How Do I Check My Pelvic Floor Muscles?
Hi friends! Have you ever checked your pelvic floor muscles? If you haven’t don’t worry—you are not alone. Many people don’t know what’s down there and have never looked. For the purpose of time, we'll focus on female anatomy.
You may recognize the textbook picture of a vulva, but when you look down, it doesn’t look quite the same. That’s okay! Vulvas and vaginas are like snowflakes—no two are the same.
So how exactly do you check yourself? All you need is a mirror and some privacy!
To check your ability to squeeze the pelvic floor muscles, first locate the anus (where poop exits the body) in your mirror. Then pretend like you are trying to stop a fart. If the pelvic floor muscles are squeezing, you should see the anus shut and pull inwards. If you see the anus soften and open, the pelvic floor muscles are not squeezing.
If you see the anus open, it may be helpful to see a pelvic floor therapist! Ask your provider for a referral to one near you or find one at www.mypfm.com/find-a-pt.
You may also want to check yourself for prolapse. Watch the video with Jeanice below to find out how.
In addition to looking at the pelvic floor muscles and checking for prolapse, take note of what the skin, labia, and tissue around the opening to the vagina look like. Checking your pelvic floor can give you better awareness down there and help you learn what’s normal for you. When you know what’s “normal” you are better equipped to discuss things with your doctor when they seem different.
Ready to learn more about your pelvic floor muscles? Here are some helpful resources:
Watch our YouTube playlist on Pelvic Floor Muscle Training
Watch Netflix for Your Pelvic Floor at Pelvic Flicks
Learn more about the pelvic floor muscles with our book: My Pelvic Floor Muscles The Basics
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Visit our Instagram page for more on pelvic health.
Find some of our favorite pelvic health items on our Amazon Store
The Disappearing Vulva: Q&A on Lichen Sclerosus in Reproductive Aged Women with Dr. Jill Krapf, MD, Med, FACOG
Pelvic PT Evaluation of the Pelvic Floor Muscles with Dr. Samantha Richter, PT, DPT, WCS
Written by Emily Reul, PT, DPT