I spend a large part of my day evaluating, treating and assuring the health of that which involves the center of gravity for every female – her pelvis. We have to boast as females we are carefully constructed for whatever comes our way – you name it! A mother is the center of gravity for her family, not just physically but literally. A female athlete has much leverage over male counterparts when it comes to core and balance because of her pelvis. You may think, okay she is an OB/GYN; of course she obsesses over the pelvis! Please reflect for a moment…do you know your pelvis? Do you understand the form and function of your pelvis, to take care of it and know its danger signs? Think about the aches and pains you may have or have had? If you have ever felt pain in your pelvis, are you able to discern what exactly is hurting? What is that cramp, that pressure or bulge? How did I just suddenly pee on myself?!
Depending on your stage of life, this part of your anatomy may bring to mind a variety of thoughts, memories and even provoke emotions, ranging from a love-hate relationship, to joy, frustration and anger. I find that the most challenging patient I see and treat is the one who is least aware of her body. This lack of awareness often brings about a sense of fear in her…and it is really a fear driven by this unknown. It is my passion and my mission to share what I have learned and know as a female and to teach others about their own bodies. It is knowing your normal function, respecting necessary health habits and responding to danger signs that will keep you healthy.
The female pelvis is a well-orchestrated masterpiece creating not only our envious and beautiful form, but lending itself to our many functions as well. This form and function created makes us each, one of a kind. There are actually 4 different shapes that a woman can have and each determines our individual curves which translates into how we carry ourselves. Have you heard the term “birthing hips?” This term is actually quite scientific. Most females have a round to slightly oval shape where most babies should have no problem navigating down the birth canal to see Mom and Dad. The other pelvic types range from a heart-shaped that is most similar to the male pelvis, oval-shaped and then kidney-shaped which is the least conducive for vaginal birth although can never be said impossible.
This gravitational foundation translates to the rest of our body and is key to our physical and emotional well-being. Within the confine of your pelvic bones, there is much to protect and hold. Your pelvis houses not only our female parts – the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries, but also the bladder and urethra with the greater than 20-feet of bowel, rectum and don’t ever forget your appendix. The pelvic floor muscles with its strong connective tissues and ligaments serve as the glue to hold all of this together. This collective structure is like a salad bowel full of its contents. How can you tell which one is the culprit when all lies so intimately together? Problems that arise with the female pelvis are often blamed on our “girlie parts,” however we must caution that this must never be the first or only assumption!
When you have issues related to your pelvis, like pelvic pain, urinary incontinence or even pain with intercourse, it is important to acknowledge this warning sign and seek evaluation. Many women think “Oh, I am getting older,” or “I have always had this pain and dealt with it” and even stop doing the things they enjoy like sex or even exercise if they lose their urine when they jump! Do not ignore or settle with issues related to your pelvis as it could be something treatable or certainly a risk to your health if left undiagnosed – like cancer. Please have an open conversation with your well-women’s health provider and point out the issues you feel you have and do not shy away from pelvic exams as they can be life-saving.