Pelvic Floor Muscle Recovery
The pelvic floor muscles attach from the pubic bone at the front to the tailbone at the back forming the floor of the pelvis.
They support the organs in the pelvic cavity and when strong ensure good bladder and bowel control. If they become weak there may be urine leakage when you cough, sneeze, laugh, run or jump. This is known as stress incontinence. The bowel and wind control may also be affected although this is less common.
Rehabilitation of the pelvic floor muscles can be achieved by closing the opening where the urine and wind passes out i.e. between your legs. Try to close the muscles then draw them up. Build up to a 10 second hold 10 times in a row ensuring you don't hold your breath or squeeze other muscles. Practise in lying, sitting and standing and aim for 30-50 contractions per day. If doing the exercise correctly you should notice improvement in 4-6 weeks. Once the muscles are strong and you have regained good control maintain the strength by repeating 10x10 second holds 3-4 times per week.
It is a good idea to book 1-2 sessions with a Physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor retraining to ensure you are doing the exercise correctly.
Gay Monteith is Focus Health Physiotherapy specialist for women's health and will see patients in either Hastings or Havelock North clinics.