Breathing To Relax Pelvic Floor

Breathing to Relax Pelvic Floor

The Importance of a Relaxed Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support the organs in the pelvis, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum. Having a strong and healthy pelvic floor is important for various bodily functions, such as maintaining continence, supporting the pelvic organs, and optimizing sexual function.

However, it is equally important for the pelvic floor muscles to be able to relax and release tension. A tense or overly tight pelvic floor can lead to various issues, including urinary and fecal incontinence, painful intercourse, pelvic pain, and even pelvic organ prolapse. This is where learning to relax the pelvic floor through breathing techniques can be highly beneficial.

The Connection between Breathing and the Pelvic Floor

Our breath is intricately connected to our pelvic floor muscles and can influence their function and tension levels. When we inhale, the diaphragm contracts and moves downwards, creating a vacuum that draws air into the lungs. This downward movement of the diaphragm also contributes to a gentle expansion and relaxation of the pelvic floor.

Conversely, when we exhale, the diaphragm relaxes and moves upwards, while the pelvic floor naturally recoils slightly. This gentle movement between expansion and relaxation with each breath helps maintain a healthy balance in the pelvic floor muscles.

How to Use Breathing to Relax the Pelvic Floor

Practicing breathing exercises specifically designed to relax the pelvic floor can help release tension and promote a healthier functioning pelvic floor. Here are some techniques you can try:

1. Diaphragmatic Breathing

Also known as belly breathing or deep breathing, diaphragmatic breathing helps activate the diaphragm and promote relaxation in the pelvic floor muscles. To practice diaphragmatic breathing:

  1. Find a comfortable seated position or lie down on your back.
  2. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen, just below your ribcage.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your belly with air. You should feel your abdomen rise as you inhale.
  4. Exhale slowly through your mouth, allowing your belly to gradually fall as you release the breath.
  5. Continue this deep diaphragmatic breathing for several minutes, focusing on relaxing your pelvic floor with each exhale.

2. Reverse Breathing

Reverse breathing involves consciously activating the pelvic floor muscles during the inhalation phase and releasing them during exhalation. It can help improve awareness and control over the pelvic floor muscles. To practice reverse breathing:

  1. Start in a comfortable seated position or lie down on your back.
  2. Take a deep breath in through your nose, allowing your belly to expand as you inhale.
  3. As you inhale, gently contract your pelvic floor muscles, as if stopping the flow of urine.
  4. Hold this contraction for a few seconds, then release as you exhale slowly through your mouth.
  5. Repeat this reverse breathing pattern for several breaths, focusing on consciously activating and relaxing the pelvic floor with each cycle.

3. Pelvic Floor Drops

Pelvic floor drops involve consciously relaxing the pelvic floor muscles with each exhale. This technique can be particularly helpful for individuals with a chronically tense or hypertonic pelvic floor. To perform pelvic floor drops:

  1. Begin in a comfortable standing, seated, or lying position.
  2. Take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your belly with air.
  3. As you exhale through your mouth, imagine your pelvic floor muscles gently relaxing and dropping down.
  4. Continue this slow and smooth breath, focusing on consciously releasing tension and allowing the pelvic floor to relax.
  5. Repeat this for several breaths, gradually increasing the duration and intensity of the relaxation with each exhale.


1. How often should I practice breathing exercises for pelvic floor relaxation?

It is recommended to practice these exercises for at least 10 minutes a day, ideally incorporating them into your daily routine.

2. Can these techniques help with pelvic pain?

Yes, breathing exercises for pelvic floor relaxation have been found to be effective in relieving pelvic pain. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan.

3. Are there any precautions I should take while practicing these techniques?

If you have any underlying medical conditions or concerns, it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise or relaxation techniques.

4. Can these exercises be helpful during pregnancy?

Yes, breathing exercises for pelvic floor relaxation can be beneficial during pregnancy. However, it is recommended to seek guidance from a qualified prenatal healthcare provider to ensure safe and appropriate modifications.

5. Can these exercises be done while sitting at a desk or during work?

Absolutely! These exercises can be incorporated into your daily routine and performed discreetly while sitting at a desk or during work. Just make sure to find a comfortable and quiet space for optimal relaxation.

6. How long does it take to see results?

The time it takes to see results may vary depending on individual factors such as the severity of pelvic floor tension and consistency of practice. Regular and dedicated practice is key to achieving long-term benefits.

7. Can breathing exercises replace pelvic floor physical therapy?

While breathing exercises can be an effective component of pelvic floor relaxation, they are not a substitute for the comprehensive evaluation and treatment provided by a trained pelvic floor physical therapist. It is important to consult with a professional for personalized guidance.

8. Are these exercises suitable for men?

Yes, these breathing exercises can be beneficial for both men and women. The pelvic floor muscles are present in both genders and can benefit from relaxation techniques.

9. Can breathing exercises improve sexual function?

Yes, learning to relax the pelvic floor through breathing techniques can help improve sexual function by reducing tension and promoting better blood flow to the pelvic area.

10. Can I combine these exercises with other relaxation techniques?

Absolutely! These breathing exercises can be complemented with other relaxation techniques, such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, or progressive muscle relaxation, to maximize the overall benefits of pelvic floor relaxation.


Breathing exercises can serve as a powerful tool in promoting relaxation and releasing tension in the pelvic floor muscles. By incorporating these techniques into your daily routine, you can experience the benefits of a relaxed pelvic floor, including improved continence, reduced pain, and enhanced sexual function. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and to address any underlying concerns or conditions.

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