Weak Pelvic Floor Symptoms in Men: Everything You Should Know
Have you ever gone to the bathroom and suddenly felt like you couldn't quite control your urinary stream? Do you sometimes experience sudden urges to go to the bathroom? These could be signs that your pelvic floor muscles are weak. In men, weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to a range of symptoms, from mild to severe. It’s important to know what weak pelvic floor symptoms are and how to treat them.
The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles and ligaments that support the organs in the lower abdomen and act as a hammock to hold them in place. Weak pelvic floor muscles can cause a range of uncomfortable and sometimes worrisome symptoms in men, such as urinary and fecal incontinence, difficulty starting or holding your urine, and even erectile dysfunction. It’s important to understand what weak pelvic floor muscles are, how to treat them, and when to talk to a doctor.
So if you've been experiencing any of these symptoms, keep reading to learn more about weak pelvic floor muscles in men and how to strengthen them, as well as when it’s important to talk to a doctor.
What is Your Pelvic Floor?
Your pelvic floor is an essential part of your body, and it plays a vital role in your overall health and wellness. Dysfunction of the pelvic floor can lead to a variety of issues ranging from pain during intercourse to incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Fortunately, you can take steps to improve your pelvic floor health and performance. This includes exercises, physical therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes. When properly managed, you can restore function to your pelvic floor and improve your overall quality of life.
The group of muscles and connective tissue that make up your pelvic floor are important for a variety of reasons. They help you control the muscles responsible for bladder and bowel control, and they also provide support to the uterus, bladder, and rectum. Additionally, they help to maintain the correct alignment of the spine, which is essential for good posture. The pelvic floor also plays an important role in sexual performance, as it is responsible for providing stability and control during intercourse in regards to orgasm and maintaining adequate arousal.
What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
This is a simple question with a complex answer. There is a range of conditions that are all loosely grouped under the umbrella term of pelvic floor dysfunction. In general terms, it is a term used to describe any condition related to the muscles and connective tissue of the pelvic floor that causes pain or discomfort. These conditions can range from minor to severe and may be caused by anything from trauma to surgery to pregnancy.
Common examples include pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and overactive bladder. These conditions can cause pain, difficulty with urination, and difficulty having an orgasm.
For men, prostate issues such as an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer can affect the pelvic floor, leading to pain and difficulty with urination. It is important to speak with a doctor about any symptoms or discomfort you may be experiencing. Depending on the cause and severity of the problem, physical therapy, medications, lifestyle changes, and even surgery can be used to help treat pelvic floor dysfunction. There are also a variety of exercises that can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and improve their function.
What Happens When Your Pelvic Floor Muscles Weaken?
It is important to keep your pelvic floor muscles strong as they play an important role in your overall health and well-being. When your pelvic floor muscles are weak, this can lead to a variety of issues such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and other conditions. Weak pelvic floor muscles can also make it difficult to perform sexual activities and have enjoyable sex.
Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in Men
Weakness of pelvic muscles: Your pelvic muscles are responsible for controlling the flow of urine. When they become weakened, it can lead to urinary incontinence and difficulty in controlling your bowel or bladder movements. The sensation of having to strain to pass stool or urinate is also a sign of weakened pelvic muscles.
Difficulty in urination or holding urine: If you experience a sudden urgency to urinate, or you find it difficult to control your bladder, this can be a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction. You may also feel that you cannot fully empty your bladder or that you cannot hold your urine for long periods of time.
Pain in the genitals: If you experience pain in the area of your genitals, it can be a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction. This pain can be felt in the lower abdomen and groin area. It may also be accompanied by a burning sensation and an inability to relax the muscles in the pelvic floor.
Painful intercourse: Intercourse is usually more painful than usual when you have pelvic floor dysfunction. This pain can be felt in the lower abdomen and around the pelvic area. In some cases, the pain can be felt in the vagina, rectum, or even in the lower back.
Difficulty with erectile function: Function of the pelvic floor muscles can impact erectile function. Pelvic floor dysfunction can cause difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection, as well as a decreased libido.
Pain in the lower back or abdomen: Pelvic floor dysfunction can cause pain in the lower back and abdomen due to tightness in the muscles of the pelvic floor. This pain can range from an aching sensation to sharp pains.
Pressure or heaviness in the rectum: You may feel a sensation of pressure or heaviness in the rectum, as if something is pushing against your rectal area. This is a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction and may be accompanied by pain or difficulty in passing stool. It also may make it difficult to sit comfortably, in more severe cases.
Difficulty with bowel movements: Pelvic floor dysfunction can make it more difficult to have a bowel movement. This difficulty can range from having difficulty passing stool to having difficulties controlling it. You may also experience feelings of urgency and difficulty in straining to pass stool.
Difficulty in controlling stool: Difficulty in controlling the flow of stool can be a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction. This can lead to unintentional loss of stool, known as fecal incontinence. This can be highly embarrassing and difficult to deal with.
Urinary incontinence: This is a common symptom of pelvic floor dysfunction, as it can cause difficulty in controlling the flow of urine. This can range from leaking a few drops to having a sudden urge to urinate when you least expect it.
Natural Remedies for Men To Improve your Pelvic Floor
Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and can help improve bladder control and reduce the risk of urine leakage. To do a Kegel, contract your pelvic floor muscles for 10 seconds, then relax for 10 seconds. Repeat the sequence 10 times and then repeat it several times a day.
Kegels are highly effective for men and should be done regularly for best results. Best of all, you can do them anytime, anywhere!
Yoga can be beneficial for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, improving flexibility, and promoting overall health. Certain poses, such as the bridge pose and the cat/cow pose, are designed to work the pelvic floor and can be done at home.
Alternate Hot and Cold Therapy
Alternating hot and cold treatments can be helpful for reducing pelvic pain and improving overall pelvic health. You can apply a hot pack or towel to your pelvic area for 5-10 minutes, followed by a cold pack or towel for the same amount of time.
Physical therapy focuses on stretching and strengthening the muscles in the pelvic area, as well as identifying imbalances. Your physical therapist might also use massage therapy, ultrasound therapy, and electrical stimulation therapy to help improve pelvic floor strength and reduce pain.
Certain herbal supplements, such as saw palmetto, ginkgo biloba, and pumpkin seed oil, can be supportive for men's pelvic health. Speak to your doctor before taking any supplements, to make sure they're right for you.
Stretches and Exercises
Stretching and exercising your pelvic floor muscles can be helpful for strengthening them. Try pelvic floor exercises and stretches such as the bridge pose, deep squats, and pelvic tilts (an exercise in which you lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, and then tilt your pelvis upward).
When to see a Doctor
If you're experiencing pelvic pain or other symptoms, it's important to see your doctor for an evaluation. Your doctor can diagnose your condition and provide the right treatment plan to help improve your pelvic health. There are a variety of treatments available, from medications to physical therapy, and your doctor can help you find the best solution for you.
Do not wait when it comes to your health. Seeking help is the best way to ensure that you get the best treatment and have the best outcome.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.