Just as with the rest of the body, the pelvic floor loses collagen as we age. So just like when our boobs and our chin starts to feel the effects of gravity over time due to decreased skin elasticity, so too does the pelvic floor. A lifetime of high impact activity without a proper pelvic floor routine to provide support can cause just as much (if not more) wear and tear on your pelvic floor as pregnancy and childbirth. Which is why it becomes even more important to strengthen and tone the pelvic floor as we get older, whether we’ve given birth or not.
I am seeing more and more women in their 40s who’ve never given birth who say to me “I think I might have a diastasis but how can this be when I've never given birth?”
Collagen is kind of like a glue that holds all the cells in the body together. It is very important for helping the connective tissue of your pelvic floor to remain linked together in order to support healthy function and to prevent developing pelvic floor dysfunction down the line.
Collagen is not a new thing. It’s just that it is becoming more and more readily available as a supplement. And we’re hearing more and more about environmentally sustainable collagen products. We naturally produce collagen within our body every day. But after the age of about 25, our natural collagen production starts to decline. Which is why the older we get, the more likely we are to experience pelvic floor issues, due to the effects of gravity, the diminishing effects of collagen, and of course repetitive incorrect breathing patterns and poor core function. Especially if we’ve never paid much attention to the pelvic floor before (as many of us haven’t).
Research on how collagen directly affects the pelvic floor is limited, however, we do know that taking a high quality and effective collagen supplement can help your connective tissue remain healthy and function better, and that includes your pelvic floor.
So combining a collagen supplement with intentional pelvic floor conditioning will put you in the best possible position for maintaining or gaining incredible core strength and function! If you have yet to try out my 5 minutes a day pelvic floor training*, i'll pop the link below. I recommend doing it every day if you are trying to build strength and/or repair your pelvic floor, and then 3x/week for maintenance.
*p.s it absolutely is NOT the same as doing Kegels. Kegels can actually make your pelvic floor too tight, which can be the cause of a whole other set of issues.