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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ancient Female Problems Inherited from the Australopithecus

Menopause and/or aging itself do, to some extent, cause the bladder, uterus and rectum to drop. This is due, in part, to the lack of estrogen, which causes a thinning and weakening of all the pelvic muscles. Other factors are more significant, and bladder problems often begin with pregnancy and childbirth. We can blame some these problems on our ancient history. The first hominid species to walk upright evolved more than 2 million years ago. The most important branch of hominids was Australopithecus. These primitive humans walked semi-upright and gave birth to small-brained offspring. Thus, the female pelvis required only slight adaptations for the increased stress of childbearing. These early hominids evolved into Homo erectus about 1 million years ago and then emerged as Homo sapiens just over 300,000 years ago. This new species had a “modern” pelvis—an awkward compromise that permitted erect and stable locomotion on two feet while allowing the birth of a (relatively) large-headed human fetus. The legacy of this imperfect design includes low back pain, slipped vertebral disks, spinal curvature, prolapsed uterus and pain in the pelvic bones and joints. The hip joints allow for efficient locomotion, but the strains of weight bearing are transmitted directly to the bladder, vaginal and rectal areas, all framed by the pelvic diaphragm. Thus is the cause of ancient female problems we have inherited from the Australopithecus!

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