Here I have a guest post from an expert on the pelvic floor, Kate from Lifecare Health Clinic. I know you will find it interesting because I certainly did, I didn’t realise how it could change with weight loss.
The problem of pelvic floor weakness is very real and affects 28% of the adult female population in the UK.
Time to recognise it, do something about it and change or prevent future problems?
Losing weight and your pelvic floor
Did you know that if you are thinking about losing some lockdown weight then even losing 5-10% can help ease any bladder weakness, it WILL get easier and lessened. So what to do to help ‘bladder weakness’, stress incontinence or bladder urgency?
Firstly, breathe well…. learn to calm down your fight or flight system and breathe this also helps you think more clearly, plan, feel lighter and feel less anxious, all things to help you and you alone!
Why weight affects bladder weakness
The extra weight on your pelvic floor puts pressure on your muscles and so when you put extra pressure on them by coughing, laughing or running and they are weak they will struggle to keep you continent and you may leak.
Think of it like this: if you have some pelvic floor muscle weakness and can sometimes leak then when you are carrying more body weight then you are expecting weak muscle to do weight lifting repeatedly and they get tired and give up!
Most women know something about the pelvic floor especially if you have had children but bladder weakness can sneak up on you and be a problem that slowly grows like gaining the extra pounds.
Like losing the extra pounds it takes time and repeated focus to train your muscles again to be strong and keep you dry when you stand up, need a wee urgently or cough.
Using exercise to help
The good news is for most women doing the exercises is easy and takes very little time. I would always recommend you get professional instruction to make sure you are doing them correctly. Everyone can learn simple relaxing breathing exercises first. Then build in the pelvic floor lift with the out-breath.
Pelvic floor and age
As we age and our oestrogen levels start to vary more than a normal menstrual cycle ( in our 40’s usually) it can show that our muscles are weak too. Our pelvic floor muscles are sensitive to oestrogen levels and so they do not function as well or as we may have been used to and then we develop bladder issues.
The good news it CAN be sorted with targetted pelvic floor instruction and advice and time. As we age it isn’t that we can no longer train our muscles to be strong and efficient it just takes a bit longer. You would notice a difference in doing exercises x 3 per day in 2 weeks.
For more support feel free to contact Kate Women’s Pelvic Care: firstname.lastname@example.org for any enquiries about your pelvic floor, she’s happy to help!
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