There’s one vital protein that literally holds your body together. It’s the support system for your organs, skin, ligaments, fascia, tendons, and cartilage. It’s found in your heart, bones, and even the tiny blood vessels behind your eyes. And when you turn 20, levels of natural products in the body start to decline rapidly…
Which is a major reason you start to see signs of aging — like stiff and achy joints and fine lines and wrinkles.
Its decline is also a reason for those not-so-visible signs of aging, like pelvic floor disorder.
You see, the powerful proteins known collectively as collagen are not only a significant component of your facial skin…they also make up a majority of your pelvic floor and vagina.
That’s right, the fascia and ligaments that hold your internal organs in place (known as the pelvic floor) are made up primarily of collagen fibers. Not to mention the cardinal ligaments that attach the uterus to the pelvic wall…those are made of collagen. And interestingly enough, the vagina is a neuromuscular tube that contains fascia, which is made of collagen(1). Excellent pelvic and bladder health relies heavily on having adequate amounts of collagen.
So, what’s a woman with declining levels of collagen to do?
Let’s dig in and find out.
Collagen: A Quick Overview
There are 28 different types of collagen. Collagen is a protein, the most plentiful protein in the body. It’s what gives stretch and moisture to your cells. In other words, without it, your ligaments wouldn’t be able to keep your bones together — since they would be brittle. And if you didn’t have collagen, your cartilage wouldn’t be squishy enough to keep your bones from bumping into each other. Without collagen, your skin wouldn’t have a proper support system and it would be really, really dry — since collagen is a type of moisture barrier for the skin. (2)
Collagen is made of amino acids, as are all proteins. It’s comprised of tightly wound chains that make it very flexible and capable of rebounding — it’s kind of like a trampoline in that way. But as levels of collagen in the body decline, the trampoline stops “bouncing back” so readily. It becomes hardened and less flexible.
What’s The Connection Between Collagen And The Pelvic Floor?
You may have heard that collagen is important for your skin. And many women consume collagen supplements to help boost that elasticity, hydration, and smoothness that collagen is famous for providing. (3)
But even more than just helping you maintain your youthful complexion since collagen is an integral part of your pelvic floor, lower levels of collagen have been associated with pelvic floor disorder.
Studies show that levels of collagen in women with both pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) are significantly lower than in women without these disorders. (4,5,6,7) In fact, one study found a full 30% difference in collagen levels between women with prolapse and women without. (8)
Other studies looked at the pelvic floor tissues of women with POP and found that they were stiffer and looser than the samples from the control group. (9,10) Again — think of the trampoline analogy here, the women with POP had tissues that didn’t bounce back the way they would if they were replete with collagen.
Scientists have been trying to understand why POP seems to have a genetic predisposition since often women in the same families seem to struggle with prolapse. One study indicated that these genetic mutations that are passed down from generation to generation mean that collagen metabolism is compromised, which in turn weakens the fascia and pelvic floor — which results in prolapse. (9)
In addition to providing that all-important structural integrity to the pelvic floor, collagen also boosts moisture to the skin — and vaginal skin is no exception. Collagen is your skin’s moisture preservation system…which means higher levels of collagen may equal a higher feeling of moisture and elasticity to the skin of the vagina.
So, collagen is critically important to the pelvic floor and to the vagina — for strength, flexibility, and moisture.
Can You Supplement With Collagen?
Collagen supplementation has become very popular and it’s as simple as adding a totally tasteless and odorless powder to your food.
However — one important thing to be mindful of when selecting a collagen supplement if you have any sort of pelvic problem is vitamin C content.
A lot of manufacturers add vitamin C supplements to their collagen supplements.
The BIG PROBLEM with Vitamin C for women is that it’s a bladder irritant. For many women with pelvic floor dysfunction who suffer from leaking, urge, or pain, Vitamin C will make bladder and pain issues worse. Most Collagen on the market has added Vitamin C, making them a poor choice for women who want healthy bladders and happy lady parts. (12) So unless you want to be running to the bathroom constantly, staying away from collagen supplements that contain vitamin C is a good idea.
The great news is, that normal consumption of dietary vitamin C in whole foods does not interfere with bladder function. Things like kale, broccoli, and bananas all offer a non-acidic, bladder-friendly option for getting in your vitamin C. (13) I also find that some liposomal vitamin C is tolerated by women with pelvic floor issues.
Rootganic Supplements For The Pelvic Floor
My Rootganics supplement company was born out of the need for high-quality supplements that support the pelvic floor and the bladder. I saw a desperate need for supplements geared specifically toward women and women with pelvic conditions.
As you’ve just read collagen is arguably one of the most crucial elements of the pelvic floor… so Rootganics Total Fem Collagen contains absolutely zero Vitamin C. Total Fem Collagen is a complete protein with the top five most important peptides (that won’t cause bladder irritation or mood issues like other collagens might!)
Rootganic Total Fem Collagen is rigorously tested and lacks pesticide and herbicide residue. It’s also totally and completely GMO-free.
When you add Rootganics to your daily smoothie, coffee, tea, or juice, you won’t taste it at all. We just improved the formula even more so there is ZERO taste and completely flavorless.
- “Female Pelvic Floor Anatomy: The Pelvic Floor, Supporting ….” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1472875/.
- “Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of … – PubMed.” 1 Jan. 2019, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30681787/.
- “Enhancing Skin Health: By Oral Administration of Natural ….” 7 Oct. 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6213755/.
- “Pelvic floor disorders: linking genetic risk factors to biochemical ….” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21883823/.
- “Association between pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary ….” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24940435/.
- “Collagen content of nonsupport tissue in pelvic organ prolapse and ….” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14710077/.
- “Collagen metabolism and turnover in women with stress urinary ….” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12054187/.
- “Young women with genital prolapse have a low collagen ….” https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdfdirect/10.1111/j.0001-6349.2004.00438.x.
- “Collagen changes in pelvic support tissues in women with pelvic ….” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30710765/.
- “Vaginal Fibroblastic Cells from Women with Pelvic Organ … – Nature.” 11 Mar. 2016, https://www.nature.com/articles/srep22971.
- “Recent studies of genetic dysfunction in pelvic organ prolapse: the ….” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24575973/.
- “Dietary Consumption Triggers in Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain ….” 5 Dec. 2020, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221978643_Dietary_Consumption_Triggers_in_Interstitial_CystitisBladder_Pain_Syndrome_Patients.
- “IC-Friendly Fruits and Vegetables – Interstitial Cystitis Association.” 2 May. 2016, https://www.ichelp.org/living-with-ic/interstitial-cystitis-and-diet/elimination-diet/ic-friendly-fruits-and-vegetables/.