Endo, PCOS & Your Pelvic Floor
Welcome to P.volve Unfiltered—your space for real talk, not girl talk. Throughout the month and beyond, we’ll talk all things female body: orgasms, periods, boobs, the pelvic floor and so much more. Best part is we’re doing it in the most honest, raw way so that you can get the answers to your burning questions (we can talk burning, too!) to better understand your body and your health with a team of experts on our side.
As women, there's so much to learn about our bodies—and so much potential room for error. The good news, though, is that with time and the right experts on our side, we can all learn to biohack our vaginas, our boobs and all the nooks and crannies in between.
Below, Sex and Relationship Therapist Carli Blau shares more on endo, PCOS and what it means for your pelvic floor. Then, read more about how movement can help these conditions and which pelvic floor workouts may help ease symptoms.
What is endometriosis and its connection to your pelvic floor?
“Endometriosis is a disorder that affects 1 in 10 women. When someone has endometriosis, tissue similar (but not the same) as the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus and grows in other parts of the body. Some of the more common places it is known to occur is in the abdominal cavity near reproductive organs, and in the cul-de-sac, or uterosacral ligament between the uterus and the colon. Endometriosis causes many issues due to the fact that it acts like velcro attaching to whatever it is near, and causes adhesions and inflammation.
These adhesions and inflammation are known to cause painful sexual intercourse and activity in women with endometriosis. Endo can impact your pelvic floor because if you’re in pain physically, the pelvic floor muscles will tighten due to anxiety and worry of pain, especially if penetration is painful.”
What can you do to treat it and alleviate symptoms?
“They have recently developed a medication called Orlissa created to control endometriosis symptoms. However, until Orlissa, the most common protocol has been prescribing hormonal birth control to help control the amount of estrogen produced in the body. Other than hormonal birth control or Orlissa, the only other way to alleviate symptoms is to remove the endometriosis tissue through a surgical excision procedure."
What is PCOS and its connection to your pelvic floor?
“Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown” (Mayo Clinic, 2020). PCOS is not known to directly impact a woman’s pelvic floor. However, ovarian cysts caused by PCOS may cause pelvic pain and discomfort.”
Now that you have the 411 on endo and PCOS, you can use it to your advantage in your workouts. As always, movement works its magic on mental health issues, stress and chronic pain in the body. The P.volve method was designed to deliver these things, plus length throughout the body, mindfulness and a strong mind to muscle connection. For those with endo and PCOS who are looking to start a new routine, try our 8-Day Foundation Series (for slow, no equipment movements) or any workouts using the p.ball to add resistance and increase lower-body muscle activation.
LMSW, M.Ed., M.A., Ph.D. Candidate in Clinical Sex Therapy
Carli Blau is a Licensed Sex and Relationship Therapist who specializes in women’s health including infertility, endometriosis, and PCOS. She is certified in Maternal Mental Health, received her Master’s of Social Work from Columbia University, a Master of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University, and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Clinical Sex Therapy studying infertility and sexual esteem in women trying to conceive.
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