Pelvic Floor Dysfunction 101: How to Fix Hemorrhoids, Erectile Dysfunction, and IBS

06/07/2024

What do hemorrhoids, erectile dysfunction (ED), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have in common? They’re all connected to and often affected by your pelvic floor! 


If you have hemorrhoids, you might also experience ED. If you have IBS, you may also develop hemorrhoids. We know - this is super exciting stuff. Don’t trip over yourself.


We get that pelvic floor issues can be tough, but there are solutions to pelvic floor dysfunction and we’re here to help you understand what it is and what your options are for long-term relief.

 WHAT IS PELVIC FLOOR DYSFUNCTION?

The medical community isn’t the biggest fan of this term since it’s so broad, but we’re going to use it anyway because it best encompasses what we’re writing about – which is any pelvic floor issue. 

 

Pelvic floor dysfunction is used to describe when someone has either too much or not enough tension in their pelvic floor region. Depending on which side your pelvic floor lands on, it can lead to rectal pain, vaginal pain, anal fissures, and/or hemorrhoids.


Pelvic floor dysfunction can also refer to an inability to control the muscles of your pelvic floor or any kind of pain in this area of the body and IBS may cause tightening, weakening, or loss of coordination of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.

THREE WAYS TO START HEALING PELVIC FLOOR DYSFUNCTION

HYPOPRESSIVE BREATHING 

Hypopressive breathing or “low pressure breathing” can help you reverse and alleviate the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. It’s both a science and an art and can take some practice to get the hang of it. 

SOFT TISSUE or MYOFASCIAL RELEASE

The idea behind soft tissue release is to use massage to decrease tension you’re holding in your pelvic floor. In the MoveU Pelvic Floor program, Dr. Brittney shows you how to do this step-by-step.

WHAT ARE HEMORRHOIDS?

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around your anus or the lower part of your rectum. They’re fairly common, affecting over 3 million Americans per year, and are caused by too much pressure on the anus.

 

You: “I don’t put pressure on my anus!”

Us: “Yes you do. You put pressure on your anus and pelvic floor every time you:

  • Strain when you’re pooping.
  • Sit for long periods of time on the toilet. Hello! Sh*t or get off the pot, dude! Scroll later!
  • Have chronic diarrhea or constipation.
  • Have anal intercourse.
  • Eat a low-fiber diet (which will cause you to be constipated and strain when you’re pooping. See the common thread here?)
  • Regularly lift heavy items with poor form or without managing your intra abdominal pressure.

Aging, obesity and pregnancy also increase your chances of developing hemorrhoids.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HEMORRHOIDS?

It’s pretty easy to know if you have hemorrhoids. Common symptoms are:

  • Blood (bright red) in your poop, on toilet paper, or in your toilet bowl
  • Pain, irritation, and/or itching around your anus
  • Swelling or a hard lump around your anus
  • Bulges in your anus that you can see or feel.

HOW CAN YOU FIX HEMORRHOIDS?

Healing hemorrhoids is often a multifaceted approach

  1. Eat plenty of fiber (found in fruits, veggies, and whole grains) and drink plenty of water. This magic combo helps keep the plumbing moving along and softens your stools for easy passing.
  2. If you feel the urge but can’t produce a bowel movement when sitting on the toilet, don’t strain! Get up and drink a glass of water and move your body. Go for a walk. This can often be enough to get your bowels moving.
  3. Don’t scroll on Instagram on the toilet. Don’t call your mom on the john, and please don’t get lost on YouTube for an hour. Take your poop and move on with your life - your anus will thank you.
  4. If you’re straining when lifting weights, for the love of God learn how to manage your intra abdominal pressure and make sure your form is on point!
  5. Take a 20 minute sitz bath 2 to 3 times a day. A sitz (from the German word, "sitzen," meaning "to sit") bath is just for the butt and hips. It can relieve itching, irritation, and spasms of the sphincter muscle. Be gentle and pat the anal area dry afterward; don’t rub or wipe hard - you’re not a car! You can also use a hair dryer to dry the area.

WHAT IS ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?

ED is when a man cannot get or keep up an erection. It can be due to a wide range of factors including pelvic floor dysfunction and psychological issues. It’s estimated that half of all men in the US will experience it at some point in their lifetime.

HOW DO YOU GET RID OF ED?

To fix ED, you need to get to the root cause of the issue. While taking pills is technically an option, it doesn’t address what’s going on in your body (and possibly your mind and emotions). If the cause is due to a weak pelvic floor and/core, try the pelvic floor strengthening techniques and massage which we cover in the MoveU membership for long-term results.

WHAT IS IBS?

IBS is a group of symptoms that affect your digestive tract that overlap with pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms such as:

  • Constipation (which is why it can lead to hemorrhoids).
  • Diarrhea.
  • Chronic pelvic pain.
  • Difficulty emptying your bowels completely.
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain.

HOW DO YOU RESOLVE IBS?

IBS can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction (or make previously existent dysfunction worse). Learning how to breathe and both relax and strengthen your pelvic floor can improve your relationship with your entire digestive system - because everything in your body is connected. 

 

We’re all about helping people fix their sh*t and recommend keeping a food diary to keep track of what you’re eating and how it affects your body. If you need additional support, find a certified nutritionist that can order lab tests and help you improve your gut health.

If you’re one of the many people suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction, sign up for MoveU Membership. We recommend starting with our Back & Core program to build a strong foundation, combining it with our Pelvic Floor program for the maximum benefit.

 

You can follow up with the Pelvic Floor program or the Hips & Glutes program as both areas directly impact the other. Experience the power of a pain-free life, one program at a time. Join today!



 

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