by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
The hourglass shape of a woman’s body allows the pelvis to provide primary support for everything above it. The pelvis is the foundation upon which much of the body’s structure rests, and just as with any other kind of structure, it’s important that this foundation be solid — after all, the rest of the body depends on it.
One critical area of the pelvic “foundation” in women is a set of interwoven muscles called the pelvic floor. These muscles cradle our lower internal organs, much like a hammock holds a person, while encompassing three important passageways: the urethra, vagina, and rectum. When the floor of the female pelvis is compromised, it’s easy to see how many things can go wrong — from painful intercourse to incontinence and urinary tract infections. I know it’s easy to take our pelvic and urinary health for granted, but when pelvic health becomes an issue, it can have a tremendous impact on our lives and our overall health.
I’ve seen so many women at the clinic — young and old, with children and without — devastated and embarrassed about urinary incontinence. It affects more women than you may realize. Chronic infections, surgery, childbirth, accidents and many other things can cause changes in the urethra and the bladder that result in urinary and even bowel incontinence. But rest assured, there are solutions. Pelvic floor exercises, pelvic physical therapy (PPT), acupuncture, and good nutrition are just some options we’ve found helpful for bladder and bowel control in women.
Another major area of concern for our patients is urinary tract infections. Whether you can’t seem to get rid of them or you want to focus on preventing UTI’s, we’ve had years of experience. And the answer does not always include antibiotics. There are so many ways to boost your immune system and prevent recurrent infections from both yeast and bacteria without resorting to prescription medication. You may be wondering, is cranberry really the answer? What about vitamin C? Find the answers you’re looking for. And take good care of your foundation!