Tuesday 19 November 2013

#Health Pelvic floor weakness? Exercise Is so important

In the year 2013 nothing seems to shock us anymore, most people would say they are very open and they're able to talk about anything. We talk about Sex, periods, child birth and how many stitches we have had after labour and we will even discuss bowel habits!

If we can talk about all of those subjects, why, don't we as people ever talk about our pelvic floor, after all, we all need it, most of us enjoy it however we still never talk about it.

Childbirth can affect and weaken a woman's pelvic floor muscle, often leading to a level of incontinence. Pelvic floor exercises may remedy the problem but sometimes a little assistance can be helpful.

The pelvic floor is a sheet of muscles that extend from your tail bone(coccyx) to your pubic bone at the front, forming a ‘platform’ between your legs. It provides the floor to your pelvis (the bottom part of your abdomen/tummy) and supports the contents of your pelvis - your bladder, uterus (womb) and back passage.They need to be strong and work in the right way at the right time for good bladder, bowel and sexual function.

health and wellness pelvic floor muscles and exercises kegals information and advice

Weakness of the pelvic floor muscles can be a problem for women of all ages and contribute to problems with bladder or bowel control. Weak muscles provide inadequate support to pelvic organs and they can be made weaker by:

  • Not exercising them 
  • Pregnancy and having ba
  • bies 
  • Straining to open your bowels 
  • Being overweight 
  • Heavy lifting 
  • A longstanding cough 
  • Menopause and growing older.

If you pelvic floor does weaken some of the symptoms you may experience are,

  • An aching or dragging sensation in your vagina. 
  • A feeling of something coming down inside your vagina, which may be due to a prolapse. This is where one or more organs in your pelvis, such as your womb or vagina drop down from their normal position. 
  • A tendency to leak urine when you cough, laugh or sneeze. This is called stress urinary incontinence. 
  • A need to go to the toilet frequently (referred to as frequency) during the day or night. 
  • An urgent need to visit the toilet and leaking before you get there or if you don’t go (urge incontinence). 
  • An inability to control the passing of wind from your back passage 

This being the reason why it is so important to carry out your pelvic floor exercises

The simplest exercise will help to strengthen your pelvic floor try stopping the flow of urine when you are going for a wee. If you repeat this exercise 10-15 times in a row, you can gradually increase the length of your holds, and also the number of times you repeat it. obviously sitting on the toilet for long periods of time isn't always going to be practical but Pelvic floor muscle exercises can be done anywhere no-one needs to know what you are doing.
You can do your pelvic floor exercises anywhere and at any time, lying down, sitting or standing. If you have just had surgery and your pelvic floor is very weak, you will find lying or sitting a lot easier to start with.

1. Slow contractions: tighten the muscles around your back and front passage and lift up inside as if trying to stop passing wind and urine at the same time.

2. Try holding the squeeze as long and as hard as you can, building up to a maximum of 10 seconds. (If you cannot manage this, try 5 seconds and (this will improve with time and patience).

3. Rest for the amount of time you held the contraction, then repeat as many times as you can up to a maximum of 10 contractions.

4. Quick contractions: draw up the pelvic floor and then relax immediately. Being able to work these muscles quickly will help them to deal with the sudden stresses from coughing or laughing.

5.Do these steadily for a maximum of 10 times.

6.Try to do one set of slow contractions (10) followed by one set of quick contractions (10) 2-3 times each day.

When you have mastered the art of these exercises remember they are for life.

You should Aim to do the exercises at least three times each day, gradually increasing the time you can hold each exercise for and the number you can do.

So how do you know if you are doing them correctly? some people will laugh and snigger or shy away from this part but seriously these exercises are so important as we get older we all want our "lady bits" to be strong and function in the way they're suppose to.
This is how you can check; Use a small mirror to look at the area between your legs. The skin between your vagina and back passage should move upwards and inwards away from the mirror If you see any bulging STOP! Please seek further advice as your technique maybe wrong, Feel inside your vagina with your finger or thumb, you should feel the muscles tighten If you are sexually active, you could try to squeeze your muscles during sex. Ask if your partner can feel the squeeze.

Remember, prevention is better than cure It costs nothing to do these exercises, you just need to remember to do them daily. If you are concerned and feel you need further professional input, you can get a more advice from your local health professional -Specialist Nurse, Specialist Physiotherapist and your GP.


1 comment

  1. Having had to have stim therapy after the birth of my daughter to reactivate these muscles, I can only echo how important the pelvic floor exercises are - do your kegels ladies!


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