Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, and I thought what better way to pay honor this day than to 1. take a mental health day (check), and 2. talk about how mental and pelvic floor health are close cousins. Truth be told, your pelvic floor says A LOT about your mental health. What could your pelvic floor be trying to tell you?
In my practice I deal a lot with painful sex, bowel dysfunctions (constipation, IBS, diarrhea, etc), bladder dysfunction (urinary urgency, urinary frequency, etc), and pelvic pain - and 99.99% of the time my clients dealing with these issues have tense pelvic floors AND are dealing with stress, anxiety, and/or past trauma.
Let's say you're a 20-something year old professional with a stressful job. You pee all the time to the point where your friends make it a joke. You think it's normal because it's been going on for years, but you can't even sit through a movie, let alone a meeting without having to pee. Chances are, your stress is presenting physically as pelvic floor tension and making it hard for you to pee at a normal frequency (every 2-4 hours with normal liquid intake).
Or maybe, you have painful sex. You have a loving and supportive partner, but haven't dealt with trauma from a previous relationship. It's highly likely that your body hasn't released that trauma and is storing it in your pelvic floor in the form of high muscle tension.
Maybe there isn't a trauma history, but you're dealing with struggles in your relationship. You feel fine normally, but when it's time for sex you tense up and penetration is not only lacking pleasure, but is now painful. It's your pelvic floor reacting to the emotional and mental stress of your relationship.
These are real scenarios from my clients that have benefited from not only from learning to release their pelvic floor tension but also from managing their mental health. I can teach you to release the tension, but if the cause of the tension is not well-managed, you won't get far in your wellness journey. You need BOTH for optimal pelvic health. I encourage you to seek out a therapist, practice self care, set boundaries, and do what YOU need to improve your mental health. Your pelvis will thank you.