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What is the Pubococcygeus Muscle?

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  • Written By: Melanie Smeltzer
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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The pubococcygeus muscle, also referred to as the PC muscle, is a hammock-like muscle that stretches from the tailbone and helps support the pelvic organs by acting as part of the pubic floor. One main purpose of this muscle, which is present in both women and men, is to aid in controlling urinary and bowel functions. In addition, it is also said to help ease childbirth and increase sexual pleasure.

Although the pubococcygeus muscle is often thought of as a single, simple structure, it is actually separated into a complex system. It begins by rising from the back of the pubis and front portion of the obturator fascia, then moves back along the anal canal, where most of it becomes attached to a small portion of the sacrum and tailbone. Between the end of the tailbone and anus, two portions of the pubococcygeus muscle join together to create a dense, fibromuscular layer that sits atop the anococcygeal body formed by the iliococcygeus muscle.

Having a strong pubococcygeus muscle can result in a number of benefits. One of the better-known benefits is the ability to control, and even stop, the flow of urine, which may help reduce urinary incontinence in men and women. In addition, a strong PC muscle is said to help reduce fecal incontinence because this muscle can improve the overall function of the rectal sphincter.

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A decrease in sexual dysfunction is another benefit of a strong pubococcygeus muscle. For women who have a difficult time achieving orgasm, strengthening this muscle may serve to tighten the vagina and increase sensation. Men may find that controlling the PC muscle can help in fighting off the effects of erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.

In addition to sexual benefits, women may also find that a strong pubococcygeus muscle can help keep age-related health problems and childbirth issues at bay. During childbirth, the PC muscle is thought to allow for the proper placement of the infant's head during labor, and may also allow for easier birth overall, as the contractions of this muscle can help the mother push without too much strain. Later in life, especially for those who have given birth, women may experience genital prolapse. This condition occurs when internal sexual organs begin to bulge into the vagina. A strong pubococcygeus muscle may help prevent this condition as it is thought to support internal sexual organs.

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