triggered the postpartum depression again.

It didn’t help that I was now a stay-at-home-mom, living in a city with no friends or relatives to help me out.  Between the darkness of postpartum depression and the pain of endometriosis, life was very bleak for nearly a full year.

The Tormented Life of a Mother Suffering with Endometriosis
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I finally met with a specialist.

He instantly validated everything I was feeling and scheduled me for a diagnostic laparoscopy to find out what was going on inside of me.  Since he wasn’t sure what he would find, he asked me to sign a form that stated he could perform a hysterectomy if he deemed it medically necessary.  This way, I wouldn’t have to undergo two separate surgeries if I did need one.

We discussed the fact that a hysterectomy would be the worst-case scenario, and I signed the form without hesitation.

In the 6 weeks leading up to my surgery date, I bled continuously.  I should have known then, that more was wrong under the surface than I wanted to admit.  If I had, perhaps I would have been more prepared for what was ahead.

The surgery was supposed to be a laparoscopic day surgery on a Friday.  My husband, kids and I made the 2 hour drive into the city, expecting to stay with family for the weekend and be back home by Monday.

But when I woke up from the surgery, I was told I would not be going home that day.

My doctor came in to see me, head hung, disappointment in his eyes.  He rested his hand on mine and told me that this was the first time he’s ever had to convert from a laparoscopic surgery to an abdominal incision (minimally invasive surgery was his specialty).

And then he filled me in on what happened in surgery.

He had to remove my uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and left ovary.  He left the right ovary so that I would not go into menopause but everything else was stuck together with adhesions and needed to go.  My reproductive organs were attached to the pelvic wall, bladder and bowels which he successfully separated, but there would be scar tissue remaining.  The adhesions had re-routed my blood vessels and so he cut into one while attempting to perform the hysterectomy, causing me to lose nearly 4 units of blood and require a transfusion.

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It was the “worst case scenario,” and I felt completely blindsided by what had just happened.  

I ended up staying in the hospital for 5 days.  Losing so much blood left me feeling weak and dizzy and moving around was almost impossible.  Once I did get home to my own bed, I couldn’t leave.  Walking up and down stairs was difficult and living in a 4 level split meant I was practically bedridden.  Long after the scar healed, the pain inside my pelvis was excruciating.  I was told to expect to be out of commission for a full 6 weeks but it took more like 8.

Dealing with the sudden loss of my uterus was difficult.  Although I knew I didn’t want to have more children, I liked knowing that it was an option.  I spent a lot of time thinking about my pregnancies and how the place where I grew my children and felt them move and kick was no longer there.

But once I recovered from the surgery, the constant pelvic pain that plagued me for years was finally gone.  It was hard to believe that it was no longer there, I kept poking at it to see if it hurt but no – no more pain!  And I never had to wear another giant tampon or adult diaper ever again.

Most days I forget that I no longer have a uterus.  I still get some symptoms of PMS when my lonely ovary ovulates but it’s nearly impossible to track it without a menstrual cycle.  The fluctuating hormones do still affect my postpartum depression symptoms and I have to take extra care of myself on those days, but otherwise, it’s no longer triggered by constant pain.

I’ve been told that a hysterectomy is not a cure for endometriosis and there is still a chance that the endometrial tissue could grow back.
Postpartum Depression Resources in Canada 1
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So while my battle with endometriosis, as well as my battle with postpartum depression, is over for now – they have changed who I am as a person.

They have both taken things away from me that I can never get back.  They have killed a part of me inside and remain there, dormant, waiting for another opportunity to strike. I will do my best to take care of myself,  to help others who are suffering, and to raise awareness about these two important issues, so that if and when they ever do decide to rear their ugly heads again – I will be ready to fight back.


Endometriosis Resources

Endometriosis.org
WebMD Endometriosis Health Center
Nancy’s Nook Endometriosis Education Facebook Group
Endometriosis Support Group on Facebook
Hystersisters.com