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  • TJ Janicky

What is a Male Pelvic Floor?

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and connective tissue at the base of the pelvis that acts as a supportive sling. It extends from the pubic bone to the tailbone and supports the bladder, intestines, and reproductive organs. Though many men suffer from dysfunction of their pelvic floor muscles, disorders are more commonly diagnosed in women—leading to a lack of information for men seeking help. We’re dedicated to changing that.

The pelvic floor works closely with other muscles of the core including your abdominals, lower back muscles, and diaphragm. It’s also innervated by the nerves exiting the lowest part of your spine, called the sacrum. Control of the pelvic floor and the organs which pass through it result in normal bodily processes such as urination, bowel movements, and sex. When functioning properly, these muscles are strong enough to prevent pee and poop from leaking, and aid with sexual function.

Pelvic floor disorders are commonly undertreated because many people dread discussing these problems with a healthcare professional. Our physical therapists have seen it all—and there is a large chance they can successfully treat you.

What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in Males?

You may experience symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction if the muscles are stretched out, too weak, or too tight—making it hard to tighten and relax them. Issues most commonly arise while going to the bathroom or having sex, but there is an array of symptoms that you may be experiencing. Keep reading to learn common causes and symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction.

Causes of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in Men

Pelvic floor dysfunction has various causes that differ between men and women. Common causes for men include:

  • Overuse of pelvic muscles

  • Getting older

  • Being overweight

  • Hereditary

  • Heavy lifting

  • Surgery

  • Chronic constipation

  • Chronic coughing

  • Previous infections

  • Uncontrolled stress and anxiety

  • Physical trauma

Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Disorders of the pelvic floor can present in many ways. A man may experience:

  • Urinary issues (frequent urges to urinate, pain with urination, inability to empty the bladder fully)

  • Fecal incontinence (constipation or strain during bowel movements)

  • Genital pain

  • Anal pain or/pressure

  • Bladder pain

  • Lower back, abdominal and leg pain

  • Pain or muscle spasms in the pelvic region

Pelvic floor dysfunction in men may coexist with other issues such as: urinary dysfunction, erectile dysfunction, and prostatitis.

What is Pelvic Floor Treatment?

The good news is that just like any muscle in the body, the pelvic floor can be trained to function appropriately. You may have seen Kegel exercises on the internet to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, however that might not be exactly what you need. There is much more beyond Kegels that a physical therapist will guide you through in your individualized plan. Finding exercises online is a lot like having a bunch of cooking ingredients, but not knowing how to put them together to make an awesome dish (or a successful recovery plan).

You can expect your PT to assess both your core and pelvic floor muscles while leading you through various activities. Next, they will give you exercises that help your muscles get stronger and relax when necessary. The nature of the exercises will differ depending on each patient's diagnosis. Treatment results in the elimination of pain and return of normal bodily functions. Learn more about what to expect during an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist.

Interested in Learning More About Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?

We’re here to talk. Reach out to us by filling out this form.

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