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Dealing with UTI symptoms? It might be your pelvic floor!

Currently dealing with bladder pain and wondering what could be up? Read on, because this is for you!

If you’re experiencing symptoms like: 

  • Pain and burning while you pee
  • Making frequent trips to the washroom to pee
  • Pressure and cramping in your groin and lower abdominals
  • Bladder leakage

What do you think is going on?

Many people will notice these symptoms and think they probably have a UTI…

But what if your urine culture comes back negative for a UTI?

If it’s not a UTI, then what is it?

Could it be… Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

What is the pelvic floor, anyway?

In the body of people assigned-female-at-birth (AFAB) and people with uteruses, the pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, bowel and uterus (womb). The urethra (urine tube), anus (back passage) and vagina all pass through the pelvic floor muscles.

For people assigned-male-at-birth (AMAB) and people with external genitalia, the pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and bowels. The urethra (urine tube) and the anus (back passage) all pass through the pelvic floor muscles.

If your pelvic floor muscles are tight and spasming, it causes symptoms like:

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Frequent or painful urination
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Bladder pain
  • Burning with urination
  • Difficulty passing stool
  • Bloating and constipation
  • Lower back pain

Interesting, right? These probably sound familiar!

Also, you can have both a UTI and pelvic floor dysfunction, in a classic “chicken and egg” scenario. Contracting a UTI multiple times in a row can contribute to developing a tight pelvic floor,  and a tight pelvic floor can cause UTIs by not allowing the bladder and urethra to fully empty. This traps urine in the urinary tract, making you more prone to infection.

Depending on your stage of life and what’s been going on in your body, you may be more prone to UTIs, especially if you have previously had pelvic floor dysfunction. UTIs are more common in pregnancy, immediately postpartum, and during menopause. It may be a good idea to be on the lookout for these symptoms & consider whether it could be a UTI if you’ve experienced any of these events recently!

What if you have a negative urine culture, but you have UTI-like symptoms?

If you have UTI-like symptoms but you’ve ruled out a UTI, it might be time to visit your pelvic health physiotherapist to see if there’s something else going on! Working with a pelvic health physiotherapist will help you learn techniques to relax your pelvic floor muscles, stretches to ease pelvic floor tension, and relieve peeing and pooping problems.

You can book a 1:1 free consultation with us and discuss your symptoms.  At Harmony Physiotherapy we are Experts in Pelvic Physiotherapy. We are here to get you on the path to a full and healthy recovery!


Richa Rehan

Harmony Physiotherapy

"We Help Women Through Pelvic Pain, Pregnancy, Postpartum And Beyond So They Can Live Active, Confident, And Healthy Lives With The Help Of Conservative Management."