Constipation: the art of damaging your pelvic floor without realizing it

constipation

María Rodríguez is an active 43-year-old woman who is part of the #TeamZenzsual, with whom we frequently talk through our social networks. She confessed to us that she continually suffers horrors with each visit to the bathroom, because normally she lasts between 4-7 days without having a bowel movement; and sometimes due to this situation, he has interrupted his sexual relations due to the discomfort and abdominal pain that it generates and not to mention the discomfort of having an inflamed abdomen, with a lot of gas and on extreme occasions he has come to have bad breath and some acne for the same situation.

What she did not know is that constipation must be treated seriously and that beyond the consequences it has on her health, with each session of pushing hard and with each frustrated attempt to empty her intestines, she was weakening the muscles of her floor. day after day, becoming the perfect candidate to suffer later from urinary incontinence.

What is Constipation?

Many people think that constipation is only suffered by those people who go days without going to the bathroom . What they don't know is that those who go every day, but have to push and make an effort to achieve it, also suffer from constipation, as is the case of María's best friend who was not included in this group. The worst thing is that both of them also leaked a little bit of pee when they sneezed, coughed or with every fit of laughter in meetings between friends, living without knowing it with the main symptom of urinary incontinence, which later had to be treated.

Constipation is not only measured by going more or less times a week to the bathroom: going often, but it is an expensive process, is also considered constipation.

It is considered that there is constipation when a person could have less than three bowel movements a week ; stools are hard, dry, lumpy, or pellet-shaped; when it is difficult or painful or there is a sensation that the evacuation was not complete.

Going to the bathroom regularly should be the norm , not the exception, unfortunately the reality is that there is a high percentage of constipation in women, and the worst thing is that, in the long run, the fact of pushing daily to try to defecate makes the pelvic floor weakens.

How do you know if you have constipation?

If you are presenting several of these symptoms persistently (at least in the last 3 months), as happened to María and many women from #TeamZenzsual, you probably suffer from constipation:

  • Bidding during at least 1 in 4 defecations
  • Your stools are hard or ball-shaped, in at least 1 out of 4 bowel movements.
  • Sensation of not completely emptying during at least 1 out of 4 bowel movements.
  • Perform manual maneuvers to facilitate defecation in at least 1 in 4 defecations.
  • Less than 3 bowel movements per week.
  • Loose stools very rarely present without the use of laxatives.

Are you contributing to the problem? 4 bad habits that cause constipation

In many cases, it is about unwise and unhealthy decisions. Therefore, it is convenient that you analyze if any acquired habit is harming your intestinal regularity . We sat down to talk with María to investigate the real reason for her constipation and we found that she agreed on several of these behaviors, which you should also review:

  • Fat is abundant on your menu : cured cheeses, sausages, pre-cooked foods, such as pizzas and junk food, which contain a lot of saturated fat but very little fiber and water. Contrary to this habit, in addition to reducing the amount of saturated fat, it is good to take a tablespoon of virgin olive oil in the morning, on an empty stomach . This food exerts a beneficial lubricating effect on intestinal transit.
  • You go too far with protein : diets with an excess of protein are also often deficient in fiber and, therefore, aggravate constipation. To avoid this effect, complete your meat, fish or egg dishes with a good garnish of vegetables (or a salad) and end the meal with a piece of fruit for dessert. You can also add some high-fiber foods to your diet . Here are some recommendations to get you started:
    1. Eat the whole fruit , preferably milky, prunes and fruits with fiber such as orange, tangerine or grapefruit.
    2. Add fiber to food and drinks or fruits by using chia, flax, bran or psyllium seeds, a derivative of the seed of Plantago ovata , also known as ispaghula and isapgol, which is one of the main components of Metamucil, which is marketed independently to add to meals, especially on Keto diets, because it is an insoluble fiber that has no calories.
    3. Eat plenty of green salads and raw vegetables that are high in fiber and water. (Such as: lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, beet greens, arugula, etc.)
  • You do little exercise : spending many hours lying down or sitting favors constipation, since the lack of exercise slows down intestinal transit. That is why it is advisable to do some light sport daily (like a 30-minute walk a day). This helps to develop the abdominal muscles, which is necessary for proper evacuation.
  • You hydrate poorly or little : if you drink less than 4 glasses of water a day, you will probably be constipated . Water is essential for the fiber to do its job and it is also essential for stools to be lighter and to be eliminated effortlessly.

What to do if you suffer from constipation?

Culturally we are trained to go in, push hard and get out desperate to continue with the daily routine, or on the contrary, there are people who settle down to bid reading a book or glued to the phone. But our body is anatomically designed to eliminate feces naturally, without much effort, it is enough to eat a balanced diet.

Constipation, the silent enemy of the pelvic floor . There are many diseases associated with the loss of tone of these muscles such as: urinary incontinence, organ prolapse, which is the descent of one or more pelvic viscera; gas and feces losses; injuries after childbirth, among other diseases that affect your well-being and lifestyle.

The first thing we always recommend is to visit the doctor to rule out any disease behind the symptom. Here we share some basic recommendations that following them step by step will help you leave constipation behind and not weaken your pelvic floor and its important consequences:

Create a habit when going to the bathroom: you should defecate as soon as you feel the need. Do not get used to going to the bathroom 'just in case', with this we want to tell you, that you DO NOT sit and wait to see if you feel like pooping. Just sit down when you feel like it, do your homework, wash up and go. Nothing to settle in the sink to see social networks or read a book, that prolongs the time of this activity, predisposes you to the appearance of hemorrhoids and damages your pelvic floor.

Generally, right after eating, an automatic reflex is activated that makes us want to, because if not, the body accommodates them inside and forgets them, and the feeling of wanting to defecate will not appear again until it comes out again to the rectum. . Therefore: there will be more and more stool, which will become harder and harder to defecate.

Sit correctly on the toilet :

  1. When sitting, place your elbows on your knees.
  2. lean forward
  3. Rest your feet on a stool (footrest or step)
  4. Completely relax your pelvic floor and sphincter muscles
  5. Without holding your breath or straining

Correct position when going to the bathroom

Hydrate yourself during the day: it is generally recommended to drink between 1 ½ and 2 liters of water during the day. That will help with intestinal transit so that everything flows correctly, with minimal effort.

Watch your diet: it is important that you can find a healthier and more effective solution to constipation in your diet, leaving laxatives as a second option only for extreme and specific cases, because their recurrent use can worsen the problem. Prefer a diet rich in fiber to increase the volume of stool and speed up intestinal transit. Cereals, fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, try to eat balanced, giving more space on your plate to vegetables and fruits.

10 foods to combat constipation:

Below, you will find a list of natural foods that can help you increase the fiber intake in your diet.

  1. Whole wheat bread: Whole grains and foods made with them (rice, bread, pasta, etc.) are very rich in fiber and are therefore effective in overcoming constipation. Whole wheat bread is a good choice . A serving of about 40 grams gives you 3 grams of fiber, and you can include it in all your meals. Keep in mind that to prevent constipation it is essential that you start the day with a full breakfast rich in fiber.
  2. Kiwi: contains a significant amount of fiber (100 g provide 1.8 fiber).
  3. Olives or olives: they provide 2.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams, but they also contain bacteria of the Lactobacillus plantarum strain, probiotic substances that help modulate intestinal transit. About 25 g of olives a day are recommended, that is, about 7 or 8. Take them alone or in a salad to combat constipation more effectively.
  4. Artichoke: in addition to fiber, it contains inulin, a substance that enhances the growth of bacterial flora and helps regulate intestinal transit.
  5. White or pinto beans : they are also called beans, kidney beans, black beans, beans, or beans depending on the country) . It is recommended to take 2 to 3 servings a week (70 g. raw), of this or other legumes. If you prepare them combined with other vegetables in salads or other stews, you will increase the fiber richness of the dish without adding too many calories . To improve its digestibility, add spices or herbs such as cumin or fennel to the stew.
  6. Prunes and other dried fruits : they have a high percentage of fiber. Only 100 grams of plums provide 15 grams of fiber. Includes about 6 prunes , preferably in the morning and after soaking.
  7. Almonds : nuts are foods very rich in fiber . Among these, the almond stands out, since 25 grams provide 3.4 grams of fiber. You can take a handful of almonds (or other dry fruit) a day.
  8. Oatmeal: it is a cereal rich in fiber and soluble , which in addition to having a laxative effect, also helps to lower cholesterol levels. An adequate serving consists of 40 g.
  9. Flaxseeds : they contain mucilages and pectins, which soften the intestinal mucosa and regulate intestinal transit. In order to take advantage of its benefits as natural laxatives, you must eat them ground and very well chewed. For example, grind 3-4 tablespoons of seeds and store in an airtight jar. Take a tablespoon after breakfast and another after dinner, always accompanied by a large glass of water.
  10. Probiotics : are live microorganisms that help to regenerate and maintain the balance of the intestinal bacterial flora. The abuse of antibiotics, laxatives or stress can alter this intestinal flora, making it decrease, and probiotics help to normalize intestinal transit. You can eat foods rich in these types of live microorganisms, such as yogurt, kefir and some fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut (fermented cabbage).

We trust that you choose the best option so that you can enjoy as healthy a life as possible! At Zenzsual we will accompany you on the path to being happy living a full sexuality, but for this you must empower yourself with your well-being.

To find more information about your feminine health, as well as life as a couple and your sexuality, we invite you to visit our website www.zenzsual.com and follow us on social networks as @zenzsual, where you will get our Zenzsual intimate gel and our libido . LibiZenzs booster , in its two versions for women and men, as well as the VagiYoga vaginal exerciser . Also, if you prefer to speak directly with our team of specialists to answer your questions and give you some more detailed tips, we canschedule a SexCoaching appointment for you.

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