Pelvic floor problems come in different ways with different symptoms and causes. Some people have a pelvic floor that has totally given up and isn't showing up to the party, or others have uber tight pelvic floor and the thing is BOTH can be WEAK! Both can cause leaks. Both can cause prolapse. BUT also, we can work on both to get things in working order again AND breathing is a great way to start!
If we think of our core as a canister you have the muscles in the front, sides, and back with the pelvic floor as the base and the diaphragm as the lid. This all has to work together. Breathing and pelvic floor function are intimately related.
When you inhale your diaphragm should go down to create pressure to draw air into your lungs. Your pelvic floor also goes down. On the exhale they both should rise from the bottom up. So the exhale initiates as low as the pelvic floor and the diaphragm pushes up.
When you sneeze and exhale there is an incredible amount of intra-abdominal pressure and as your diaphragm lifts that pressure is going to go south unless your pelvic floor also lifts.
Squeeze before you sneeze!
Practise some deep breathes with the pelvic floor lift on exhale, it’ll make sense when doing exercise, lifting or coughing. Lift on exertion as you exhale and don’t hold your breathe!