Pelvic floors and continence are feminist issues?

(53 Posts)
gussiegrips Tue 06-Nov-12 12:19:32

So, I'm a physio with an interest in women's health - specifically why physios are so bad at getting the message across to women that they need to look after their pelvic floor. I know we are rubbish at communicating that because 1:3 women age 35-55 wet themselves when they cough/laugh/sneeze...over 55's it's half. And, those are the official stats, the reality's much worse.

I'd quite like to get MN to run continence as a campaign - given that most of their readership will either have ishoos or know someone who does, and that MN is a powerful voice...we could change the UK's pelvic floors.

There's a link to a brilliant blog dealing with these topics on the front page just now... which led me to post this thread

So, why do women put up with this dreadful intrusion on their lives?

What happens is this:
pregnancy leak...post-childbirth worse...gets a bit better...more kids...gets a bit worse...knows she should be doing something in the way of exercises, but is too busy dealing with life, so solves problem with occasional absorbant pad...sex life disappears as sensation is reduced and she's worried she smells of pee...starts to wee more often to reduce frequency of leaks...can hold less...leaks more...more pads....feels embarrassed....low self esteem...worsening problem, mortified incase she's goign to become a smelly old lady...eventually, reaches breaking point and sees GP...surgery.

Add in the joy of vaginal prolapse and you have a debilitating condition that disempowers women, destroys relationships, interferes with every single thing she wants to achieve, is associated with pain and depression...and 70% of cases (of simple stress incontinence) would be resolved by doing the blardy exercises.

Are we effectively de-sexing ourselves by not educating girls in school about their pelvic floor, reminding them when they are pregnant, again after they have a baby, again when baby starts nursery, again when menopausal symptoms start...etc, etc, etc.

Would be very interested in your thoughts, the more I read, the more I think it's a political disgrace.

gussiegrips Thu 15-Nov-12 22:52:44

Yep, this is the ishoo.

They are really important, but badly taught. If taught at all. So, you do them, they don't work, you tell your GP "I tried exercises, they didn't work" and you eventually land up with surgery...because no-one helped you in the first place. Makes Me Cross.

I had great improvement just using the cones - don't do any conscious exercise too, just need to keep them in. They made a difference where kegels didn't (and I had it checked that I was doing them correctly).

gussiegrips Fri 16-Nov-12 00:03:58

If you bung something into your vagina, your pelvic floor will work to hold onto it.

that's why using "equipment" works, it automatically makes you engage your pelvic floor.

but, long term, travelin, sorry, you just got to #doyerblardyexercises.

The evidence is clear. There's no getting away from it. Kit will help - but, you just gotta do them.

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