1 in 3 Woman who have ever had a child have incontinence
- Women with stress incontinence – that is, women who wet themselves when they cough, sneeze or are active – will find pelvic floor muscle training can help in getting over this problem.
- For pregnant women, pelvic floor muscle training will help the body cope with the growing weight of the baby. Healthy, fit muscles before the baby is born will mend more easily after the birth.
- As women grow older, the pelvic floor muscles need to stay strong because hormone changes after menopause can affect bladder control. As well as this, the pelvic floor muscles change and may get weak. A pelvic floor muscle training plan can help to lessen the effects of menopause on pelvic support and bladder control.
- Pelvic floor muscle training may also help women who have the urgent need to pass urine more often (called urge incontinence).
Try this basic pelvic floor exercise:
Squeeze and draw in the muscles around your back passage and your vagina at the same time. Lift them UP inside. You should have a sense of “lift” each time you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles. Try to hold them strong and tight as you count to 10. Now, let them go and relax. You should have a distinct feeling of “letting go”. WAIT 10SEC then repeat “squeeze and lift” and let go. If you can’t hold for 10sec, just hold for as long as you can.
Repeat this “squeeze and lift” as many times as you can, up to a limit of 8 to 12 squeezes.
Do this whole training plan (one-three sets of 8 to 12 squeezes) each day while lying down, sitting or standing.
While doing pelvic floor muscle training: keep breathing; only squeeze and lift; do NOT tighten your buttocks; and keep your thighs relaxed.
For more information see: http://www.continence.org.au/ or alternatively see Rebecca at Physio Professionals who has a special interest in Women’s health