Usually, when we think of pelvic floor physical therapy, we tend to think that the majority of treatment would be geared to females only. However, that is simply not the case. Pelvic floor physical therapy is so much more than pregnancy or postpartum care. In fact, roughly a third of my caseload are male patients! This of course raises the next question; what am I seeing them for?
Let’s take it back to the basics. Males and females have the same anatomical makeup when it comes to muscles. Males and females both have biceps, triceps, hamstrings, abdominals, etc. When discussing the pelvic floor musculature, males and females both have muscles “down there” that are very similar in nature. The pelvis is so much more than some bone and tissues “down there.” The pelvis houses various muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, organs and blood supply, and the pelvic floor muscles can be thought of as a hammock at the base of the pelvis.
As seen in the images below, the pelvis on the left is a male pelvis and the pelvis on the right is a female pelvis. Obviously, there are some anatomical differences that are seen upon initial observation. The male pelvis is narrower than the female pelvis. The male pelvis does not have a vagina within the pelvic floor musculature. However, if we look at just the musculature make-up, the muscles are identical. This is to simply show that pelvic pain, urinary or fecal incontinence, constipation and pain with intercourse can occur in either the male or female pelvis as they have the same muscles/the same capability to have pelvic floor issues.
I love advocating for Women’s’ Health. However, I want to make the point that everyone has a pelvis, and men’s health is very underserved in Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy. Males can also have pelvic floor issues, and to be honest, they almost all do in some way shape or form. Examples of this include small leakage of urine after peeing, difficulty pushing out stool, tip of penis pain, erectile dysfunction, and so much more.
The reasons behind theses issues are typically the same reasons that females have pain with sex, leaking with laugh/cough/sneeze, difficulty pushing out stool: increased pelvic floor muscle tension, incoordination of the pelvic floor muscles, pelvic floor muscle tightness or pelvic floor muscle weakness. Is it all coming together now?! So males, please listen to your body, and if something is off, see a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist! And females, please tell your brothers, father, uncles, husband, boyfriend or whomever is a male in your life to tune in and know that they deserve pelvic health too!
Your symptoms can be treated! You do not have to live a life of pain, discomfort, urgency, leakage or fatigue. Call your local pelvic floor physical therapist today, or come see us at Woerner Physical Therapy right here in Fort Worth or Aledo, Texas
Images used with permission from Pelvic Guru®, LLC www.pelvicglobal.com