What is the perineum? A muscle, a bone? And what is this for ? Essential actor of the maintenance of the urinary continence but also of a sexuality bloomed, this part of our anatomy is still very badly known!
Where is the perineum?
- A little wider than the palm of the hand and shaped like a diamond, the perineum refers to all the muscles that line and close the bottom of the pelvis. This tens of muscles superimposed in different directions are attached by ligaments to the pelvis, pubis, sacrum, coccyx and ischia (the sharp bones on which you sit). In women, the perineum is crossed by the urinary meatus, the vulva and the anus, themselves surrounded by muscles in rings: the sphincters.
What is his role ?
The perineum, also called pelvic floor, is a part of the anatomy in women and men. It consists in particular of different muscles whose tonicity plays a fundamental role in:
- Its attachments to the pelvis and coccyx balance the spine.
- Its muscles, located vertically to the organs (bladder, rectum, uterus) offer a hammock at the bottom of the basin. The more this "hammock" is solid, the better the organs are maintained.
- Its sphincter muscles (around the bladder and rectum), while contracting, allow the retention of gases, stools and urine.
- All his muscles contract and relax spontaneously during the act of love, ensuring internal mobility, a source of pleasure for both partners.
He is often abused, including during pregnancy
- Over the years, the perineum undergoes various tests that can weaken it: heavy loads, aging, sports activities ... not to mention pregnancy! During this period, the pressure exerted by the increase in the volume of the uterus, plus the weight of the future baby and amniotic fluid, undermines the perineum.
- The perineum needs to be in good shape to withstand the extra pressure it puts on your baby's weight. On the other hand, this muscle is the last obstacle that your child will have to cross at the time of birth. Although the perineum may be very extensible, it undergoes tremendous tension during childbirth: downward pressure throughout the duration of the work, stretching more or less violent during the pushing and expulsion phases. It is therefore essential to prepare it to avoid the risk of slackening, but also to facilitate childbirth.
Learn to protect him
- Like all other muscles, the muscles of the perineum must maintain. Otherwise beware of the consequences! If the perineum weakens, this whole area is weakened and without maintenance. This can cause long-term urinary incontinence but also prolapse, descent of the genitals.
- This is why we should start from childhood to protect his perineum, avoiding some bad habits like urinating, carrying heavy loads in bad posture ...
How to help it be both flexible and tonic?
- Formerly taught to expectant mothers, the so-called "pee stop" technique has long since been abandoned because it only teaches how to lock the perineum. But it is important that the movement is made in both directions: contraction (closing movement, going up and down) and then relaxation (movement down, out and in front).
- Lying on your back, knees bent and feet apart, become aware of your genital area. Inhale gently for 5 seconds while contracting your perineum slightly, without forcing and without contracting the buttocks or belly. On exhalation, relax your body as much as possible and use this relaxation to help relax your perineum (without pushing), by visualizing the best possible opening of your sphincters. Keep your expiration about ten seconds
Find video exercises to work the perineum.