Maybe I'm a dork, but I like to figure out how things work. With the extra knowledge, somehow my world makes a bit more sense and I feel a little more in control. I'm thinking of this a lot right now as my body prepares for childbirth. In the last few days I've been experiencing a lot of pain as my baby moves further down into my pelvis, and I've been worrying about whether this pain is normal, and what it means. Then I finally got an answer that helped me make sense of things: because the baby's head isn't all the way in the correct place yet, it's pressing on my ligaments, muscles, and nerves, causing a great deal of pain. This knowledge allowed me to relax, do some stretches to open up my pelvis, and focus my energy on encouraging my baby to move downward into the correct position. Sure enough, I'm starting to feel better.
While understanding how the pelvic floor works (or is supposed to work) may not be the key to all your incontinence problems, it may help you to make more sense of things and encourage you to continue or stick with a treatment plan. Here are a few of my favorite online resources to get you started learning about your pelvic floor:
This video defines what incontinence is, and slightly over a minute into the video is a very good graphic depicting the bladder and how it works. Continue watching if you'd like to hear a brief overview of the most common types of incontinence.
This video goes into far more detail than the average person needs or wants to know, and yet it leaves out some important components of incontinence, such as the sphincter muscles. However, it may provide you with some helpful insight.
This web page is put out by a branch of the National Institutes of Health. It includes a labeled drawing of the urinary system, and well as a written explanation of how the urinary system functions.
Bowel or Fecal System
This video explains the basics of the digestive system, as well as how the anal sphincters contribute to fecal incontinence.
Published On: September 29, 2008