Okay I am just going to put it out there. Why don’t women talk about their pelvic floor?
I know so many women that have pelvic floor weakness or dysfunction but just keep it a secret. Yes I know I am guilty of this too. I have only recently realised that my pelvic floor was not as strong as it should be and that for all those years since kids I had been doing pelvic floor exercises all wrong. Then because I have gone through menopause my pelvic floor decided to make itself known when I was running. Shock horror, this made running a stressful event rather than something that I enjoyed as I was constantly looking for a toilet most times I ran. I think I now know every public toilet in the area. After seeing a special continence physio I am back to enjoying running and not needing that pit stop nearly as much.
So I am asking you. How is your pelvic floor?
Here are some common symptoms that might mean your pelvic floor is not working properly:
- Accidental leakage of urine during exercise or when you cough or sneeze.
- Constantly needing to go to the toilet
- Needing to urgently go to the toilet and not making it in time
- Accidentally losing control of your bladder or bowel
- Finding it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel
- Passing wind accidentally
- Having that pressing down or bulging feeling in the vagina
- Pain in the pelvic area or lower back
- Painful intercourse
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, they are not normal so please be brave and make time to see a continence physio. I know it is embarrassing but 1 in 3 people experience pelvic floor problems so you are definitely not alone. Did you know even if you have never had children or had children by caesar you can still have a weak pelvic floor. More surprisingly even men can have pelvic floor dysfunction or weakness. So brave up and get it checked.
What to do to strengthen your pelvic floor?
Exercise it every day. Your pelvic floor is a muscle and the more you train it the better it will function and the stronger it will be. But it is important to be doing the exercises correctly. Here is a great website that has heaps of information about your pelvic floor and how to correctly do your pelvic floor exercises. Also a big thing is to let your personal trainer know if you have any pelvic floor weakness as some exercises will make it worse. We don’t know what’s going on with your pelvic floor so you need to tell us. We won’t judge and we want you to be able to still exercise and do so safely.