This is the best place to start!
Understanding our bodies, helps us give them the respect and admiration they deserve! Sometimes when some parts seem not to work as well as they used to, we become frustrated! Knowing what’s happening, where it’s happening, and why it’s happening all help to start improving things!
So let’s get started!
What is your Pelvic Floor and why is it important?
Your pelvic floor is the muscular base of your pelvis. This muscle layer supports the pelvic organs, and stretches like a muscular trampoline from the tailbone (coccyx) to the pubic bone, and from one sitting bone (ischium) to the other. The bladder, bowel and uterus (in women) lie on this muscle layer. There are openings in the pelvic floor that allow for the passages to pass through. Extra circular muscles wrap around these holes which are under voluntary control to keep closed! These are known as the urethral and anal sphincters.
When the pelvic floor is weak we lose the ability to keep these sphincters closed during physical exertion.
The main organs that form part of the urinary system are:
The Kidneys: They remove waste and excess fluid from your body. They are also very important in the regulation of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content. The kidneys release hormones that regulate blood pressure, and produce the active form of vitamin D. And of course they make urine!
The Ureters: These are hollow tubes that attach from the kidneys to the bladder, and they transport urine.
The Bladder: This is a muscular organ that stores urine. The bladder allows urination to be infrequent and controlled. When empty, it is about the size of a pear, but expands to hold roughly 400-600ml.
The Urethra: This is the hollow tube, that transports urine from the bladder to the outside world!
The Sphincters: There is an internal and an external urethral sphincter. When they contract, the urethra closes which stops or slows the flow of urine. The internal sphincter controls the flow from the bladder to the urethras, and is involuntary (i.e we can’t control it). The external urethral sphincter controls the flow from the urethra to the outside of the body, and is under voluntary control (ie. we can control it).