Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

Who here actually does pelvic floor exercises??

(179 Posts)

And how do you remind yourself?
I've just started gone back to exercise in general and got a bit of a shock when a little bit of wee came out when I ran blush.
I was so paranoid I hardly moved the rest of the session.
I know I need to do them, surely I can't be the only one who does 2 squeezes then starts making a shopping list in my head?
Come on, spill not wee

itsatrap Wed 22-Aug-12 23:52:30

Oh my god, exact same thing happened to me today- came back from run smelling a bit like piss, not good. Ds1 is 12w, it was fine after dd 3y, not so much now. i think about it maybe once a week, but doing them makes me need to pee (normal??). Then i go for a pee and forget about them until following week. i think mine is basically knackered,and apologies for total overshare

I like sharing!
I also smelt a bit like piss, tres embarrassing. Am actually now lung in bed wondering if the bedroom now smells as I forgot to put them in the wash. Oh dear.
Come on, where are all the MNers with lovely tight undercarraiges?

ceeveebee Wed 22-Aug-12 23:59:11

I only do them at exercise classes - yoga, pilates etc otherwise I just totally forget about them. I'm 9 months post-birth of twins - but I don't think I need to as I don't leak and can go for hours without a wee (tmi perhaps?!?!)

Me - after five babies I'd have a fanny like a bucket if I didn't.
At the risk of sounding like a complete tosser nympho nerd geek blush I started to do them after I read a Heinlein book (one of his "dubious" ones) that had a character whose improved muscle control improved her sex life and then it was much later that I found out about my pelvic floor and all that stuff. I got lucky I guess, and have always done them ever since. That said, I dread to think how incontinent I would be if I hadn't done them, as cough/snneze/hilarity when my bladder is full can definitely lead to "oops moments" even having muscles of iron down there confused

And I missed the point a bit there - I do them in bed at night. I often have trouble getting to sleep, and count them a la counting sheep. I do ten sets of ten every night, and if I wake up stiff fnar fnar and know it's going to take me a while to get going and feel up to actually getting up, I do some more in the morning, so I at least feel a bit less useless about not being able to move as such.

I am actually lying here awake wondering where I can find the time to do them, yet it still hadn't occurred to me to do them now hmm
Do you squeeze for 10, relax for 10, 10 times?

And who is this Heinlein fellow? Do I need to Amazon him?

Alameda Thu 23-Aug-12 00:10:25

you need to talk to this person I know, he tells me things that make me involuntarily clench in horror - all the way up - and it all takes a long time to unclench

I wonder if my minge is becoming a sort of steel jawed trap these days. Will ask next person brave enough to put a bit of themselves in there.

giraffesCantGoBackToSchool Thu 23-Aug-12 00:14:43

trap ds is 12 weeks and you are out running?

I feel very ashamed of myself now!

I know giraffes , I am also shamed (please don't tell her that my DS is 1 next week, she will laugh at me then I will see even more)

*wee not see

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Thu 23-Aug-12 00:30:29

Every time you go for a wee stop it as much as you can for a count of 10.
I used to do this after DD1 and continued after the other 2. Lately only do once ish a day, DC3 is now 20, I never leak!

itsatrap Thu 23-Aug-12 07:05:40

Buns of steel with a funny like a welly! Don't be impressed by the running, i go in about a 600m loop then collapse on the sofa retching and gasping for air for about an hour.

itsatrap Thu 23-Aug-12 07:12:44

Going back to op though, once pelvic floor is knackered, can it recover? Has anyone got any amazing take-a-break worthy pelvic floor recovery stories to inspire?

fledtoscotland Thu 23-Aug-12 07:17:55

I have started to do exercises since starting running. Either that or tena lady. Got a free DVD from tena with info how to do exercises. Also, was advised to use a tampon when running (inserted obviously) to support pelvic floor. It works.

<<now slinks off as should probably have name changed blush >>

I've done them since I was a teen, I do them in the car when I'm stuck in traffic which is every day. And then if I have a spare five minutes during the day, I do at least five. I started doing them again 4 weeks after giving birth, (I did try a week after but couldn't do it)

AGeeksWife Thu 23-Aug-12 08:25:55

I do them whenever I read the words pelvic floor exercises and then forget again until I read the words again.

relaxingathome Thu 23-Aug-12 08:30:41

I do, you need to make sure you do slow holds ie 10 times ten second holds and quick squeezes as well.
Ideally you should do them at least three times a day.

Imo best times are while you are waiting for the kettle to boil, red traffic lights and ad breaks on tv

holler Thu 23-Aug-12 08:31:38

I was fine after the birth of DD1 (although I didn't put this to the test by actually exercising...). Now 25weeks with DC2 and can not sneeze without leaking blush. Am going to try an aquaflex toner once DC2 is out.

I've done them while reading this thread, but otherwise do one or two a week day and get bored.

WoodlandHills Thu 23-Aug-12 08:34:02

I do them when I read threads like these blush

Bartusmaeus Thu 23-Aug-12 08:42:45

I gave birth in France. Here it's standard after the birth to be given a prescription to go and see a physiotherapist to work on your pelvic floor.

So I had 10 sessions which were fairly embarassing (I'll spare you the details) and in between sessions I was given exercises to do which I used to do whilst sitting and breastfeeding (until I was given standing up ones to do which I forgot about a lot more as I was rarely standing still, when I was up I was walking comforting a baby).

She also gave me abdominal exercises to do but I didn't do many of those just could not be arsed

So, I did work on my pelvic floor but only during those 10 weeks. No leakage issues here smile

fatlazymummy Thu 23-Aug-12 08:49:16

I do them sometimes.
However the thing that I found the most helpful was swimming [esp. breaststroke]. I have noticed a massive improvement since I restarted swimming.

Don't you get loads of water in your foof if you do them whilst swimming?

Catinthebox Thu 23-Aug-12 12:00:09

I started to do them after I got a bit leaky after putting on (and then losing) loads of weight.

I now have some pyrex ben wa balls too. I tend to stuff them in and just forget about them, but they seem to help.

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 12:19:38

I'm a physio - and I think part of the problem is they way we teach the exercises.

They are a bit random - it's easy to strengthen your arm because you can SEE it move, but your PF? How do you know you are doing it right?

I am fairly frank when yakking on about them. You want to ever have an orgasm again? Do your blardy pelvic floor exercises.

In the interests of full and frank disclosure - you need to be sure you are actually contracting your muscles. If you are bobbing up and down when you do them - that's not it, that's your butt. If you are squinting your eyes and tilting your head and holding your breath when you do them? Not sure what's going on, but it's doubtful that you are doing your PF very well...

If you're not sure... the easiest way to check whether you are doing them right is to bung something in there - your finger, a tampon, a bit of someone else's anatomy, doesn't matter. And, squeeze it. You'll get a bit of feedback on what the sensation is like. Remember that sensation (well, depending on what you are squeezing) and then try to replicate it with an empty fanjo.

Squeeze and hold for ten secs.

Ten quick flicks.

Then, imagine that your fanjo is a lift/elevator. Squeeze, and lift it to first floor, second floor, third floor - and then back down.


And, repeat.

And, repeat.

You can get strength training devices from Boots (othe chemists are available) They look like little tampons, but are weights that you insert and do your exercises with. Use tehm when you are doing the hoovering/walking up and down stairs or whatever too, for strength training. They are really good - but they only work if you actually USE them, and, Top Tip - make sure you can competently hold the thing in if you go out...

...I once saw one rolling in the cereal aisle of Sainsbos.


Wisnae mine, I hasten to add.

Anyhoo - the point is that, apart from not pishing yourself every time you laugh, and not having to "plan" your shopping trips to include shops with toilets, and not having low back pain and a fanny like a bucket - you'll have more orgasms with less effort.

You doing them now?

Course you are.

holler Thu 23-Aug-12 12:25:18

I think I love you nanky.

squoosh Thu 23-Aug-12 12:27:43

Oh nanky the poor woman who dropped her fanny weights in Sainsbury's! Probably not the kind of thing you pick back up and re-insert.

toodles Thu 23-Aug-12 12:34:44

I bought the Mutu system but haven't started yet. Looks like a good program if only I put in the time to do it.


albertswearengen Thu 23-Aug-12 12:37:02

I was doing mine quite a lot after a forceps but only really found them very useful after I started doing the elevator ones that nankypeevy describes.

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 12:54:51

They are boring exercises, and they are The Last Thing you want to do when you are running around after kids.

We used to give out red dots for people to stick around the house - every time you saw a red dot, do them.

I think you could set your phone to beep every hour or so nowadays instead. Something subtle - wouldn't recommend "cry me a river" ha ha aha ha.

The different exercises are to strengthen the different types of contraction your pf needs to do:

the hold for ten secs is for strength - so you can hang on long enough to actually unlock the door and not pish yourself on your doorstep.

The ten quick flicks are so it will contract when you cough/laugh/sneeze

The lift one is actually a mystery to me. I can't think of a functional reason for needing to provide a lift in my fanny.

No, am joking, it's a just a strength progression thing, but I am always amazed than no one ever says "imagine my WHAT's a WHAT"? Everyone always nods as if it's a perfectly normal thing to visualise.

Tell you what though. 40% of women over 40 have stress incontinence. FORTY PER CENT.

All those women, putting up with it. For the sake of doing the blardy exercises. And, a wee bitty embarrassment in telling their GP.

Bloody tragic. Half your school gate are too embarrassed to get help, they just limit their activities and buy extra perfume incase they are reeking of pee.

Oh, be careful you don't trip on my soapbox there. Makes me cross. Don't put up with it. It's easily fixed in most cases, with surprisingly little effort.

Oooh, maybe we should do a mumsnet academy thingie? Pishy Pals Anonymous?

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 12:55:07

Holler - blush x

holler Thu 23-Aug-12 12:59:17

Do we get a Trampolining Certificate at the end of it?

And, ahem, serious question, can you use Aquaflex toners when pg? MW says she thinks so, packaging says no.

WoodlandHills Thu 23-Aug-12 13:02:36

Sometimes when I do them it makes me a bit horny blush

Is it just me, or does that happen to anyone else.....?

Cremolavelodrome Thu 23-Aug-12 13:03:03

Nancky - you've made my day.
Rofl at little elevatorgringringrin

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 13:06:37

The company will say no incase you try to sue them when your bump's too big and you can't reach to get them out.

There's also the risk of causing a urinary tract infection - if you get thrush in pregnancy and you are rummaging around in there trying to fit the things, then there's a small UTI risk.

And, I'd question what the point is - your PF is already being loaded by the baby and all the gubbings like the fluid and the placenta, so, you could argue it's being strengthened all the time and what difference would another half a pound make?

But, you could use them. I wouldn't bother though, i'd just do the exercises without them. It's hard to look elegant fishing them out when you can't see what you are doing.

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 13:09:11

Trampolining. That's like the Black Belt of pelvic floor progression.

Even I, with a fanjo of steel after three giant babies, have to concentrate slightly when on a trampoline.

Yes, you can have a certificate. Or, maybe a tattoo like the olympic athletes all treat themselves to? ha ha, instead of five olympic rings we'd have one steel one. Naice.

holler Thu 23-Aug-12 13:15:48

True. That explains why I'm suddenly scared of sneezing (giant baby brewing) - wasn't a problem before about 15 weeks. Will leave the aquaflexing as a postnatal treat, and just keep Lifting until then.

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 13:21:57

Yep, don't do too much midstream stopping - when you stop peeing half way through? That can cause UTI's too, just once a week is enough after the baby's born. Don't do it now, you'll only depress yourself.

And, leave off trampolining for the next 25 weeks or so.

Congrats! Hope you are blessed with a small headed baby. x

HappySeven Thu 23-Aug-12 13:29:07

Hanky, it's not fair to strain our pelvic floors even more by making us laugh about lifts. (but thank you!)

HappySeven Thu 23-Aug-12 13:29:41

Hanky?!? Stupid iPad. Stupid woman using it.

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 13:38:58

Woodland - missed that wee gem post of yours!

nope, quite the point normal.

An orgasm is partly a contraction of the PF and partly thinking about Alan Rickman So, if you contract the muscles voluntarily, you might get a bit of a glow.

Have you heard of muscle memory?

To my knowledge, there's not been any research on muscle memory and orgasm - but, your fanjo's full of muscle that works the same as those in your leg, so it makes sense.

In which case, the more orgasms you have...

WoodlandHills Thu 23-Aug-12 13:43:23

Glad to hear its normal

Also, while we're on the subject of TMI things, sometimes when I am, erm, receiving oral I clench them as it seems to erm, speed things up for me a bit blush

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 13:45:52


I'd stop that, Woodland.

Speed it up? Try slowing it down and thinking of Alan Rickman at the same time. Smashing.

WoodlandHills Thu 23-Aug-12 13:49:05

blush but if i don't do it, I take ages, honestly, hours sad

maybe its dh technique

As for Alan Rickman, just, No hes old enough to be my grandad

Can't believe I am admitting these things seeing as I now have many mn friends on my FB

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 13:52:19

I know quite a lot about the tempero-mandibular joint too - incase your DH has a sore jaw.

Truly Madly Deeply...phwaaooor

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Thu 23-Aug-12 13:57:04

Nanky, you are divine! Thanks for the heads up about not too much mid-stream stopping. Must remember to pass that on to the DDs, have drummed it into them from a very early age and they're now in their mid 20s.

hugandroll Thu 23-Aug-12 14:22:33

My ds2 is 16 weeks and I've been exercising the past month but always neglect my pelvic floor. Ive leaked a few times when doing jumping squats amongst other things, will be adding a reminder now to do them.

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 14:31:20

Bewitched - they used to use a MSS a strengthening exercise, but have changed their minds. It's now an assessment tool - you can get some nasty backflow of urine if you do it too often which can do funny things to your kidneys.

Hug - that's the way!

DilysPrice Thu 23-Aug-12 14:42:32

MN needs to insert a rolling thread in Active Convos labelled "KEGEL" so that every time we see it we can do a few reps.

Not stickied, because you stop seeing stickies after a while, and with a regularly changing name so you don't get immune to seeing it.

wednesdaygirl Thu 23-Aug-12 14:44:56

OMG my 'baby' is 15 now and my pf is dire

Been to hosp for exercises but still wee loads i cant run, dance etc

Ahhh Nanky I love you. Yep now doing my pelvic floors grin

TobyLerone Thu 23-Aug-12 14:56:57

I only do them when I see something which reminds me. So maybe once every few months.

I don't pee myself, either.

Just lucky, I suppose!

Dylis LOL! You are so right! It would be a public service for all woman (and man!)-kind.

mrsmopsmissingmojo Thu 23-Aug-12 15:12:53

My pf is rather good! I've also had 5 fan births! Never an accident yet wink I have got to have an op on my arse instead though! Grade 4 piles!!! Not sure which is worse! blush

LackaDAISYcal Thu 23-Aug-12 15:29:44

Lol nanky, you have cheered me up no end smile

Serious question though, can pfes make a real difference where rectocele and/or cystocele exists?

I do pfes regularly, but still have stress and urge inco. Inspite of previous physio (pre forceps delivery of dc3) only having a moderate effect, I've been referred back to physios. Not sure how pfes will help the gaping holes in the walls of my fanjo at the entrance, but realise I am not an expert. And I've read that only surgery can fix rectocele and cystocele.

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 20:22:55

Sorry you've got that going on, LackaDaisy - that sucks.

recto/cystoceles are essentially hernias in your uterus. The uterus is supported by long gristly bits of, well, gristly tendons. Think of them a bit like a spider's web pulling the uterus up into your pelvis so it looks like an inflated balloon.

Pregnancy, birth and age can damage the "strings" of the spider's web. So, some parts of the uterus can start to sag, a bit like a deflating balloon. That means that the other pelvic organs can drop down into the uterus...and beyond. The vagina can prolapse entirely out of your foofoo and that's just unpleasant.

Now, imagine you are looking down through your pelvis towards your feet. The pelvis is just a circle of bone. The thing that's holding all your guts in place is your pelvic floor. The muscles sit like a sling under the base of your pelvis. If it's a tight sling, there's great support, if not, then the pressure in your abdomen (when you cough/sneeze), or the weight of your full bladder can be too much for the saggy wee muscles to cope with - and you wet yourself.

So, yes, having a rock hard set of PFM's will help people with an ocele in that it will support the organs from below and reduce the leaking. But, if the uterus is like a saggy balloon and you have bits of your gut slipping into it - well, that's too much pressure in the wrong place and no, conservative management won't put the air back in your uterus-shaped balloon.

So, a small cystocele and a woman who's prepared to be a PF athlete - might improve sufficiently so you can get away without surgery. A bigger cystocele...doesn't matter what you do, gravity and the laws of physics will stop you from being able to manage it effectively. Get the surgeons to sling it back where it should be.

howevah - doing the exs pre op will aid your recovery and reduce the risk of it happening again - remember, these ligaments stretch with age (so, you may well have had eleventy-billion kids and be able to shoot ping pong balls at will, but give it ten years and you might find things are not quite as taught as you thought. Do Your Exercises!)

So, my advice would be - see the physio. But, see a specialist in Wimmins Ishoos. Your hospital or community service will have a continence specialist - that's who you want. They have all sorts of biofeedback devices and usually are involved with the urological studies you should be being subjected to having.

There's little point in your GP referring you to someone like me - I know enough to deal with the basics, but would panic slightly if you had bits of your innards dragging along the floor.

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 20:24:39

Dylis - that's a great idea. We should get the BBC in on the act too.

Or alan Rickman could give us a ring to remind us?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 23-Aug-12 20:31:19

MuTu is awesome for pelvic floor - teaches you to use it all the time in the way you breathe, walk, lift, carry etc rather than having to remember to do specific exercises.

JeuxDEnfants Thu 23-Aug-12 20:40:26

I just have sex, much more fun smile

missorinoco Thu 23-Aug-12 20:52:25

Nanky - you have another fan here. I love those descriptions.

missorinoco Thu 23-Aug-12 20:53:26

Dear lovely MN - can you move this out of Chat? So that when I forget next month and want to remind myself what I promised I would do, the thread is still floating around.

Would anyone mind?

giraffesCantGoBackToSchool Thu 23-Aug-12 20:54:24

report the thread and they will do it for you smile

secretlyahippy Thu 23-Aug-12 20:57:56

I developed a cystocele and rectocele after having 3 large babies with very quick deliveries.

I saw a marvellous, marvellous pelvic floor physio <eyes nanky suspiciously as may have been her>

I become obsessed with pfe. In the end I was subconciously doing them all the time. I always held them at about 50% when walking. I do not have any issues with the prolapses now - I can't seem to feel them anymore unless I go running (which I've sadly given up - although may resume with a new 'cube' product I've seen...). I have no incontinence issues at all which is surpising as my anatomy looks differnt now on ultrasound.

follyfoot Thu 23-Aug-12 20:59:04

I bought one of those pelvic toners after reading the stuff on here (marketing disguised as a survey but hey ho). Its been fantastic I have to say, despite me being super cynical about it. Definite noticeable improvement within a week. Have taken up running and my pelvic floor really wasnt up to 5k on a treadmill before blush but am loads better now.

So... nanky, are you in Scotland?

(Have just started using the Aquaflex, fingers and other parts crossed that it actually works too... I dream of running without Bulgy Crotch Syndrome.)

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 21:32:06

You had me there, Ghastly - "how did she figure that out?" I was wondering. What a muppet.

Yes, I'm in Edinburgh. But, I'm not a continence specialist - I did some stuff on pelvic floors and core stability as part of a postgrad.

Colleagues started putting the PF referrals on my list because I'm completely unembarrassable - it's only a muscle like any other. And, getting your pf sorted can be life changing. I don't say that lightly - truly, people can become continence cripples because they are not confident that they can be dry long enough to do the things they want.

My background's in sports stuff, but now I am into getting properly elderly folk to exercise - love it.

Most of them have, I get to lecture away to my heart's content.

Glad you've had good results, ladies - be vocal about it! If it was up to me we'd have fanjo evangelism - makes me so annoyed that women think it's an acceptable side effect of breeding and ageing. No need for it.

missorinoco Thu 23-Aug-12 21:46:05

Reported thread. Hope it sticks.

madmomma Thu 23-Aug-12 21:51:23

nanky how come my fanjo was stretched enormously by a huge baby forceps, but although I could barely feel sex + felt someone had driven a bus out of me, I still never leaked? Is it possible to be very baggy but totally continent IYSWIM? (pf fully recovered now after months and months of faithful exercises and what a joy to have strength back)

puds11 Thu 23-Aug-12 21:55:44

I have found the best way to work out which muscles are your pelvic floor muscles is to stop your wee mid-flow. The muscles you use then are your pelvic floor muscles.

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 22:14:21

Madmomma - yes, is the short answer.

Continence is a balance of lots of different things. Your bladder has a muscle lining, and it is this muscle that's primarily responsible for letting you know when you need to pee.

As your bladder fills, it stretches. So the muscle (the detruser muscle) gets stretched. That's the feeling of needing a pee. When you are in control of your continence you can subconsciously contract your pelvic floor muscles which will hold the neck of your bladder shut - and give you time to get to the loo.

When you sit down to pee, the detruser muscle contracts, squishes the bladder - and you get to talk to the kids because they've followed you into the toilet.

But. If your pf is a bit weak, and your bladder is full, and you cough - the abdominal pressure that creates can be too much for your muscles to keep the neck of the bladder shut - and, woops.

You get a wee leak, enough to make your knickers wet but not so much that it's noticeable to anyone else. That's stress incontinence - add extra stress to the muscle and you leak a bit.

But, you know you've just wet yourself. So, you go to the loo more often - don't want THAT to happen again! And, then you get into the cycle of peeing when your bladder is not actually full - so the detruser muscle gets used to less stretch, so it tells you to pee earlier than it used to, so you pee every ten minutes because you are bursting...even though there's not that much pee to come out. That's urinary frequency.

So, it might be that you had really great pf control before the instrument delivery. Or, that you are a naturallly stretchy person and have muscles that stretched really well, so snapped back. Or, that you don't drink as much liquid as other people, or that you are more active than the average mamma and lose fluid as sweat.

I'm glad you are back to normal - and am secretly hoping that you have a smashing elastic fanjo incase you go for more babies!

nankypeevy Thu 23-Aug-12 22:17:00

puds - yep, that will let you know you are contracting the right muscles, as long as you have enough power to alter the flow of pee.

Just once a week though. A bit like weighing yourself, do it too often and it makes you go a bit funny.

OlympiaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Aug-12 22:30:21

Hi there
We are going to move this thread out of chat to ensure it remains water tight

OlympiaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Aug-12 22:30:58

But do keep bumped to keep in active

OhNoMyFoot Thu 23-Aug-12 22:48:38

I do mine when washing my hands after going to the toilet, try and remember to do them at traffic lights too. Just pick an activity maybe washing the pots and do them everything you do it.

madmomma Thu 23-Aug-12 22:48:38

thank you nankythat's v interesting.
Funnily enough, in my last job I was hideously bored and had to sit watching lessons all day. I used to do pelvic floor exercises all day every day, and dh said I had a fanny like a steel trap grin. So 'twas quite a shock to go to the other (wizard's sleeve) extreme after DS!

No more babies now - despite the cavernous postnatal fanny I managed to accidentally concieve DC3 rather shortly after the forceps delivery. Luckily she was little, and born by c-sect.

OhNoMyFoot Thu 23-Aug-12 22:49:42

Oh I too had a pelvic floor you could bounce a coin off of but a fast delivery with ds shot it too pieces.

LackaDAISYcal Fri 24-Aug-12 09:38:42

Thanks nanky grin. Nothing falling out quite yet, thankfully, but I'm aware it will only get worse post menopause. Will carry on with the physio route, but push for a banjo nip and tuck!

I think MN should get you to write the MN Guide to PFEs...hilarious grin

LackaDAISYcal Fri 24-Aug-12 09:39:57

banjo? Gotta love autocorrect grin

nankypeevy Fri 24-Aug-12 11:47:09

Oooh, Daisy - that's a gurrrreat idea!

I'd bloody love that. Can I do illustrations too? If always thought an image of someone's prolapse dragging along the pavement with wee bits of chewing gum and grit stuck to it would be fairly motivating.

Get Alan Rickman to do the frontispiece thingie, and you're on!

holler Fri 24-Aug-12 12:15:00

Slightly off-topic, but how do you know if you have a cystocele or rectocele or prolapse? Would it be obvious? And if you don't know, you haven't got one?

Oh Nanky you're on the mumsnet talk round up grin

Women across the UK shall be working those pf muscles after a read! Actually I've done at least 5 sets since yesterday now <preens>

Oh and I need some brain bleach after envisioning that picture in my head!

I am very proud of myself. This is the longest thread I've ever started and look at all the wonderful advice were getting!
AND, mnhq are on it too! Proud and blush
Nanky you are wonderful. Thank you.
I'm squeezing as I type!

LackaDAISYcal Fri 24-Aug-12 13:58:40

PMSL at the illustration grin

Holler, come and chat with the fallen fanjo brigade

Once I Googled, and then compared to my own anatomy, it was fairly obvious, but yes lots of women have this, but don't realise. And it's not as rare as websites would have you believe. Just women don't talk about it or seek help for it.

LackaDAISYcal Fri 24-Aug-12 14:01:16

and you hit the headlines too Boobs grin

I've never done that in over 6 years envy

TooImmatureTurtleDoves Fri 24-Aug-12 15:34:28


This is making me need to pee, but baby is asleep on me. I suppose that's a PFE in itself.

<wonders if Nanky is the physio she saw for SPD a few months back, in Uphall>

nankypeevy Fri 24-Aug-12 18:29:49

On talk roundup? Squee! Do we get a prize?

Here's a brass neck moment:

I've been on the entrepreneurs thread - am planning to work privately in the community, which is mostly elderly people. Whom I luuuurve.

It's just been suggested to me that a "physio party" might be a workable idea - and I've gotten all excited...

...a bunch of friends with a slightly insecure (or worse) PF get together with wine and I'd come along and teach them all about PFE's? I could supply the weights, teach the exercises, give out reminders - and the group would be a self supporting (ha ha ha, seewhaddahdidthere?) unit, so could remind each other to do the blardy exercises.

It'd be a pants on affair - no one needs to be that close socially.

See, I'd totally do that with MY friends. But, I have no shame and so am not a good judge of these things...

nankypeevy Fri 24-Aug-12 18:30:36

Dove - nope, not Uphall. Proper Edinburgh (though, not a native)

Hope the SPD's settling - had that myself, Not Nice.

Billysiv Fri 24-Aug-12 18:42:54

In praise of pelvic floor exercises.
My tuppennyworth is that my present significant other has never had children and so everything is well toned. My last girlfriend had two children and practised her pelvic floor exercises regularly. I was very appreciative of the efforts she made having met more than a few a few Slack Alices in my time.
Throwing a pencil into the Albert Hall was an appropriate analogy.
Keep up the good work girls if you want to keep your DH or BF's with a big smile on their face.

WhoWillDoMyHoovering Fri 24-Aug-12 19:40:09

Catinthebox some you-what balls? Can you elaborate (she asks naively)?!?

fizzyo Fri 24-Aug-12 19:50:24

I have a little bee in my bonnet about this and women everywhere becoming disempowered and not able to go out and their activities becoming limited and back pain becoming a problem for them because someone in marketing is passing on a message that 'oops moments are able to happen' They shouldnt be happening, women should get the treatment and information they need to ensure they have the control so that companies selling this myth and the products that go with it cannot make money out of women.
OK years ago women did not discuss such things and inevitably suffered, but nowadays we discuss everything else . Can I please urge (ha ha) you to get one of the mobile app on pelvic floor exercises look at someof the videos on u tube contact your local womens health physio or look at their websites and advice .... but please ladies do do it and encourage friends to.
Imagine if a weight training person went up into the gym did 2 weight s exercises then wandered off to make coffee , not much muscle training would go on so it is important to do a session in order to improve not just one or two
Once hormones change at menopause any deficit will be magnified and then even if there wasnt a problem before you will know about weakness so it is worth putting in the foundation work.
sorry this isnt meaning to be preachy but it is as I said a little bee in my bonnet and a problem that i have personal experience of and I know that good treatment and exercise works so that I can now go onto the trampoline with my kids. So many mums have to sit whilst their kids run about and they blame it on their high healed shoes but I know!

squoosh Fri 24-Aug-12 19:56:32

Billysiv Your post reads like a 1950's public health announcement.

'Gels are you letting your hard working husband down. Slack vaginal muscles mean you're slacking off on your marital duties . . . . . . . . '

Olympicnmix Fri 24-Aug-12 19:57:11

I pretend to do them but think it's pointless as I get no feedback sensation.

Bad tear with dc1, stitched and then tore further, subsequent pg have made it worse. I can't even hold the cones inside without the weights. Have been referred to women's health after each pg and done electrical stim with no noticeable improvement. The final two times I visited she had a general chit chat about the family and intimated 'we' just have to accept that childbirth changes you hmm

I don't know what my next options are.

fizzyo Fri 24-Aug-12 20:06:12

oh how to remember? well i took flippin ages to make me a priority and getting this sorted outsoo it got to the stage where i was potty training my child and going into a shop to ask if they could use the loo when i needed to!
so i for myself put in 1/4 the effort i put into getting the kids continent to reminding myself and for my second child every nappy change ever reminder to go to the loo for them was a reminder for me to do some work on the exercises.
there was a time when i did some every time i checked my phone too. - if you really are busy then everyone cleans their teeth am and pm 2 minutes do it then.

Nanky- I love your idea of a physio party. Please add me to the list, if you're starting one. Am in Proper Edinburgh- although I am not. (Proper.)

<Bounces up and down, then swiftly regrets it>

fizzyo Fri 24-Aug-12 20:20:50

OK now ive read the whole thread not just the first page nanky u r legend! all discussion spot on I am so pleased people are chatting about this- wierd but true!
party idea I am thinking about it!

TooImmatureTurtleDoves Fri 24-Aug-12 20:51:19

Am not actually in Uphall - was sent there because of being cared for at St John's. The SPD is mostly gone now, thanks - get the odd twinge after -sex-- things like hoovering etc, but no more than a reminder.

Are you Glaswegian? Saying 'pish' always seems to me to be a Glasgow phrase.

LackaDAISYcal Fri 24-Aug-12 22:01:14

Olympicnmix, there is lots more that can be done. Please see your GP again, and ask for a uro-gynae referral.

nankypeevy Sat 25-Aug-12 10:22:01

Olympic - that's not a great experience you've had.

I'd agree that "we" are changed by childbirth - I myself have an interesting overhang thing going on on my belly from babyweight eldest is nearly nine

But, it's bollocks to suggest that you should accept it. Total bollocks. And It Makes Me Cross. See fizzyo's great post.

Where you go from here is - go back to your GP. Report what your treatment has been and what problems you are still experiencing. State that this is not acceptable to you and that it is interfering with your life, and whether it is bothering your mood (depression is quite high in women with continence issues. Quelle surprise)

Ask your GP to refer you to a specialist physiotherapist or a uro-gynaecologist.

Assuming your injuries to your undercarriage haven't damaged any nerves then doing your exercises - even without having any sensation you will be having an effect. It's just really disheartening.

To help that - you can buy feedback gadgets. They are expensive - from about £100. They are fitted with a scale of some sort, so you can see the dial move as you work the muscles.

And, you can buy muscle stimulating ones, which give your pelvic floor a wee electrical helping hand.

This is ordinary muscle training stuff - if you'd been in plaster for weeks and had a scraggy arm that was weak you'd do exactly the same stuff to get it working. It's just a bit embarrassing when it's your special place that's a big saggy.

PM me if you'd like to moan let off steam. Happy to give advice, and I could try to find out who your local fanny guru is.

Please don't put up with it. You don't have to.

nankypeevy Sat 25-Aug-12 10:31:32

Billysiv - thanks for the encouragement.

Interstingly, I've never yet met a woman who is motivated to strengthen her bits for her man's pleasure. Only for her own. Selfish besoms.

And, whilst I've not read any studies about pencil volume - anecdotally, there are some very small ones.

Boys can get problems with their pelvic floors too - you know all that dribbling after stopping a pee? All that farting when running? That slightly less than flagpole stiffy? All to do with the pelvic floor.

You don't have to put up with it either, love. Well done for taking the first, if slightly clumsy, step.

PM me. If you are brave enough.

"I've never yet met a woman who is motivated to strengthen her bits for her man's pleasure"

Puts hand up. I do blush I used to like squeezing them hard whilst... you know <ahem> doing it blush Coz he liked it. That be my ExH but he still left me for a 21 year old angry Barsteward. My son was only 4 weeks old when the affair begun, you need to give a lady a while to recover ya know. I was like Madmomma, huge baby, too much rummaging to get him out etc and I was uber baggy for a wee while. It's all good know though <phew>

nankypeevy Sat 25-Aug-12 10:39:49

Fizzyo - you a, ehm, physio?

There's a public service need here!

nankypeevy Sat 25-Aug-12 10:41:39

Turtle - I studied in Glasvegas. Suppose some off it rubbed off...

nankypeevy Sat 25-Aug-12 10:56:58

Don't step - fair point, I phrased it wrongly.

Of course, part of the function of the pelvic muscles is sexual pleasure - your and your partners.

There is a difference between a woman who's vice-like grip is on the slide and a woman who's anxious about leaving the house incase she wets herself. Or, who doesn't leave the house incase she wets herself.

The trick is to get the woman who's ping pong ball is only shooting half way across the room to do her blardy exercises...otherwise, with time and bad luck, she'll could be doubling up tena lady pads and unable to do a supermarket shop without going to the toilet, "just incase"

In fact, the more read this thread, the more staggered I am. How many of us are there with flappy fannies? Are the statistics totally wrong?

The stats I have branded in my brain is 40% of women over 40 - but that includes ALL women, and clearly, age increases your risk.

Hmm. Mumsnet might be a good place to get a frank picture - it's anonymous so people are more likely to be honest.

Am away to shout at my kids for a bit. And mull this over

Yes vair true. Tena lady panty liners were my friend for a while blush

Olympicnmix Sat 25-Aug-12 12:38:52

Thanks LackaDaisycal and nankypeevy, that's really given me some hope. I will book in to see my GP next week and ask for a uro-gynae referral.

And nankypeevy will PM you for guru advice, thank you smile

nankypeevy Sat 25-Aug-12 15:57:09

whowilldomyhoovering you can get a variety of weights and even dumbells for your bits. Aquatone are popular, Boots sell them for about £30 off the top of my head.

Ben Wa balls are weighted balls, you'll have seen silver, chiming balls in wee silk lined boxes sold in card and gift shops for reasons unknown that you pop in and try to go about your daily business without it falling out.

Anything that's weighted that you can hold in will do the job. Though, I'd personally avoid a kettle ball or anything on the Shred videos.

5madthings Sat 25-Aug-12 16:11:32

ooh good thread, i try and do mine, but should do more, tho tbf i have been lucky with my 5 and never had any major issues, but def need to do more!

are there areny weights/products that are better than others? someone recomended a make beginning with M on this thread?

a recomendation would be good smile

5madthings Sat 25-Aug-12 16:12:38

and re writing something for mn, they have the section with info on bottle feeding, breast feeding c sections birth etc, so i think a section in there with pelvic floor inflo that can be easily linked to from the home page or chat would be very good, it needs to be easily noticeable, something bright and standoutish, with a funny title! but its def soemthing i think would be good smile

WhoWillDoMyHoovering Sat 25-Aug-12 16:30:30

ooooh, thankyou nankypeevy and wow. totally enlightening. and i've been doing my exercises all of last night and today hahaha! especially your 'lift' idea. brilliant. just- THANKYOU!

HappySeven Sat 25-Aug-12 20:23:37

Nanky, I think I must be in a worse way than I originally thought! Since reading your post I've been practising and I'm rubbish sad

I can barely feel anything when I squeeze and I can't hold it for 10. Does anyone else find they push their tongue up inot the roof of their mouth while they do them? There's no way I'd be able to hold anything weighted!! I'm going to keep holding it for as long as I can and build up. I guess it explains the problems I sometimes have when bending over or walking downhill...

Does it matter if you do the exercises sitting down? A Pilates teacher once said you need to stand up but surely anything is better than nothing?

AshleyCH Sat 25-Aug-12 20:27:03

I do pelvic floors on the loo, just to see if i can stop weeing mid flow. it's a good indicator if the exercises are working.

nankypeevy Sat 25-Aug-12 21:40:33

Happy, that's ok - just start and keep going. Do them for a week, aim for every hour and if you do them 3 times you'll deserve a pat on the...back.

You are right about the sitting down thing. You are aiming to be able to do them Martini style (crikey, that's quite probably a reference that will age me. "anytime, anyplace, anywhere") Standing is harder than sitting. Walking is harder sthan standing. Stairs is harder than walking.

But, yes, something is better than nothing.

nankypeevy Sat 25-Aug-12 21:42:16

ashley - yep, it'l show whether you can contract the muscle well enough to affect the stream of urine. But, it can cause backflow of urine into your bladder - so, don't do it every time. Just once a week, as a measure of how you are doign with the exercises.

No getting away from it - you gotta DO the blardy exercises.

FaintingGoat Sat 25-Aug-12 22:15:19

Great thread. Love the idea about the rolling thread to remind us all!

I'm the same as whoever said they do them whenever they see the words "pelvic floor exercises". I did them quite a lot after DD was born but then sort of forgot about them. DP informs me that it's all back to how it was before having DD, and haven't had any leakage issues, so that's good, but I'd like to have more orgasms keep it all healthy and strong so am going to make an effort to do them more regularly.

I had heard the lift thing before but think I'm struggling to localise the mucles to stop at 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors. I can only seem to stop at 1st and 2nd. (Or maybe 2nd and 3rd, I don't know!)

Thank you for all the brilliant advice and information Nanky. I have tried to get my mum to go to the doctors about her incontinence but she would rather just buy the Tena Lady. She gets all defensive and won't talk to me about it. It irritates me that, partly because of the adverts, she thinks it's a normal part of life and you just have to deal with it.

nankypeevy Sun 26-Aug-12 09:34:53

I've found an app by tena (or, theywhowillnotbenamed?) if that's helpful. It's free - the vacant looking lady is a little disturbing, but it's otherwise great.
facial expressions are optional

Davinaaddict Mon 27-Aug-12 04:19:21

Thanks for the app link! I've been trying to remember to do mine as I struggle with star jumps etc during the 30 Day Shred if I've not been to the loo beforehand blush I've tried to do them during a specific activity (bf, teeth brushing etc), but I still can't remember to do them. I've downloaded the app and I'm going to give that a go smile

Megfox Thu 30-Aug-12 15:13:29

Grow up!

We get older, we lose some control.....BIG DEAL! Get used to using panty-liners!

It's like getting lines round your eyes and a jawline that's suddenly got saggy......Ity's AGING, dears! It happens, so get OVER IT!

LackaDAISYcal Thu 30-Aug-12 16:29:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

5madthings Thu 30-Aug-12 16:52:17

except this isnt something that you have to accept and many people are not old and still suffer after childbirth etc. it is something that can be fixed, tbh i think pelvic floor health should be taught at school in the same way that they get sex education etc, start doing the exercises young and keep doing them and no it isnt something that you have to put up with!

i have been lucky tbf and never had any real issues, but i am dam well going to to make sure that i keep doing my exercises and look after my pelvic floor in the same way that you try and look after yourself in general. yes we all age but we can still try and maintain our physical health, it is for our own good.

so you go away and be a pissy knickered old person megfox if you arent bothered, i would rather do pelvic floor exercises and not need to use panty liners thanks.

fengirl1 Thu 30-Aug-12 16:56:45

Reported, Megfox.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 30-Aug-12 17:02:07

Much better put than me 5madthings. I can't even be arsed to explain why this isn't just a pelvic floor/aging issue. I suspect megfox is 20 something and yet to have children.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 30-Aug-12 17:04:57

Or a bloke hmm

Hmmm take your own advice Meg love. Because pelvic floor health is essential after kids tbf, unless you're really lucky. And I would prefer not to have tena lady at 34 that's not old!

OhNoMyFoot Thu 30-Aug-12 19:19:29

Actually Megfox you are wrong.

Olympicnmix Thu 30-Aug-12 20:22:14

Megfox, you can embrace your inner fanny bucket; I choose not to.

I saw this on facebook today and it made me laugh and think of this thread again:

Hope it works smile

Virgil Wed 05-Sep-12 22:55:03

sad I popped into health to ask a question about wetting myself twenty times a day due to a horrible persistent cough, clearly I have some pelvic work to do. In the meantime, whilst doing the elevator I have just has another coughing fit and it's happened again

And again sad

nankypeevy Thu 06-Sep-12 18:42:30

Been away from the thread for a bit - middley kid been poorly. Which has given me lots of time to sit at the laptop figuring out A Plan.

I did suggest to MN that I could do a pelvic floor thingie - not heard back. But, I did it on a "report the thread" thing, and I expect they are somewhat busy with thread reporting at the moment...hmm

So, I decided to get myself some sort of profile as a fanjo physio...

Pelvic floor parties. We are all a bit less secure than we used to be. It's only embarrassing because it's a taboo, and because there is a significant number of people who ACCEPT pishing themselves (*Megfox, I'm looking at you. Incontinence is not a natural part of ageing, you don't need to put up with it and if you have an ishoo just now, you'd do well to get some help sooner rather than later. It only gets worse, and you might not mind a wee bit of wee, but how would you feel about a wee bit of poo dribbling out?) ...where was I?

Ah, so, I have decided to trial combining what women like me enjoy (drinking wine and talking about themselves) with delivering the information they need to get control of their continence. They'd all know each other, so would become a self supporting group (that's a wee joke I made up, boom boom) and can remind each other to do the exercises and encourage each other to stick with it.

So, a sort of mix of Pampered Chef and Weight Watchers - but without buying crap you don't want or eating anything healthy at all.

@gussiegrips on twitter

gusset grippers

gussetgrippers on facebook

Am going to trial it in Edinburgh to start off with. Just waiting on a fandabby model of a pregnant pelvic floor being delivered, and then I'm off with some guinea pigs some willing volunteers.

Any feedback would be gratefully received, I'd really like to do a thread on MN - it makes perfect sense to promote continence here.

Am rather proud of the name, all my own work too.

I love it. Just read the whole blurb smile

I do mine every time this thread title pops up in active convos grin


Hoopsadazy Thu 06-Sep-12 22:06:44

sorry, am late to the party here, but enjoyed the last 6 pages. Think your idea is fab Nanky!!

I have a question for you: quick squeezes = easy peasy. Quivering, wobbly leg orgasms = no probs. 'Holding' squeeze for ten seconds = what?? Either am doing it wrong on have no idea how this is supposed to work. Or the lift thing. I do suffer minor prolapse and have been to physio ages ago. Massive improvement after electro stuff (scary idea, but worked a treat, in case anyone can't find their pf and was wondering). Will the 'hold' bit come in time? Has been over a year several months since saw physio. I have a damanged coccyx and there was talk of an xray to see if a bit of bone that has broken off and floated away might be a problem, but it never got done. Am I just lazy and not doing my 'blardy exercises' enough?

5madthings Thu 06-Sep-12 22:41:03

sounds like a great idea!

Hoopsadazy Fri 07-Sep-12 08:43:43

After more discussion here last night, two more questions!!

1. Should I try to hold pee a lot more rather than peeing at every opportunity - I do pee a lot, but have always done so. Should I be giving the muscles something to do instead?

2. DH now worried as I mentioned you had mentioned men and he thinks that actually he might really need to start asap. Very brave of him to mention to me!! smile Can you do some info for us to pass onto our men as well as we all know they are not good at going to the doctor, etc.


nankypeevy Fri 07-Sep-12 09:29:21

hoops great questions:

there are different muscles with different functions in bladder control which have different uses in continence management. you have neatly described the difference between stress incontinence (muscles too weak to support the neck of the bladder) and urinary frequency (gotta go, always going, peeing every half an hour)

So, the "hold" is for when you are bursting for the loo, but there isn't one. Think of when the "seatbelts on" sign goes on in a plane. You just have to hold it in. After a wee while of "holding" the urge to pee will pass, and you'll get another few minutes before having to do the jiggy leg, wriggly dance.

10 secs is roughly how long it takes for the sensation of INEEDTOPEE to pass. To be honest, there's not much proper research to back that up, just years of it working. There is a bit of work that says you should hold it for as long as you can, until the muscle fatigues - but the problem with that is you can't FEEL the contraction for very long.

So, hold for as long as you think you can feel the contraction. Let go. You should feel a "drop" No drop, you've lost the contraction because the muscle's too weak to sustain it for that long. Do it again. but for half the time - got the drop? Do that, keep working on it, add in time, you'll get to 10 secs, usually you'll notice a difference within a week or two.

The other thing - should I wait? is Interesting.

Yes, is the short answer.

Imagine your bladder is a balloon with a layer of muscle on the inside. As the bladder balloon fills with urine it stretches and gets bigger. The muscle on the inside also stretches. When the muscle reaches it's "I'm really stretched" setting, it' triggers a nerve impulse to your brain which tells you "you need a pee"

Now. People who have accidents get worried about it happening again. So, they go to the loo at the first urge.

Which is logical, but not helpful in the long run. Emptying your bladder before it is full means the muscle is never stretched as much as it can be. That means the "trigger point" is re-set to a point where your bladder has a lower volume than before your accident. So, you feel like you have to go more often. And you are already worried about disgracing you go.

There are people who pee every 10 minutes. Loads of em. They can't hold down jobs, they can't go out, they can't go shopping, they can't socialise - these are the people who become continence cripples. Bloody awful. It's also fixable...

Keep a bladder diary - keep a note of when you pee, how often you pee, and how much you drink for a week or so. Then you'll know exactly what you need to change.

When you feel you need to go - do 10 fast twitches. Ignore it, distract yourself. See if you can wait another three minutes before actually going to the loo.

It's just a muscle like any other - keeping adding a couple of minutes, or a couple of seconds will make it change within a couple of weeks.

Your husband is AWESOME! In 20 years I have never, ever met a man who would volunteer that he thinks he's got a problem.

Men's pelvic floors work in exactly the same way. They have fewer problems because their pelvis is smaller(so the mechanics are different) have less trauma to their muscles (because they don't need to do pregnancy and birth) and they dont' tend to have women's anxiety about peeing because they can pee standing up and aren't tied to needing to find a toilet.

Howevah. Their basket of muscles holding up all their guts ages in the same way as ours (stretches as we get older) and they have the added problem of the prostate gland.

If the gland is enlarged, it's weighing on their pelvic floor and interfering with the way urine flows out.

Men who experience dribbling after they stop peeing (not just one wee drip because they are too lazy to wipe it away. More than that, often in two or three sets AFTER they feel like the pee is finished They do a lot of weeing on the floor) farting when they run or a loss of stiffy stand-uppi-ness might have a weak pelvic floor.

They can strengthen it in exactly the same way as we do - but they have even fewer cues to tell them they are doing a contraction. If he imagines he's trying not to fart, that's the muscle working.

If he's not sure, the most straightforward way of checking is for him to stick a finger up his bum (or, find a willing volunteer), imagine he's trying not to fart, and see whether there is any tightening round the finger.

Or, the more amusing version - get him to see whether he can twitch his stiffy. So, he has an erection (see willing volunteer mentioned above) and he should be able to make it move backwards and forwards - in time to the beat of whatever your favourite sexytime music is.

Try not to laugh. Menfolk's don't like to have thier willies laughed at.

If the muscle is weak, there might not be much twitch. So, stick a tissue on the top, or tie a ribbon round it - something that will act as a visual cue to show the movement.

Yes, really, really, try not to laugh. Unless he is, because he's going to look pretty stupid now.

10 twitches, hold for a count of 10, lift to the 3rd floor.

It's way more difficult to get men to comply - can you see why? Usually telling them they'll get a hard on like when they were 18 is a good motivator...

However, it's a Friday. Get a bottle of wine, a nice meal, a lovely wee chiffon scarf and get some objective measurements of each other's pelvic floor.

You are welcome.

Hoopsadazy Fri 07-Sep-12 10:22:21

That's brilliant!!

Yes, DH is awesome, in so many ways. He was carrying our DC when needed to pee badly and noticed a small leak. Concerned him enough to mention it weeks later to me. He is v supportive of my troubles as I always talk openly about it with him.

Unfortunately he is away this weekend, but I will have a go with your suggestions this week. I think laughing is going to be the answer - gotta laugh about these things as the alternative is not fun.

Big hugs to you and your wonderful work here over the last few weeks. All gotta talk about it more - you're right, if was an arm muscle or something, we'd be all whinging about it in company!

madmomma Fri 07-Sep-12 12:31:08

nanky I love you. I would absolutely host one of your GG parties. Come to Manchester????

HappySeven Fri 07-Sep-12 18:14:35

Another vote for a Manchester visit here!

Please keep the info coming, it's really helpful. I've been trying to do the exercises at least a couple of times a day since this thread started and I'm definitely seeing an improvement. I hadn't even realised my anticlimax orgasms since I had children were down to this so I'm hoping that continues to improve too!

I also think my DH might benefit, just got to workout how to diplomatically bring it up now...

Hoopsadazy Fri 07-Sep-12 18:20:12

HappySeven - if you follow Nanky's advice for blokes, you'll have no trouble bringing it up! grin

Sorry, Friday, couldn't resist.

If it helps, I copied Nanky's male help to DH and he was happy to realise not too much prob so far but really chuffed to know about possible future troubles as ages. He sees that being prepared is the best thing so if he can avoid any troubles, that's great. I think we should pass it on to all our blokes too - mutual support and all that.

echt Sat 08-Sep-12 06:10:10

There was a thread about this on S&B a few weeks ago, so here's my bit.

I had mild but persistent stress incontinence starting 3 year after birth of DD. I was examined, did the pee-holding stuff in front of medical students and told to do all the holding it for however many seconds. Fast forward to 2012, 14 years later and some therapy after a re-enmergenec of my symptoms.

What I should have been doing was 2-3 second holds, then 10-15 second relax. Doing this for a set of 10 twice day (you have to be lying down) sorted out my incontinence in a week. Obviously I do the exercises every day, but they're easy.

The thing is getting the right diagnosis. For me, the holding exercises are making it worse.

nankypeevy Sat 08-Sep-12 17:00:10

Manchester? Fantastic! There's a very good knitting shop in Manchester, if I recall correctly.

echt sounds like you maybe had a bit of pelvic floor dysfunction? That's when the muscle has trouble relaxing - can cause pain during sex and slow, dribbly peeing. It's not so common as weakness, and yes, if you can't relax the muscles you shouldn't be strengthening them.

Glad it's better. Have you finished seeng the therapist? Might be worth looking at progressing the exercises, doing them in lying is great and will work - but your muscles need to be functionally fit and able to work properly in standing/stairs/headstands/bungee jumping, whatever it is that floats your boat.

nankypeevy Sat 08-Sep-12 17:02:06

Brass neck question:

I'm not so sure about facebook and twitter - I've been told off by facebook for responding to friend requests...not sure why. Must find a teenager who can explain it all to me.

So, if you have tried to be a friend to Gusset Grippers on facebook, or @gussiegrips on twitter - can you redo it?

I've tried to fix the link. But, have failed in that too.

Am much, much better with an EMS machine than I am with social networking...

echt Sat 08-Sep-12 21:34:51

nankypeevy, yes, spot on. I've progressed to 15 second relaxes. Yes, it did cause pain during sex which is part of a longer therapy.

Oddly I've never leaked when I run, which the therapist put down to it's being a time when I am relaxed. I'd never considered stress incontinence as being at all related to conventional stress, but my basically rather tightly-wound headset is one which is unhelpful to the condition, i.e. the more I worried about leaking, the more I clenched, the more I leaked. The downtraining has been a revelation.

I suppose the Pepsi challenge is a trampoline.

<eyes next door neighbours' kids trampoline> maybe I'll swop a bounce on for next time the basketball comes over the fence>grin

nankypeevy Sat 08-Sep-12 22:02:36


The flu

Long haul flight with turbulance

kettleball ben wa ball

You'd get a prize for any of the above.

Glad it's going well, it's more difficult to relax than strengthen the muscles. I think you might already be doing the pepsi challenge!

Sorry, nankypeevy- been a bit slow to sort out a thread for Edinburgh folks- but here it is now:

Any of the ladies on this thread in Edinburgh, too? Feel free to PM me under a pseudonym if shy.

<looking forward to having a fanjo like a steel trap again>

weedoll Sun 09-Sep-12 19:41:09

Hi bit of a late comer here, I've always struggled to locate my pelvic floor muscles so loved your advice nanky but it appears I push (flex?) instead of contract when I think I'm doing them blushand you were actually describing me last week as post smear got home, couldn't find my keys and TOTALLY wet myself on the doorstep sad but also had a few more accidents on top of that. It's getting me down as I've been doing them every time I stop at the lights for the past year, since ds2 came along. I'm only 30 and have had 2 rather big babies for my size. It's putting me off having anymore children, do you think my GP would refer me for physio? I've not shared this with anyone as I'm so embarrassed.

nankypeevy Sun 09-Sep-12 21:00:55

weedoll (is that a wee, wee joke name?) I'll PM you.

It is embarrassing, I get that. But, it really shouldn't be. A third of women that you know have the same thing - if it were a third of women who had athletes' foot we'd not be blushing.

Well, maybe if it were particularly manky...

HappySeven Sun 09-Sep-12 21:54:20

Echt has got me confused (it doesn't take much to be fair).

Since I had my DD (vaginal delivery second child) I've had pain-free sex. I was investigated by random doctors (gynae, dermatology etc) for a while years ago, before children, and was eventually told I must have vaginismus. I'm now nervous of continuing with the exercises as I don't want to go back to sex as it was (even if the orgasms are rubbish these days). Nanky please reassure me! What do I do? (PS Should you be charging for this? Should I send blank cheques?)

weedoll Sun 09-Sep-12 22:44:34

Pmsl it's time for a name change! Thanks nanky agree you should be charging wink

nankypeevy Sun 09-Sep-12 23:14:24

Blank cheques, wine, percy pigs - all welcome, ha ha ha.

Tellyou what you could do - I'd be grateful if you'd have a look at my website /twitter/facebook and give me some feedback. I know lots about fannies - but not nearly enough about social networking. Happily, mumsnet has led me to a bunch of folk who DO know - so I'm learning!

weedoll Sun 09-Sep-12 23:31:57

Sure! What's ur FB name?

modifiedmum Sun 09-Sep-12 23:40:00

Everything felt normal fo me after archie though to be fair i wasnt pushing long, quick labour, wasnt huge during pregnancy but i still wanted to exercise so just slipped into habit! i do ten sets of ten clenching down there holding in for ten seconds each time every other day then on the spare day i do ten seconds of ten clenches very quickly. then when i go wee i stop mid stream and hold 20 seconds then keep going. also during sex i clench a bit and i have no problems down there wee wise etc etc smile X

nankypeevy Sun 09-Sep-12 23:48:24

Happy It is confusing.

Continence is a complicated thing - the most common cause is a simple weakness issue of the pelvic floor. That's easy enough to get your head round, weak muscle = poor function.

Then there's the bladder activity - you can reduce the amount of urine volume by peeing more often "just incase".

Then there's a loss of the "warning" you should have that you need to go. So, when you need to go, you need to go NOW.

And, if you have a prolapse there's a physical change to the way your bits sit inside your pelvis - which can cause pain, sore sex, odd sensations, and, guess what - urinary and fecal incontinence.

While we're at it, chuck in a neurological issue, an anxiety issue, an education issue, a motivation issue, an infection issue or plain old embarrassment that prevents us seeking help...(the average is it takes a woman 6 years. SIX YEARS!)

...and, you see, it gets a bit muddled.

vaginisumus and pelvic floor dysfunction are fairly interchangeable terms. In essence, the big pelvic floor muscles contract inappropriately - causing pain and ruining bonking.

So, you don't want to be strengthening a muscle that tightens involuntarily because muscles shorten as they strengthen - and, it'll make it worse. These things are usually way more complicated than just a saggy fanny - usually women have a few ishoos beyond the more commonplace (and no less upsetting) plain old continence problems. Whether the sexual problems cause the pain, or whether painful sex puts you off of doing it is something that should be sorted out with a professional who knows what they are talking about. That's not me, but I do know people who do Amahazing Work with psycho-sexual stuff, PM me if you are looking for some help. My sex advice is pretty much limited to Jackie magazine's problem page...

I am more than happy to chat away about pelvic floor stuff on here. I am really encouraged that the thread's going on so long and that it's highighting this big problem in a small way.

But, I do want to stress (wee pun, geddit?) effective treatment needs an accurate diagnosis. So, whilst every woman needs to know this stuff (serioiusly why is it not taught along with sex ed?) - PLEASE don't use the thread as an excuse to delay seeking a diagnosis and proper help.

Other than that - if you've got twitter, I'm trying to put something on there 3 times a day. If I tweet, you twitch your twinkle. @gussiegrips.

I'm veering towards trying to persuade MN to look at doing a campaign about it. One in three of us leak when we laugh. Shocking, Makes Me Cross.

nankypeevy Sun 09-Sep-12 23:53:07

Thanks weedoll

fb - Elaine Miller , gusset grippers is a page to "like" Gusset Grippers has an actual page, but I got into trouble from FB for having two at once. I am such an embarrassing klutz with social networking.

twitter - @gussiegripper

nankypeevy Sun 09-Sep-12 23:59:17

modified great to hear! Keep it up - whilst I'm lecturing...50% of women over 55 have stress incontinence.

The menopause is Not Your Fanjo's Friend. To be fair, it's not very friendly to much of your body - but, seeing as how I am obsessing with undercarriages we'll save my complaints about my formally awesome boobs and how I'm Really Not Looking Forward To The Further Flopping...

Izzybuzzybuzzybees Mon 10-Sep-12 00:15:18

Fantastic thread smile

nankypeevy Mon 10-Sep-12 10:43:05

I have a question...

PM me if that's more in your comfort zone.

Do you use pads, like tena lady or other? I'm finding it difficult to get stats on the number of people who rely on continence wear.

I've got a notion of trying to get information printed on the packs - so every time you buy one you are reminded to do yer blardy exercises and where to seek help.

a bit like the warnings on fag packets. Well, not at all like the fag packet warnings, but you get the idea.

I'm getting all political now...

modifiedmum Mon 10-Sep-12 12:19:04

Nanky I don't but my friend uses them as well as doing her pelvic floor, she does pretty much rely on them!

HappySeven Mon 10-Sep-12 20:10:00

Nanky, thanks for that. I think some of my problems when I was younger were due to having strict parents and being TERRIFIED of getting pregnant. Sadly once you've started to find things painful then it becomes a vicious circle as you said. Added to which it turned out after quite a few years of investigations that I was allergic to my husband's semen. Quite funny really if it wasn't so painful! I'm guessing I'm allergic to other men too but I've not had the chance to test the theory out grin

I think I'll keep doing the exercises as I really need to learn better control of my pelvic floor and I'm definitely feeling more confident about waiting to go to the loo since this thread started and I've been practising. I haven't used any pads since my DD was a month old but for that first month I had to as I would void as soon as I bent over. She was ventouse and my theory was that the obstetrician had pulled her anteriorly as she came out leaving me very bruised and unable to feel anything. I don't think I need pads but until recently I did need clean undies on occasionally if I didn't get the key in the front door quickly enough.

I really like your website. I think it's hit a good balance between fun and informative and I was telling a non-MN friend about it the other day. I think you could be onto a good thing!

bounty007 Tue 11-Sep-12 17:07:10

Excellent thread, can mumsnet award nankypeevy some kind of honorary knighthood????

nankypeevy Tue 11-Sep-12 17:41:44

Been away for a bit...don't worry, still been obsessing about orifices!

Had an interesting couple of days chatting to continence people from Foreign Parts (not actually been anywhere foreign, the wonders of the web) Might have landed the chance to trial a new gadget on the leaky ladies of the UK...(small squee)

modified mention the thread to your friend. It makes me sad to think of women using pads so much can be done to improve things. And, they are expensive, I would not like any woman to have to make the choice between a pad or a pinot grigio...these are austere times.

Happy that is, ehm, an unfortunate allergy. I started to wonder what sort of special powers your husband's sperm contain, but have managed to steer my train of thought away from that. I have heard of this allergy, but only in terms of it causing problems with conception - you don't have to be Einstein to figure that out. Glad you have a DD!

You are right, any birth needing assistance will increase your risk of continence trouble. But, you are improving - keep at it.

The main thing is to keep at it. In fact, pretty much the ONLY thing is to DoYerBlardyExercises.

Bounty blush. Being a Peer of the Realm is one thing, but a big badge saying "we made talk roundup" would be worn with pride...

NoMoreNotNever Tue 11-Sep-12 17:56:39

Yes, yes, but what do you do with your face? After major surgery last year I had to do them regularly, but only in private as I develop a glassy-eyed constipated look of intense concentration.

nankypeevy Tue 11-Sep-12 18:49:21

nomore Ah yes, the "no one will know you are doing them" lie?

There is a sporting activity to be had at any supermarket checkout - watch women with teeny, tiny babies in the queue. When they go a bit "vacant" then you know that they have been listening to their postnatal your exercises at traffic lights, checkout and when doing the washing up.

There IS a knack so you can do them in secret - but I'll only tell you if you hold one of my parties, bwa ha ha ah ahaa...

Och no, it's like developing the skills of listening to two conversations at the same time, doing five things at once and smiling nicely whilst thinking Dark Thoughts. These are essential life skills too - just take a wee bit of practice.

HappySeven Tue 11-Sep-12 19:14:29

Conception's not been a problem, thankfully, we have a DS as well. I guess my eggs aren't as fussy as my skin.

NoMore, I'm with you there and have so far had to do them in private. Maybe it's helping to tighten our faces and make us more youthful looking?

nankypeevy Wed 12-Sep-12 10:26:14

my eggs aren't as fussy as my skin

Ha ha ha, that's got to go on a t-shirt! Actsherly - get that tattoo'd!

Interesting article from a physio about athletes for you's today...

Female Athlete's Best Kept Secret

The athleticism at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics was absolutely inspiring. I said “WOW” so many times I lost count. Some of the wows were for the stories of the athletes overcoming injuries or difficult circumstances to achieve their Olympic moment. Injuries got a lot of press this summer, and a LOT of tape. That colorful kinesiotape was everywhere! Hard to miss that an injury or vulnerability lurked beneath the surface.

But some injuries were invisible, well kept secrets that didn’t get any press…well, once. A female weightlifter from Ecuador leaked urine onto the floor during a lift. The story got some play on You Tube, not the kind of press you want or she was hoping for in her Olympic quest. But guess what, she was just the only one we saw, the unlucky one who forgot her pad that day. I guarantee she was not the only elite female athlete that leaked during an event. It is a very common problem in high level ( and not so high level) female athletes.

Thyssen et al (2002) surveyed 291 elite female athletes competing in a variety of sports from basketball to ballet, regarding their history of urine loss during participation in their sport or day to day activities. 151 reported leakage of some kind. Of the 151, five discussed it with a medical provider, and only six got pelvic floor training. Six. That’s 4.6% that actually sought and received treatment.

Call Ryan Seacrest….he missed the biggest story at the Olympics! Although I am not sure if the bigger story is that approximately half of the athletes were experiencing leakage or that only six actually sought treatment. But the take away should be that this is very common, but acknowledgement and seeking treatment is not.

The story really doesn’t stop there. Incontinence is just one way of identifying a pelvic floor insufficiency. It is a signal that an imbalance in the deep core system exists. The deep core is a closed pressure system, an insufficiency in any component will impact the capacity of the whole. With all the talk of the athletes core strength…this hidden issue among female athletes must be considered.

Some effort has been made to understand the issue. Kruger et al (2007)
looked at excursion of the bladder neck with a breath hold (valsalva) in athletes. The bladder neck of the athletes moved through a larger distance as compared to non-athletes. This was hypothesized to be a result of the constant impact of running, and jumping. The athletes also had a thicker pelvic floor muscle and assumed improved capacity to recruit the muscles. Perhaps this balanced the excessive excursion as they were not incontinent.

They may not have been incontinent but any hip pain? Or low back? How about osteitis pubis? A pelvic floor imbalance in the deep core system can contribute to other issues as well. Pain, joint instability and incontinence are all just signals that the system as a whole needs attention.

But how about we mere mortals, we non-Olympians? What is our take away message from these elite athlete studies for recreational athletes and fitness enthusiasts? The first study should wake us up to prevalence of incontinence among females who pursue fitness. The second study gives us a window into what happens overtime to pelvic floors that are asked to impact load repetitively, as they would for a committed runner. Add the effect of pregnancy and delivery on pelvic floor strength, function, and fascial integrity and the situation could be even more striking in terms of excessive motion, lack of organ support, and added vulnerability.

For those folks out there treating female runners who present with back pain (a common pelvic organ prolapse complaint) or even knee pain due to instability at the hip, the understanding of what is happening at the pelvic floor while they are running or holding their breath during resistance training is critical. The closed pressure system of the deep core may have a fault that must be addressed. If the abdomen had excessive excursion during impact loading or a breath hold, as practitioners we would treat that! We must understand and acknowledge what we cannot see in females that pursue fitness and sport.

We may not be able to see it, but there is much we can discern from a few questions and clinical insight. Ask your patients or add to your intake form: Do you experience unwanted leaking of urine with exercise or sport? Do you experience leaking of urine with lifting, sneezing, or laughing? Have you had any pregnancies? How many deliveries? What type of deliveries? Can you retain a tampon? All of these questions give you some clues as to the capacity of the deep core pressure system as a whole. One other clue, if you have treated their hip pain with more superficial measures and they aren’t responding the pelvic floor may be your culprit.

Wouldn’t it be great if at the 2016 Olympics/Paralympics, this wasn’t a story at all?

1. Thyssen H H, Clevin L, Olesen S, Lose G. Urinary incontinence in elite female athletes and dancers. Int Urogynecol J. 2002;13:15–17.
2. Kruger JA, Dietz HP, Murphy BA. Pelvic Floor function in elite nulliparous athletes. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2007; 30(1): 81-85

HappySeven Thu 13-Sep-12 21:01:51

That's a really interesting article with lots of food for thought. I like running (did a 10k last weekend) and am very aware that I find it easy to exercise muscles I can feel and that make me feel good cardiovascularly (is that even a word?!?) but struggle with Pilates and pelvic floor stuff. Note to self: try harder, it's important!

By the way, I hold you partly responsible for my good reasonable time in the 10k last week as I felt more confident drinking water before I did it than I would have a month ago!

nankypeevy Sat 15-Sep-12 18:11:12

Yeah! I'm in awe of people who do 10ks.

I'm continually re starting the couch to 5k - this time! I've got a big gusset grippers night booked in November (100 people!) so, it'd be nice to be a bit slimmer and not such a bad example by then.

Apparently, you get the bug...hmmmm.

nankypeevy Sat 15-Sep-12 19:00:13

Have just booked a venue for a Big Trial of Gusset Grippers - it's a private bar where you can get change from £10 for three drinks.

I'll do a stand up hour or so, then get a cheesy 80's disco. Doing it as a fundraiser for leukaemia research so I can hide behind that if it all goes horribly wrong...

gulp. Any idea how I can find 100 leaky ladies willing to come and guffaw?

HappySeven Sun 16-Sep-12 21:56:44

Personally I like a physio who looks "human" so I wouldn't worry about being a good or bad example. I always assume physios are super-fit! There's definitely a bug to running. Tell you what, I'll keep doing the PF exercises if you stick to the couch to 5k.

I'm assuming your big night is in Edinburgh? Sounds a good night! If guffawing is likely will there be complementary Tena pads for those who haven't got a good pelvic floor yet?

nankypeevy Sun 16-Sep-12 22:53:46

Right, Happy, that's a deal!

Yep, night is in Edinburgh - and, am happy to report that the seats are leather. Wipe clean, although, that might be optimistic with regards to my comedy skills...

Personally, I'd like to put Tena out of business...

Carry on clenching. I'll go out for a waddle run tomorrow.

HappySeven Tue 18-Sep-12 21:30:13

Nanky alert!! You're needed over in AIBU!!

nankypeevy Wed 19-Sep-12 16:33:35

Thanks, seven

CAn I have a cape? Or, a spidey sense?

Am serious though, do we think this is a topic worthy of a MN campaign?

A third of the women you know at the school gate pish themselves, or worse. The WHO estimates that 20% of all women are incontinent. Looking at the over 55's, it's half.

Of the third of 35-55 group - 40% have a prolapse that may need surgery. They don't know it's there, they just bung some tenapads in the weekly shop, and are surprised when, one day, they sneeze and their guts fall out their fanjo.

It's a bloody disgrace. There is no information, no help, getting treatment is not easy, people are ashamed, embarrassed, and, worried that they are reeking of pish so they don't have sex, don't socialise...and on... and on...

Mmmm. How to get that up and running....mulling...

nankypeevy Thu 20-Sep-12 19:30:23

I've got a request, troops.

I'm now involved in a small capacity with APOPS

We see a need for a directory of womens' health physios, nurses and GP's - APOPS would like to be able to direct desperateI'd be really grateful if you'd consider PMing me name/geographical area/contact details of anyone that you have found helpful.

I'll then contact them to get permission to include them. Contact details will be held centrally by APOPS and won't be distributed publically.

We're trying to get case studies together to present to the DoH, and the dept of education, parliament...and then to infinity and beyond!

blueshoes Thu 27-Sep-12 09:43:43

Nanky, what you said about women having a prolapse and not knowing is a bit concerning.

If I have smears fairly regularly, would the GP mention if I did have a prolapse?

echt Thu 27-Sep-12 09:53:54

What nankypeevy said is so right about the prolapse issue. Before I was referred for urinary incontinence therapy, all question of a prolapse had been, ahem, properly investigated. Miners' helmets, lights, and camera crewsgrin

No. Just a really good GP who was ace at the preliminary physical examinations rather than relying on Q and A.

carrinaxxx Thu 01-Nov-12 23:30:29

Ive brought aquaflex today but ive got the smallest cone in and maximum weight and stays in although i do think i have pf problems.. Maybe i just have an odd shaped you know what? Should i just do the exercises myself?

FeniaB Wed 31-Jul-13 12:47:38

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

FeniaB Wed 31-Jul-13 12:49:41

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now