Pelvic pain can be quite disorienting to figure out!
- GI system: Your plumbing (intestines) ends in the pelvic region (rectum). The rectum & pelvic floor muscles (PFM) share the nerves & the blood vessels, so gut issues (constipation, IBS, bloating) can directly affect pelvic pain.
Digestion is a tell-tale sign of gut health & paying attention to your BM is the best way to check if it’s working well.
- Urinary system: bladder CAN’T function without PFM. It’s like the constant chatter of two best friends (via pelvic/pudendal nerves). Ensuring that your bladder stays happy & healthy is one way to calm the pelvic pain.
Be sure to:
+ Hydrate well
+ Try to stay away from known bladder irritants (caffeine, alcohol, acidic foods)
+ Use the toilet every 2-4 hours (recommended)
+ Holding the urine either too long or urinating too frequently isn’t considered healthy bladder behavior.
- Reproductive system: Sex Hormones run the show here & control lubrication, PFM strength etc.
+ Long-term use of certain birth control pills can affect the hormonal balance (research), making some people prone to pelvic pain.
+ Decline in the estrogen levels during early postpartum & menopause is also responsible for pelvic pain.
- Nervous system: The brain is the top boss, so even a minor stressor can trigger existing pelvic pain during flight & fight state.
Be sure to:
+ Identify your stressors
+ Find activities that help calm the nervous system
+ Journaling/meditation, sleep, breathing & regular exercises are good examples.
- Musculoskeletal system: PF is a part of the core & shares muscles & ligaments with the hips, spine & abdomen.
+ Weakness or injury in these areas can affect the pelvic region too.
+ Keeping the neighbors strong & healthy also helps reduce the strain on the pelvic region.
I understand that the thought of making so many changes could be intimidating, but trust me once you start seeing the health benefits, this wouldn’t feel like drudgery!