Do you ever think about what’s going on “down under”?
(…..and we are not talking about Australian politics)
This is what we know.
Following childbirth 50% of women experience pelvic organ prolapse with symptoms of bladder and bowel dysfunction. Hagen et al 2004
1 in 5 women who have not had children had signs of pelvic organ prolapse in the study done by Hendrix 2002
We know it is incredibly common (not that we talk about it!) for women to suffer from problems relating to pelvic health and the pelvic floor. If you find yourself doing pelvic floor exercises as you read this; be aware, as most of the time these problems are not only related to weakness of the pelvic floor. In fact, for some women doing these exercises can exacerbate your symptoms or even put you at further risk of pelvic organ prolapse.
You might not even have any current symptoms, however there are certain things that can trigger dysfunction including back pain, the menopause, starting an over ambitious exercise programme or suffering from a persistent cough. This is why it is really important to know the state of your pelvic floor.
Many women come to our clinic with symptoms and problems that aren’t obviously related to pelvic health until a thorough assessment highlights this. As the pelvic floor is an integral and central part of your core, it is imperative that any dysfunction is addressed as part of an holistic treatment plan to ensure normal function and a full recovery.
The good news:
Research and clinical experience both support that doing something about it works!
After experiencing pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy it has been shown that a specific stabilisation exercise programme post birth results in a significant reduction in pain. The results show a 50% reduction in disability. This tells us that specific stability exercises are useful for reducing pelvic girdle pain after pregnancy. Stuge et al 2004
Studies have shown that retraining pelvic floor muscles is essential as inhibited muscle does not reactivate and retrain automatically.
What should I do?
It is strongly recommended that you seek advice and spend a little time learning about what is going on “down under” and the factors affecting your pelvic health. This is too important to be ignored.
For a consultation, please contact Lene Cunis our Women’s Health Specialist at Covent Garden Physio or have a look at her website: