There is no doubt that pregnancy is very rough on a woman’s body. Following childbirth, many women experience urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence or uterine prolapse. It was long believed that it was natural childbirth that damaged the pelvic floor muscles, but recent research suggests that it is pregnancy itself that weakens the pelvic floor muscles to the point of dysfunction. This was discovered after researchers followed women who gave natural child birth and women who had caesarean sections. Ten months after giving birth to their children, there was no remarkable difference among the women in suffering from pelvic floor related disorders. This suggests that it is childbirth itself rather than delivery that damages the body.
Some women, however, may have weaker collagen and connective tissue properties than other women, making them more prone to pelvic floor related dysfunction following child birth.
It has been estimated that about 1/3 of adult women suffer from pelvic floor related dysfunctions. Moreover, it is estimated that about 40% of women will suffer from stress urinary incontinence. Strengthening these muscles is best accomplished by doing vaginal exercises.