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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Pelvic floor muscles

Uaua pae papatoiake

Your pelvic floor muscles (PFM) are a group of muscles that stretch from the back (your tail bone) to the front (your pubic bone) and from side to side. They can move up and down, a bit like a trampoline. They have holes in them to allow your urethra and anus (and for women, your vagina) to pass through. They're often referred to as your core muscles.

In men, the PFMs support the bladder and bowel. In women, they support the bladder, bowel and uterus (womb). Together with other muscles, they support and stabilise your pelvis and spine. They also help with bladder and bowel control and prevent leakage of urine (wee), wind and faeces (poo).

Causes of weakened PFMs

When your PFMs get weak or are damaged, they do not work as well. Common causes of this are:

Strengthening your PFMs

With the right exercise programme, it's possible to retrain and strengthen your PFMs. See:

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created April 2023.


Page reference: 628323

Review key: HIURS-53047