What are you doing this year to ensure you look after your pelvic floor and help prevent future problems?
The pelvic floor muscles are in an awkward place – you can’t see them and they often get forgotten about! But they are a very important group of muscles and when they don’t function correctly, things start to go wrong….
- 1 in 3 women who ever had a baby wet their pants
- Up to 60% of pregnant women have bladder leakage
- 20% of women experience pain during sex
- 50% of women suffer from prolapse
- Men have bladder issues e.g. after prostate surgery or if pelvic floor is weak
- Men also suffer from genital pain and sexual problems related to the pelvic floor
- 1 in 10 New Zealanders have leakage or accidents from the bowel
Self help tips for better pelvic health:
- Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help – See here for information on how to do pelvic floor exercises. If you are having problems identifying the correct muscles, or you experience pelvic pain or pain with sexual activity – come and see us – you could have tight pelvic floor muscles, which requires a different treatment approach)
- Maintain a healthy weight – if you need some help see your GP or other health provider e.g. dietitian or nutritionist.
- Ensure you carry out regular physical activity – if you have pelvic floor weakness you may need to modify what you are doing. Click here for further information.
- Avoid constipation and straining –
- Ensure you have adequate fibre intake. Whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, fruit and vegetables including leafy greens, should be part of a balanced diet for most people.
- Keep your fluids up – see our blog here for more information.
- Don’t strain on the toilet – keep your bowel motions soft but formed. If you are having problems emptying talk to us for advice on techniques and positioning on the toilet.
- When you cough or sneeze – try to tighten your pelvic floor and lower abdomen to reduce downwards pressure on the pelvic organs.
- Take care with heavy lifting – use correct lifting technique, including switching on your pelvic floor and core as you lift. Reduce the load if there is any pressure on your pelvic floor. And it’s not just weights at the gym you need to be careful about – think about your pelvic floor when you move firewood, lift a buggy, carry in shopping bags etc.
Pelvic floor problems are common, but they are not normal – and you can do something about it!