Hello to your pelvic floor harmony!
If pelvic floor exercises were easy then more of us would do them every day and less of us would leak when we laugh, cough or jump…FACT!
1:3 ladies suffer with this type of leakage which is known as STRESS URINARY INCONTINECE (SUI for short).
But did you know there are other types of leakage problems that a lot of women quietly “put up” with?
Let’s talk about incontinence and all it’s forms…
Incontinence: did you know there is more than one type ?
URGE INCONTINENCE = When you need to get to toilet quickly and don’t make it in time and leak urine.
FLATAL INCONTINENCE = When you can’t control the wind that leaves either your vagina or bowel exit.
COITAL INCONTINENCE = When you leak urine during intercourse.
FAECAL INCONTINENCE = When you can’t control your bowel passage and you leak faeces.
Some of these you may of heard of, others you may not.
If you are someone living with any of these pelvic floor dysfunctions then YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I know many women feel embarassed, ashamed, silly, fed up, anxious, guilty, distraught, lonely, depressed and so do not seek help about it.
However, 75% of SUI can be completely improved by pelvic floor exercises alone.
If you are regularly doing your pelvic floor exercises but seeing no improvement in your symptoms after three – six months then please do not suffer in silence. Book to go see a women’s health physiotherapist who can assess your pelvic floor muscle function and help tailor an exercise programme to suit your individual needs.
As a general rule of thumb, we encourage all ladies to perform
10 fast pelvic floor squeezes,
10 slow controlled pelvic floor squeezes using your breath correctly, THREE times a day.
However, for some ladies they are “holding on” to their pelvic floor muscles to tightly and actually need to learn correct breathing techniques to help them RELAX their muscles before working them efficiently. If you have ever tried biofeedback pelvic floor exercises post baby and just didn’t like them chances are you might have an overactive pelvic floor and “strengthening them” is not what they need.
Before we dive any further in, let’s discuss the WHAT< WHY<WHEN<WHERE<HOW factor of the pelvic floor muscles.
What are pelvic floor muscles?
They are the basin of muscles that cover the bottom floor of your pelvic ring. They house your pelvic organs: Bladder, Uterus & Bowel and keep them elevated and in your pelvis cavity when working well. They control your outlets of your bladder and bowel permitting you to wee and poo when you want to. They have a role in sexual intercourse as they surround the vagina and when functioning correctly pelvic floor muscles help prevent low back pain.
So as we can see the Pelvic floor muscles have more than one job! In fact they do way more than just contract and relax to let us go to the toilet. This is WHY THEY ARE SO IMPORTANT.
They also lengthen and expand to support the weight of a growing baby(s) during EACH pregnancy. They are affected by hormonal changes. They are INCREDIBLE MUSCLES THAT DESERVE WAY MORE LIMELIGHT THAN THEY CURRENTLY GET.
Why are your pelvic floor muscles important?
Your pelvic floor muscles…
- prevent pelvic organ prolapse
- prevent incontinence from all passages
- prevent lower back pain
- allow sexual pleasure.
Where are your pelvic floor muscles?
They attach directly to the pubis bone at the front of your pelvic and your tailbone (sacrum) at the back of your body. They encircle all pelvic outlets, your bowel, your vagina and your bladder and they fill the bottom of your pelvis like a basin. They are deep and superficial in structure which is why they need working with a fast squeeze – superficial to stop leaks with effort and why they need working with a slow squeeze – deep fibres to enable them to keep our outlets closed until we get to a toilet.
How to work your pelvic floor muscles?
Lets now get down to the nitty gritty about the HOW the pelvic floor muscles work. Here is a video and a blog post (click below) explaining all about it.
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