So - is the lack of post-natal pelvic floor education a feminist issue?
1:3 women 35-55 years piss themselves. 55+ it's half of us. And, these figures are based on the ones who seek help... anecdotally, I'd say it's at least 40% of women in the lower age group, and most of them in the older age group.
Associated with that is a loss of sexual function.
70% of simple stress incontinence can be solved by doing yer blardy exercises. And, a stronger pelvic floor brings stronger orgasms.
Why is this acceptable? Why are women so accepting that these things are just consequences of ageing and childbirth?
I'm on my high horse today - and it has struck me that if a man's sexual function was damaged by reproduction there'd be something done about it.
I'd really like MN to run a campaign raising awareness about pelvic floors, continence and sexual function...given that a third of us are pissing ourselves every time we read something funny on here, it'd be a perfect fit?
I think that's a great idea. It's all too often not talked about or ignored and it can really affect your day to day life. I had a 4th degree tear a year ago and am still recovering, and most women I know (having had a child or not) don't do the exercises.
Anything that gets people talking about aspects of childbirth especially the downsides is a good thing and is a feminist issue. Too often childbirth is romanticized. Problems are silenced. Women are socialised not to talk about "womens' problems" and often don't have the opportunity to talk about the issues before thinking about having children. The media have a vested interest in silencing the problems around childbirth.
Sites like MN are vital and brilliant about bringing women together to talk. That's what makes them so frightening too (to those wanting to brush things like this under the carpet) because it wouldn't do for women to actually decide that the risks of childbirth aren't actually worth having children.
Right, thanks for that. Will post on the main board - I'd really love it if MN would run it as a campaign.
I'm a physio with an interest in womens' health - specifically, why physios are so bad at getting the message across to women about something that can fundamentally change your life.
Some of the stories I've heard beggar belief. Amazing, sensible, achieving women...putting up with a whole bunch of nasty just because it's "too embarrassing" to deal with. That, and because it appears there's no help. And, they feel ashamed of something that is essentially normal, but usually entirely cureable.
Isn't it also because women are supposed to hide the fact that they have a body that functions? Women use the loo, we bleed, we emit gas, we grow hair all over, we eat, we drink, but we're supposed to hide all that in the name of something or other.
So we put up with discomfort in order not to bruise the delicate ears of those who don't want to know that women are people too.
But that's what I'm saying. Women don't discuss it even with other women as a result of what I said before which is exactly why it is a feminist issue. People grow up thinking the natural things that women's bodies do are gross and taboo so when there is a problem, they don't discuss it.
I'm entirely on your side. We bloody well should talk about it especially if it is a problem that can be solved. I am speaking as a woman who is 15 weeks pregnant with DC2 and had to put her pyjama bottoms in the wash this morning because she coughed too hard. And I do my pelvic floor exercises.
Sorry, so you did <mental note to read things properly and not type whilst small child squirming over me>
Glad to hear you do the exercises! Hold for 10, 10 quick flicks and up 3 floors and back down, x3 a day...but relax in between each one or, when the time comes, that wee baby will have problems getting out of your rock hard fanjo!
A campaign is a great idea. In France all women have the right to free physio sessions to help rebuild perineal muscles after giving birth (I think it's 10 sessions). This should be a minimum as not only do you get a kick start to an improved pelvic floor you also find out how to do your exercises properly.