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Incontinence

Incontinence is defined as the involuntary loss of urine or stool, and statistics tell us that 1/3 of women suffer from incontinence today.

It is so common in fact that it is considered normal, but it isn’t, and should be addressed.

incontinence_greenThe pelvic floor muscles keep you continent by supporting the bladder and urethra (pee pipe). To keep it closed so the bladder can fill with urine, you need a certain amount of tension in the pelvic floor muscle. When it’s time to ‘go’, the pelvic floor relaxes and the bladder squeezes to allow urine to pass. The muscles work similarly for bowel control.

This system relies on the strength and coordination of the pelvic floor and if disrupted can leave you incontinent.

Stress urinary incontinence is when you leak urine due to increased abdominal pressure (from sneezing / coughing / jumping / laughing / lifting). The pelvic floor and urethra aren’t strong enough to counteract the pressure and so urine leaks out. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can help you strengthen the pelvic floor and retrain this reflex to stop the leaking.

Fecal incontinence is also more prevalent than you’d think. It again can be due to pelvic floor dysfunction, childbirth trauma, constipation and poor bowel techniques. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can assess the cause of the issue and help you retrain your system for regular and controlled bowel movements again.

Over active bladder is when the bladder squeezes when it’s not full, or at an inappropriate time, and so you have a sudden, often unbearable urge to pee. Sometimes you can leak as well. This can be very socially debilitating, and embarrassing for women. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy using education and bladder retraining can be very effective for calming the urges and gaining bladder strength and confidence again.

We know that over time, particularly as you go through childbirth, menopause, or natural aging, incontinence that isn’t addressed gets worse.  However, research has shown that 80% of incontinence can be improved with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy and it is never to late to start!

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