The pelvic floor is the floor of the pelvic cavity in humans, which consists of connective tissue and muscles. Among other things, the pelvic floor is formed by the so-called "musculus levator ani" (lifter of the anus).
In four-legged mammals, the term pelvic floor refers to the area of the ventral surface formed between the pubic bone and the ischial bone in the bony pelvis due to the posture and position of the pelvis.
In humans, the rear end of the pelvic cavity is referred to as the so-called retroperitoneal part of the pelvic cavity.
The pelvic floor is divided into three parts: the pelvic diaphragm, the urogenital diaphragm, and the sphincter and erectile tissue layers.
The diaphragm pelvis is the posterior part of the pelvic floor, urogenital diaphragm is the anterior part of the pelvic floor. These are muscle plates, the mechanical center of the pelvic floor is the center tendineum, which is a sinewy connection.
The diaphragm pelvis forms the inner muscle layer of the pelvic floor, which serve to close or lift the anus. The urogenital diaphragm is a 1 cm thick plate consisting of muscles and connective tissue that lies between the lower branches of the pubic bone (pubis) and the ischial tuberosity.
The three main functions of the pelvic floor are tension, relaxation, and reflexive response (tension as a potential response to an increase in pressure in the abdomen).
For both women and men, harnessing the security of continence serves as a means of tension. The musculature of the pelvic floor supports the lower part of the urethra and the sphincter muscles of the bladder and anus. The relaxation of the pelvic floor is, inter alia, during bowel movements, urination and both the man and the woman during sexual intercourse.
During orgasm, the pulsation of the pelvic floor causes a change between tension and relaxation. Reflective countermeasures through the pelvic floor usually occur during sneezing and coughing, laughing, jumping and carrying heavy loads. If the reflexive counterpoint is not possible, then it usually comes to the loss of urine.
Irrespective of gender, the pelvic floor is usually weakened by being overweight, by chronic overworking, poor posture, small pelvic surgery, or even some medications.
The musculature of the pelvic floor is also weakened in the woman by pregnancy and childbirth. As a rule, there is then a lack of control of the excretory organs, in the worst case even to bladder reduction, vaginal prolapse or uterine prolapse. However, these weaknesses can be remedied by a corresponding regression training. There are special exercises that help to develop and control the pelvic floor muscles of women and also help women control their orgasm better.
Women who reflexively or permanently tense the musculature of their pelvic floor or the vagina, have a so-called vaginal spasm or vaginismus. These women, it is usually not possible during a gynecological examination or even during intercourse, the corresponding muscles to relax so that a pain-free penetration of speculum or penis is possible.
In the case of a so-called hernia (intestinal rupture, in which intestines escape from the abdominal cavity through a congenital or acquired gap) in the area of the pelvic floor with a possible protuberance perineum (dam), the medical area is a perineal hernia. This disease is rare in humans, but often in male domestic dogs that have not been castrated before.
In perineal hernia, there is usually a rupture between the sphincter ani externus muscle (exit opening of the intestine) and the levator ani muscle (heel of the anus) or between the levator ani muscle and the coccygeus muscle (coccyx muscle).
Preventing damage to the muscles of the pelvic floor should be paid to a healthy body weight. In addition, it makes sense to aim for a good posture and to avoid a physically heavy burden. After pregnancy and childbirth, women should absolutely take part in a course for postnatal gymnastics in order to avoid later consequences as far as possible.