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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Episode (Epilogue) 85: Your Pelvic Floor Muscle

Tonight’s show focused on pelvic floor health- a particularly important subject for those who have given birth. Our first guest tonight was Tonya Saah. Tonya, a local homeschooling mother of two, shared her story of dealing with cystocele (herniated bladder) and uterine prolapse with us. She shared with us how her midwife and her knowledge of her body helped her to deal with her fear and pain, and shared her story of healing with us. She first shared her frustrations in trying to get medical care, and how  she dealt with these difficulties of seeking help, and then her decision to avoid surgical care in favor of  an internal vaginal support device (or pessary) and pelvic floor exercises. Finally, Tonya discussed the difficulties of dealing with her new body, and accepting the changes in what she is able to do.
                Our next guests were Dr. Lennox Hoyte and Jessica McKinney. Dr. Hoyte is a fellowship trained specialist in Urogynecology and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. He has specialized in treating women with prolapse, bladder and bowel incontinence, overactive bladder, childbirth related pelvic floor injury, and complications related to vaginal mesh surgeries. Jessica McKinney is the co-found and director of The Center for Women’s Health at Marathon Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, as well as the Executive Director of Women’s Action Initiative, which is adopting the Share Mayflowers as its flagship project.  Dr. Hoyte began with a basic discussion of anatomy- providing us with a brief 101 on the pelvic floor and its purpose. He also presented some complications that individuals can face because of issues with the pelvic floor, such as incontinence, pain, and urinary frequency.
                Next, Jessica and Dr. Hoyte discussed some steps that women can take to protect their pelvic floor, including properly performed exercises and  maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Jessica gave us some tips for performing a healthy pelvic floor exercises, including doing a wider variety of exercises than just Kegels, especially exercises focused on relaxing the pelvic floor muscle. She also suggested some concrete advice for going about pelvic floor exercises. Jessica also discussed the transverse abdominis, which is the pelvic floor and respiratory diaphragm, which  Jessica states are hardwired to work together- a phenomenon which can be utilized to strengthen our pelvic floor, and the importance of developing a greater understanding of these muscle groups.

Share Mayflowers will be addressing “very serious pelvic health topics affected women and girls at every life stage” throught the month of May. Visit their website in the link for more info!

Hab It Pelvic Floor Exercises

Website for Dr. Lennox Hoyte
TONIGHT’S RIGHT: Every woman has the right to unrestricted access to all available records about her pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum care and infant; to obtain a full copy of these records; and to receive help in understanding them, if necessary. To learn more about your rights, please visit

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