Constipation: The Pelvic Floor and Vaginal VillainJan 20, 2020
Guest Post By: Dr. Marisol Teijeiro
Think back to a time where you’re hanging with your girls and the crowned joker of your crew (no, not the Batman villain) but the one that always has something funny to say, gets you to burst out laughing so hard it sounds like your howling, and then suddenly you blurt out…
“OMG, I’m gonna pee my pants!!”
Only it ain’t a joke. The joke is actually on you, literally. You can tell from the moistness you feel in your undies, this is the time that the pantyliners in your bathroom would have come in handy.
Dang. You peed yourself! Not very queenly of you.
Why does this happen?
The vagina and pelvic floor have numerous villains that conspire against their ideal function. They cause it to lose its tone and mess up the function of everything around it, namely your bladder and your bowels. Lucky for you, it was only pee!!!! How do we move from feeling like a victim of our own function to honouring our victorious vaginas and powerful pelvic floors?
First off, we have to understand what is going on down there.
For many women, these kinds of experiences only start to happen after having babies, where you basically had a watermelon in your insides to displace all of your organs. Then when you pushed the watermelon outside of your body through a hole the size of a lemon, well it makes sense that things got kinda messy.
Non-Pregnancy Related Weakening
If you haven’t had babies, like me, and you’re still experiencing these types of issues… what gives?
For me, I’ve been having troubles with incontinence since I was a child, and FYI, this may be happening with yourself right now or your children too, babies or not (think problems with wetting the bed or OCD about having to go to the bathroom at night).
The reason I was having these issues was that I WAS CONSTIPATED!!!
You see, there are multiple villains when it comes to vaginal and pelvic floor health. My villain is constipation, which I know is the cause or maybe a contributing factor to your struggles with keeping everything in the compartment it ‘ought to stay in.
Because guess what? Constipation is a full out epidemic. Mainly because the information out there about what constipation is, isn’t clear.
What Is Constipation?
Thankfully, these days everyone is talking about their poop, with poop emojis everywhere you turn.
But when I was a child, it was more hush-hush, and I was seriously constipated and didn’t know it. I would go to the bathroom every 3-7 days. But hey, it was normal, for my household at least. My mother was the same.
Even now, many of you will go to your doctor and be told that if you go every three days that is fine. But this is not fine my friends. Normal stools, as Mother Nature intended, means going to the bathroom every single day. Think about your dog, it eats, sleeps, and poops EVERY single day, we should be too.
The longer your waste products stay in your body, the more pressure that is built up in your intra-abdominal cavity. When you’re constipated your theme song is basically the famous Queen song… *Under pressure*…
More pressure equals more likelihood for you to burst at the seams if you get what I’m saying. Yup, leakage from all different places! And for your body, it is often the path of least resistance, which means your pee. Beyond incontinence, over time this pressure also leads to worsening situations like prolapse.
Constipation Ripple Effect
The constipation I was experiencing, which I thought was normal, was causing all of these side effects in different systems. It was expressed mainly at night, with me feeling like I had to pee yet I didn’t, and the reason was that the poop sitting in my intestine was exhorting pressure on my vaginal wall and also my bladder, making me feel like I had to go to the bathroom when I didn’t.
You see, our bodies are an ecosystem, and everything is interconnected. When one function goes haywire, it will cause issues in other areas too.
Constipation also makes your body anxious as it causes you to build up a significant amount of toxicity, which irritates and creates stress on your system.
The Mess Of Stress
When you’re in a stressed state, it further aggravates constipation because let’s face it, your sphincters (the gateway for your poo to come out; controlled by the autonomic nervous system) are tense under stress and they simply can’t open and close efficiently. When you are calm and relaxed they can expand and contract with ease.
The bladder is also controlled by the autonomic nervous system, and in the stressed state, it can feel very irritated and anxious. So you may feel you have to pee but you don’t. Again, further aggravating the problem.
Add in some deep boisterous belly laughs, sneezes, coughs, and pounding the pavement when you run, and it’s a total recipe for disaster.
How To Reduce Constipation and Stress
Since constipation is an epidemic, what can we do to alleviate this situation and create a better, healthier environment for our vajayjays and pelvic floors to become victorious?
Let’s work at improving the function of our bowels, reducing the pressure and stress and making sure everything is happy-go-lucky.
My best tool in clinical practice, that has saved me personally on multiple occasions is the castor oil pack.
What Is a Castor Oil Pack?
Castor oil packs are a legendary ancient health practice, which serves as the foundation of health for the body. With health being rooted in the digestive system it is my go-to, first prescription with all of my patients. It involves placing a dressing over the liver with organic cotton and castor oil.
There is a saying that goes, “The doctor dresses the wound and nature heals it.”
The castor oil pack allows you to be your own best doctor, dressing the problem area and allowing you to rebuild faith in your body’s ability to heal, thus making that a reality!
Castor oil packs do 5 amazing things. They help you to:
- Poop Better - By improving smooth muscle tone and relieving constipation, thus reducing the pressure in your intra-abdominal cavity.
- Sleep Better - When the pack is placed on the body, the soft compression helps to move it from the sympathetic state into the parasympathetic, relaxed state. It’s the perfect way to wind down in the evening and drift into Dreamland. For extra sleep support, dab castor oil around the eyes for beauty benefits, then cover with an eye mask. Wearing an eye mask to bed has been shown to improve melatonin levels, helping you get a deeper, more restful sleep.
- Cleanse Better - Castor oil packs support antioxidants like polyphenols, nitric oxide and glutathione, keeping your body cleaner, therefore less stressed.
- Bloat Less - The packs reduce core inflammation, leading to less bloating and reduction of intra-abdominal pressure.
- Stress Less - As soon as it’s placed on your body, the castor oil pack stimulates oxytocin and dopamine; two feel-good hormones that reduce our stress hormone (cortisol) and make us feel satisfied, safe and relaxed. You literally feel super mellow when you do these packs.
These packs are so simple and so easy to do, they only add 2 minutes to your nightly bedtime routine. Add the beauty sleep eye ritual for extra beauty benefits and enhanced sleep support.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to regain faith in your body’s ability to feel better!
The Buff Muff App, available on both Android and iPhone, will teach you how to activate your pelvic floor appropriately and then add it to movement. There is a ton of free content available to anyone who downloads the app including a 7-day pelvic floor fitness challenge to introduce you to the concept of a whole-body fitness approach to pelvic health.