Overactive Pelvic Floors and Treatment


Pelvic pain is a common condition that affects 1 in 5 women and 1 in 12 men. Pelvic floor dysfunction can lead to pelvic pain and, if left untreated, poor pelvic health. Overactive pelvic floor muscles (PFM over activity) is a condition defined by increased pelvic tension during times of rest.

People with pelvic floor muscle overactivity can classify their condition by the presence of increased voluntary or unconscious contractile. Similarly, a decreased ability to fully relax the pelvic floor muscles can be a symptom of PFM over activity.

Causes of Overactive Pelvic Floors

The causes of PFM overactivity are vast and can overlap. The list of contributing factors to PFM overactivity includes, but is not limited to:

  • Trauma
  • Injury
  • Infection or inflammation
  • Pelvic surgery
  • Chronic holding patterns
  • Hyper mobility
  • Stress tension
  • Bladder or bowel dysfunction

Pelvic Floor Disorder Symptoms

Possible symptoms, again, include, but are not limited to the following.

In men:

  • Not being able to feel a FPM contraction or release.
  • Frequent pain experienced in the penis, testicles or rectum.
  • Urinary urgency or irregular frequency.
  • Slower urinary flow or the feeling of incompletion consecutive to emptying.
  • Premature ejaculation.
  • Frequent ‘skinny’ bowel movements.

In women:

  • Not being able to feel a PFM contraction or release.
  • Pelvic pain that include urethral, vaginal, rectal, lower abdominal pain.
  • Urinary urgency or irregular frequency.
  • Slower urinary flow or the feeling of incompletion consecutive to emptying.
  • Pain in the pelvic organs during sexual intercourse, either with initial or deep penetration.
  • Leakage from the bladder or rectum in some cases.
  • Frequent ‘skinny’ bowel movements.

Treating Pelvic Floor Muscles

There are several common treatment options available for overactive pelvic floor muscles. Most importantly, the outcome of any therapy is to teach the PFMs to relax fully first. Then training the ability to gain full range and strengthen all the muscle fibres is required. The nature of the condition means squeezing and tightening the PFMs too soon could make things tighter.

To help your pelvic floor muscles relax fully, a physical therapist or gynaecologist will assist you in performing breathing exercises. This will start with the diaphragm and include other relaxation techniques. An ultrasound may take place to examine the internal pelvic floor muscles.

Minimally invasive manual therapy techniques may also be used to examine the vaginal and/or rectal openings. Use of a therawand may sometimes supplement this. Mindfulness and yoga may be recommended according to the gynaecologist’s diagnosis, as well as Kegel exercises, stretches and gluteal workouts.

If you think you have an overactive pelvic floor muscle, book an appointment with Dr Nicole Stamatopoulos today. Dr Nicole will run a quick diagnosis and then provide recommendations as to a solution. Dr Nicole Stamatopoulos has been practicing for over a decade now and is a medically reviewed expert in women’s health and the gynaecological field. Call today for a friendly catch-up with the reception team and come in for a scheduled appointment.