It is World Continence Week this week
The aim of this week is to raise awareness of the impact of incontinence and to signpost people to get help, rather than put up with symptoms.
Around 1 in 3 people struggle with urinary incontinence. It has a significant impact on quality of life, impacting on daily activities such as work, leisure and intimate relationships.
It is slightly more difficult to get accurate statistics about bowel incontinence (because people are even more embarrassed about discussing it or seeking help). But around 1 in 10 people admit to problems with bowel control.
The difficulty with not talking about continence / incontinence is that people then lack support with the problem and may not realise that treatment is available.
Training the pelvic floor muscles is the recommended first line treatment for people with urinary incontinence.
Specialist physiotherapists have post-graduate level training in pelvic floor function and dysfunction and will be members of the Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy Organisation (POGP). They have a number of useful patient leaflets that can be accessed here
As specialist physios we constantly aim to raise awareness and bust the myths around incontinence – so that people know that bladder weakness is not normal (whatever the Tena adverts may suggest!). Physiotherapy is proven to help. It takes work on your part, but can be very effective in improving or completely resolving symptoms. As the
#pelvic roar slogan says ‘Pants not Pads!’
Bladder weakness isn’t inevitable, nor untreatable, whatever the Tena adverts may suggest.
It is great that pelvic floor issues are finally being more widely discussed in the media. This can only make it easier for people to start to talk about issues and seek help. Hopefully this means problems can be picked up sooner, rather than people waiting decades to seek help, as has been the case in the past.
As well as easier access to good quality information on the internet, there is a range of technology to assist women with pelvic floor rehab. From apps to monitor your pelvic floor exercises such as the squeezy app, to a range of high tech electrical stimulation or biofeedback devices to help with your exercises. It is always best to get a proper assessment from a qualified specialist physiotherapist to fully evaluate your pelvic floor, before deciding to use any devices, to make sure they are suitable.
Don’t suffer in silence or put up with using pads. Find a qualified physiotherapist and start getting help.
You can search for suitably qualified physiotherapists on the pelvic health physio directory
or by contacting the POGP