04/12/2017 01:22 EDT

Pelvic Floor Facts: 5 Things You Need To Know

And you're doing them wrong, too.

Kegel exercises are known for strengthening pelvic floor muscles that may become weak from excessive weight gain, childbirth, and even straining due to constipation. But just because the exercises have that reputation, doesn't mean they can fix issues like postpartum leaking or urine leakage due to coughing or sneezing.

"A lot of people are actually too tight in their pelvic floor, which means performing kegels will actually make their dysfunction worse," pelvic physiotherapist Amy Gildner shares in the video above. To make matters worse, Gildner says we aren't even performing kegels correctly because most people compensate with their inner thigh and abdominal muscles.

Kegel exercises aren't the only mistake you're making when it comes to your pelvic health; in the video above, Gildner shares four other pelvic health myths worth noting.

Also worth noting is that if you experience pain during intercourse or tampon insertion, or urine leakage after sneezing or coughing, you might want to consider trying pelvic physical therapy.

Pelvic physiotherapy involves a physical examination and medical assessment. Patients work with a physiotherapist to complete internal and external exercises with the intention of relaxing the muscles and reducing pain.

And as for postpartum leakage, Gildner recommends pregnant women see a pelvic physiotherapist throughout their pregnancy to prevent dysfunction caused by distress from weight gain.

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