Urinary incontinence is a common problem in women, where pregnancy or the postnatal period may be the first time many women experience urinary incontinence.
About a third of women leak urine and up to a 10th of women leak stool (faeces) after giving birth
Stress (having the symptom of involuntary urine leakage with physical exertion) and urgency (symptom of involuntary leakage associated with, or immediately following, a sudden compelling need to void) urinary incontinence are the two most common types of urine leakage in women. Many women have symptoms of both stress and urgency urinary incontinence; being identified as ‘mixed’ urinary incontinence. Of these types, stress urinary incontinence is most commonly associated with pregnancy and the postnatal period.
Factors known to be associated with a greater risk of postpartum incontinence include vaginal delivery (in the short term); previous urinary incontinence; and heredity including anatomical and physiological factors such as pelvic anatomy and connective tissue structure
A wide range of treatments and therapies are being used in the treatment of urinary and faecal incontinence, including conservative interventions (such as physical therapies, lifestyle interventions, behavioural training, and anti-incontinence devices), pharmaceutical interventions, and surgery.
As a womens health educator it is with conservative intervention I path my role. With the essentials of a pelvic health programme for women to include:
- increase strength of the pelvic floor (the maximum force generated by a muscle in a single contraction);
- endurance of the pelvic floor (ability to contract repetitively, or to sustain a single contraction over time);
coordinate muscle activity (such as the pre-contraction of pelvic floor muscles prior to a rise in intra-abdominal pressure)
By addressing and blending these in combination into any exercise prescription; my training looks to improve coordination and urinary urgency suppression. Usually involving the repeated use of a voluntary pelvic floor muscle awareness by contraction in response to a specific exercise situation. For example voluntary or assisted pelvic floor muscle contraction prior to a movement path or with issolated breath.
Sadly it is common for women to receive little information about and encouragement to perform some pelvic floor muscle activation during fitness movement and weight bearing exercise. Partnered to no value or recognition of the direction of the use of breath within an exercised state or flow. Without its direction the longterm outcome will promote pelvic organ or rectal prolapse.
Whilst there is not enough evidence from small trials to support whether conservative exercise prescription intervention in terms of treatment of incontinence in the many years after delivery show a significant benefit. It will and ‘does’ support women emotionally with regaining some confidence and recognition for what for me is our most feminine and unrecognised centred zone in fitness prescription.
Factoring this too to the alignment of the pelvis and sacrum and knowing as an individual where your pelvis should lie with you throughout the day is vital to feeling full as a woman. Having a restorative understanding of your pelvic region and into your pelvic floor needs without question does breath vitality into any womans lifeblood. Our centre for sensuality, intimacy, emotion, pleasure and connection.
And there’s another elephant in the room, age! The peri-menopause and menopause years start to see us femmes loose our muscle tone and a shift to pelvic relaxation, courtesy to our loss of estrogen. Symptoms of heaviness, pressure, urinary tract infection, bladder and bowel movement making it ever more prevalent to get on with connecting and flowing confidently with our vital parts.
Sadly never does pelvic floor strength education seem as important as during pregnancy; the only education a woman will ever receive is that within a childbirth preparation class. Where we watch a video, are handed a sheet and told to get on with the kegel crib sheet. It becomes the deal you just forget.
Incontinence and pelvic floor relaxation definitely leaves a big impression, I have personally walked its path. Disconnection and debilitation at any age. It is one of those deals as women we don’t talk about and equally one fitness trainers don’t compensate, talk about or make delivery or education for.
The pelvis and reclaiming femininity are two areas of my life and work I am hugely passionate about. Being an enthusiast about a fulfilled feminine life, the body and movement has led me to create educated practices that initially have worked for me and that I now share with others within female groups I facilitate or lecture.
I offer a space that helps women get in touch with their pelvis, hear its voice and the wisdom and strength it can offer us pre, peri and well into our menopause years.
MAKE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO CONNECT AND EMBRACE – JOIN IN AN ©SACRAL METHOD CLASS.