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Pelvic Floor Exercises: A Natural Alternative to Relieve Period Pain

Try these simple techniques once a day to help get rid of period cramps for good.


If you’ve ever done a pilates or yoga class, you’ll be well aware of the pelvic floor as instructions to ‘lift’ ‘engage’ or ‘draw in’ the pelvic floor are called out across the room. To find your pelvic floor muscles, squeeze the muscles you would hold in if you were trying to stop the flow of your wee. Go on, try it! There it is. 


The pelvic floor is a hammock-shaped group of muscles that runs between the pubic bone to the tailbone at the back. For women, these muscles support your womb, bladder, bowel, urine tube, anus and vagina, and help to control your bladder and bowel movements and are also linked to bedroom fun. Your pelvic floor plays a pretty important role in your everyday life and it’s vital to keep these muscles strong.


Your pelvic floor muscle strength can fluctuate through:

  • giving birth
  • being overweight
  • constipation and constant strain to empty your bowel
  • heavy lifting
  • repetitive strain through excessive coughing
  • changes in hormonal levels during your monthly cycle
  • menopause and growing older

 

By gently exercising these muscles regularly along with deep breathing exercises, you’ll notice a difference throughout your menstrual cycle, including:

  • less PMS
  • fewer period cramps
  • more regular periods
  • lighter bleeds
  • less bloating
  • improved relaxation
  • better moods and sleep

Here’s a few simple exercises to get you started that you can try at home.


Exercise One

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and legs apart, or kneel on your hands and knees
  2. Tighten the muscles you use to hold back urine and feel your pelvic floor lift up
  3. Squeeze and hold for 3–5 seconds and then gently let go
  4. Rest for a few seconds and then repeat up to 10 times

Exercise Two

  1. Sit or stand tall and visualise the pelvic floor muscles
  2. Squeeze and lift in a strong and fast motion
  3. Let go without holding – a quick squeeze and release
  4. Rest for a few seconds and then repeat up to 10 times

Exercise Three

Focus on pelvic floor connection alongside deep breathing exercises in a yoga or pilates session. The movements in these forms of exercise release endorphins, improve blood flow to muscles that may be neglected in other workouts and strengthen muscles through holding positions for longer. Poses and stretches that are particularly helpful for menstrual health include:


Child’s pose

Kneel on the floor with your toes together and knees hip-width apart. Lower your torso between your knees, extend your arms with your palms facing down and relax your shoulders toward the ground. Hold for up to 60 seconds while taking deep, slow breaths.


Sphinx pose

Lie flat on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders and elbows tight next to your ribs. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and press into your palms and the tops of your feet as you lift your chest off the mat. Hold for 10 deep breaths and then slowly lower your torso, chest and head to the floor and rest for 10 seconds before repeating up to 5 times.

 

Bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent hip-width apart, feet flat against the floor and arms by your sides with palms facing down. Inhale, and then press your feet and arms into the mat and exhale as you lift your hips towards the ceiling. Hold for up to 60 seconds, while inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly.


Cat-cow

Start on your hands and knees with your palms flat on the mat, making sure that your wrists are below your shoulders and your knees are below your hips. Cow pose: inhale as you drop your belly towards the mat and lift your chin and chest. Cat pose: as you exhale, draw your belly to your spine and round your back toward the ceiling. Repeat up to 10–20 times and then rest into child’s pose.

 

While you’re discovering natural ways to relieve period pain, take a look at our eco-friendly reusable pads. Unlike pads and tampons, hannahpad uses layers of organic cotton fibres so there are ZERO toxins on your skin! Hannahpads are absorbent and suitable for people experiencing light trickles to moderate leakage.

Let’s take a look

 

Exercise images sourced from ClassPass
December 02, 2020 — Hannahpad Team