Use it or Lose it – the Perils of a Poor Pelvic Floor!
Squeeeeeze, hold, relax repeat…
As any woman who’s ever experienced the joy of natural childbirth knows, you can forever more be slave to your pelvic floor (or lack of it).
Sneezing, trampolining and running become hazardous activities and you rue the day that you ignored that kind midwife’s wise words about exercising to strengthen your nether regions and protect against unexpected tsunamis.
If you were anything like me, you smiled politely, picked up your new bundle of joy (oops moment, but never mind it’s early days!) and headed off into the sunset without giving it a second thought.
It’s tough enough to deal with these little ‘oops’ moments in the months and years after, but the fact that the menopause only makes things worse, leaves all of us women thinking the joke must be on us – all 47%, yes 47%! of us who suffer bladder weakness (or stress incontinence) at some point in life.
By the age of 45, you’ll have noticed an increase in ‘monthly’ symptoms, little niggles, which mean the Big M is on its way. But these peri-menopause symptoms are no indication of the roller coast ride you are about to embark on.
At Simply Hormones, we love to discuss why avoiding those pelvic floor exercises will always come home to roost, as depleted oestrogen levels that your body has relied on this since puberty, really do mean only one thing, a loss of muscle strength and that includes down below!
I do have a couple of tricks up my sleeve (or in my big knickers!) to help.
Keep your nether regions clenched together, but at the same time, clench your toes. You’ll walk like a penguin, but it may buy you a bit of extra time to get to the loo.
Alternatively, bite the bullet and just do it – squeeeeze, hold, relax, repeat… it’s never too late!
Someone once told me that the best way to find your peIvic floor is to squeeze your buttocks together, as if you are trying to hold in a smelly fart. Ha ha! I guarantee you will remember this method. On the other hand, here’s another way – identify your pelvic floor muscles by stopping the flow of urine mid-wee the next time you go. Sit comfortably and squeeze those muscles, 10 to 15 times in a row. Now that you’ve found your pelvic floor, you don’t need to be sitting on the toilet to do those exercises, you can do them anywhere, even at the bus stop or on a park bench (and nobody will know).
Each week, hold the contractions for a little longer and practise them more frequently. You should feel a big difference within a few months.
Do I regret ignoring good advice – yep!
You will too – so use it or lose it ladies!