How to strengthen your perineum? And why ?
The perineum, a word so often pronounced during pregnancy, in anticipation of childbirth. But do you really know what the perineum is for? And why is it important to strengthen the perineum when you are a woman but also a man? Come on, come, we explain more about why take care of your perineum on a daily basis.
What is the perineum?
The perineum is a set of muscles that forms the "floor of the small pelvis" between the anus and the genitals. It is present in all human beings, regardless of gender. It is also called the pelvic floor , and it supports in particular:
- the bladder ,
- the uterus (in people with vulva)
- maintaining erection and ejaculation in people with penises
- and the rectum .
Like all muscles, it works, it can relax and relax. It's normal and there's nothing to be ashamed of, perineal bodybuilding can be worked on at any age of life.
What is the perineum used for?
The perineum is essential to ensure the proper functioning of the sphincters, it prevents urinary and faecal leakage, ensures the proper maintenance of the organs and plays an important role in sexual pleasure... yes, just that!
More concretely, the main role of the perineum is to support the internal organs of the pelvis, such as the bladder, the uterus and the rectum. Moreover, it is also responsible for maintaining urinary and fecal continence.
The perineum also plays an important role in sexuality in both women and men. In women, strengthening exercises can improve the health of the perineum, which is crucial for preventing incontinence and prolapse.
In men, strengthening the perineum can help prevent erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
To strengthen his perineum?
Urinary and bowel incontinence
- In the case of urinary incontinence , the contracted perineum helps keep the urethra closed and keep urine inside the bladder. When the perineum is not muscular enough, this can induce leaks, because it is when the perineum relaxes that it lets the urine contained in the bladder pass.
- With regard to faecal or anal incontinence : just as for urinary continence, the perineum lets stool or gas pass when it is released and retains it when it is contracted. In the opposite case, when the perineum finds it difficult to relax, this can create constipation.
The perineum forms a “hammock” of muscles that support the organs . When this is overly distended, this can lead to what is called a prolapse: a descent of the organ from the small pelvis through the perineal region.
Disorders of sexual pleasure
A distended or too relaxed perineum can cause lack of sensations during sexual intercourse.
The perineum also plays a key role in vaginal and/or anal dyspareunia . Its involuntary contraction will cause spasms and close the entrance to the vagina which will cause pain.
In the case of anodyspareunia, it can also be caused by a contraction of the anal sphincter or the pelvic floor. To learn more about vulvar pain, see our article on the subject.
Why is the perineum essential to experience pleasure?
In women and people with a vulva, the muscles of the perineal region attach to the hood of the clitoris. This plays an essential role in excitement, pleasure and orgasm, we explain everything about the functioning of the vulva, clitoris and vagina .
In particular, the bulbospongiosus and ischiospongiosus muscles are distinguished in the diagram below. The perineum allows:
- Improve sensations in the vagina and around the vulva
- To participate in the erection of the clitoris
- Stimulate and enhance orgasm
In men and people with penises: contracting the perineum (ischio-cavernous and bulbous-spongy) produces an increase in intra-cavernous pressure causing an erection. The rhythmic contraction of the bulbospongiosus muscle propels semen through the urethra during ejaculation.
And as a reminder, this is what the clitoris looks like ;)
Illustration from the Guide to intimate well-being produced by Gapianne in collaboration with Mia.co.
The perineum can be harmed
- If you practice sport at a high level (see above)
- If you are pregnant, during childbirth, or if your perineum is already very weak or in a situation of prolapse (descending of organs).
- If you suffer from obesity, neurological pathologies (stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, etc.)
- If you consume too much tobacco and alcohol
- When you get older, it is normal for the muscles to distend, so you can resume rehabilitation sessions if you encounter any problems.
In any case, various treatments exist such as surgery or medication, however the rehabilitation of the perineum and the regular exercises of your perineum make it possible to avoid these more “drastic” operations.
What to do in case of pelvic floor disorders?
Perform a perineal assessment with a health professional
If you suffer from the perineal disorders mentioned above, start by having an assessment with your physiotherapist or your specialist midwife. A “good” complete assessment by a specialist includes:
1. An observation of your body:
- Abdominal contraction (diastasis or transverse contraction)
- From your diaphragm and the way you breathe (abdominal breathing, etc.)
- Of your posture
- Observation of your perineum (testing often carried out using a perineal probe or by the professional herself)
2. An assessment of your lifestyle
How to strengthen your perineum?
The Kegel method
With a professional, you can undertake perineal rehabilitation and thanks to a series of small exercises and awareness, the Kegel method is very often used. If you are curious, we have explained some exercises to you in our article Kegel practice in 6 lessons .
We recommend that you always start by seeking the advice of a health professional in order to have exercises to strengthen your perineum that are adapted and personalized to your situation.
Perineal beads / geisha balls / Kegel balls
To start, you might be wondering what are the differences between perineal beads, love balls and Kegel balls?
The answer is virtually none! Geisha balls were worn at the Chinese royal court, the king's mistresses used them to strengthen the tone of their vagina. We owe their name thanks to the use made of them by Japanese geishas. First exclusively dedicated to pleasure, it was then observed that their use contributes to the strengthening of the pelvic region and the vaginal muscles, they were derived with the aim of strengthening the musculation of the pelvic floor.
How to put perineal beads?
- Insert them into your vagina with a little lubricant to make insertion easier.
- Start with the lightest weights, and try to hold them so they don't fall.
- Keep the 15 min a day gradually increasing the duration and keep it up to 30 min.
The perineal beads will activate the muscles of the perineum naturally in order to keep them inside your vagina and make you work effortlessly. If you feel pain, remove them immediately and refer to a health professional (midwife, general practitioner, gynecologist, physiotherapist).
If you are interested in using perineal beads, find our Lelo box of 6 beads to strengthen your perineum or the kit of 5 perineal beads accompanied by an exercise guide from Liebe .
Do regular perineal massages during pregnancy
Massaging your perineum during pregnancy will allow you to hydrate and tone this area to prevent tearing during childbirth. You can use an organic massage oil to gently massage or a repairing serum that will take care of your scars after childbirth in the event of an episiotomy, cesarean section.
How long to build up your perineum?
The time needed to strengthen the perineum depends on several factors such as:
- the current state of the muscles of the perineum,
- physical activity
- and regularity of training.
In general, it is recommended that you practice pelvic floor strengthening exercises on a regular basis for at least 12 weeks before you begin to see significant results. However, this may vary from person to person.
It is important to note that strengthening the perineum is an ongoing process that requires regular practice to maintain healthy muscles. It is therefore recommended to continue practicing exercises to strengthen the perineum even after having achieved the desired results, prevention is cure!
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We are 4 friends: Jen, Victoire, Anne and Marine. Like the 34 million French women, we have encountered various issues related to our intimacy. That's why we created Gapianne, a shop that offers the best organic, Made in France and non-toxic solutions for health, as well as detailed resources to support you. We met ?