Because there are different types of Pelvic floor dysfunctions (PFD), symptoms of different PFDs can vary or overlap.

This can make it hard to diagnose exactly what type of dysfunction you have without seeing a Pelvic floor PT for an internal exam. 

In fact, initially you may have no obvious symptoms at all or symptoms such as hip pain may be diagnosed as something else initially.

Below I have gone through some Pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms.

But if you are still unsure if you have PFD then you can take this quiz here >>> You will be sent information and specific exercises that will help you based on your answers.

 

There are two main types of Pelvic floor dysfunctions:

 

  1. An Overactive or Hypertonic Pelvic floor (tight)
  2. An Underactive or Hypotonic Pelvic floor (loose/stretched)

Common symptoms of an over tight (Hypertonic) Pelvic floor:

Hypertonic Pelvic floor muscles are muscles that are too tight (note tight does not mean strong), often you can’t feel a contraction of the Pelvic floor because it is already in a tightened state. So you need to learn to relax it first before it can contract.

  • Urinary frequency, urgency, hesitancy, stopping and starting of the urine stream, painful urination, or incomplete emptying
  • Urinary leaking when sneezing, jumping, coughing
  • Constipation, straining, pain during or after bowel movements 
  • Unexplained pain in your low back, pelvic region, hips, genital area, or rectum 
  • Pain during or after intercourse, orgasm, or sexual stimulation (generally deep pain not just with penetration) 
  • Uncoordinated muscle contractions causing the Pelvic floor muscles to spasm

NOTE: With a tight Pelvic floor there is also a possibility of prolapse occurring

Common symptoms of a Pelvic floor with decreased tone (Hypotonic)

Hypotonic Pelvic floor muscles are muscles that are too weak. When a woman (or man) has weak Pelvic floor muscles, it means that the muscles are not providing enough support for the bowels, bladder, and/or uterus.

  • Urinary and/or faecal incontinence, leaking when sneezing, jumping, coughing
  • Tampons falling out 
  • Sex not “feeling” the same as before 
  • SI Joint or Hip Pain 
  • A feeling of heaviness or in more extreme cases Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)

NOTE: Leaking can happen both with a tight Pelvic floor OR a Pelvic floor with decreased tone.

What Now?

If you have any of the above symptoms I recommend booking an appointment with a Pelvic floor PT (sometimes known as a Women’s Health Specialist).

NOTE doing Kegels in isolation is very rarely the answer to PFD, if you can’t get to a Pelvic floor PT you can check out my Pelvic floor Freedom program here >>>