Simple incontinence sufferers can do to cure embarrassing losses

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It is thought that between 25% and 45% of women suffer from a certain degree of stress incontinence during their lives.

Jane Simpson, one of the UK's leading continence specialists, says her patients are usually between the ages of 40 and 60 and range from women who lead normal lives but avoid trampolines "by chance" to those are reluctant to leave the house or have gone through two or three pads for incontinence every day for 10 years.

"It's a very poorly reported topic because it's taboo," says Jane.

"Women will come together and talk about their sex life or menopause, but they don't talk about it.

"We somehow hope it will go away."

Jane continues: "It's disconcerting – we put on the best face creams we can afford, and we take care of our bodies by exercising and eating well, but we don't do anything for" over there ".

Why do the pelvic floor muscles weaken?

To locate the pelvic floor muscles, try stopping the flow of urine while sitting on the toilet

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that extends from our coccyx to the back of the pubic bones, towards the front, and envelops our pelvic organs.

These muscles act like a hammock, keeping the organs in place and preventing the leakage of urine.

With advancing age, these muscles begin to weaken, especially after the menopause.

Childbirth, high-impact sports and constipation can all increase the deterioration of the pelvic floor.

Do men suffer?

Men can also suffer from stress incontinence

Some of Jane's patients are men, usually those who have had prostate surgery.

Once again, pelvic floor exercises are fundamental, and Jane finds that men are generally better at it than women.

"They are very motivated because stress incontinence is such a shock to their system, as they have never worn a pad, they have had a period or have suffered losses," he explains.

What can you do to help …

The best way to help stress incontinence is to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.

"I wish I could find a way to make it fashionable to do pelvic floor exercises," says Jane.

& # 39; We need to treat them like something we wouldn't dream of not doing, like brushing our teeth or taking a shower. & # 39;

"About 50% of people do the exercises incorrectly," says Jane.

& # 39; This is often because people are not locating the right muscles. & # 39;

How to localize your pelvic floor

1. Sit on the arm of a chair or on a hard surface with your feet resting on the floor.

2. Bend slightly forward with the vulveal area in contact with the hard surface.

3. With your hands on your thighs, try to lift that area from whatever you're sitting on.

Jane recommends performing pelvic floor exercises three times a day

OR…

Get straight on the toilet with your knees apart.

Try to stop the flow of urine by contracting the muscles towards the top and inside.

Squeeze, lift and hold for a moment before letting it go again.

Exercises

73% of women who regularly exercise for the pelvic floor are able to treat stress incontinence

Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet resting on the bed or on the floor.

1. Draw all the muscles at the same time, squeeze, lift and hold for a five second count.

2. Let go and count to five.

3. Repeat five times, ideally three times a day. It runs for up to 10 seconds, which may take a few weeks or more. Both men and women can do it.

Once learned, you can do these exercises at any time of day (standing, sitting, lying down).

Make them part of your routine by combining them with something you do every day, like getting out of bed, putting the kettle or brushing your teeth.

Jane says: "Think about the benefits it will bring – no more pills, better sex, and you can do the sport you want."

Can it be treated?

The cure rates are impressive.

Studies show that 73% of women who make three series of eight to 12 decent pelvic floor juices two to four days a week for five months are completely healed, while 97% show some improvement.

The younger you are, the easier it is – yet Jane has seen patients aged 60 and 70 who have been treated.

Do we need gadgets?

Despite its reputation, Pilates is not always good for a weak pelvic floor

You can exercise your muscles without the use of gadgets, but Jane recommends them because they believe that it will help people carry out the exercises.

She likes the Squeezy app, £ 2.99, designed by NHS physiotherapists, which sends you phone reminders about how and when to do the exercises and review your progress.

It also evaluates coach Elvie, expensive at £ 170, or vaginal weights, much cheaper but rather medieval.

What about Pilates?

Jane says that Pilates does not help unless you are specifically doing pelvic floor exercises in the routine.

Sit-ups and other exercises can damage a weak pelvic floor.

– Jane Simpson is the author of The Pelvic Floor Bible, available HERE.

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