Don't neglect your Pelvic Floor Muscles

Freda (not her real name), would like to share her story, her comments and feelings, to let you know how important pelvic floor muscle exercises are, and to encourage you to take note now, before it is too late and problems start. (It is never too late to actually get help, but it is easier to stop a problem from happening).

Freda has 3 children, and had her first baby when she was 22 years old. She was 26 when she had her second baby and then in her late 30's for her third. This is when the problems started, or became apparent.

Freda came to the Physiotherapist, not sure if she was doing her pelvic floor muscle exercises correctly. She experienced incontinence (leakage of urine) when she coughed and also on the way to the toilet - not always making it when she needed to go. This had been happening for a few months. She had been thinking "hopefully this will get better", but it didn't, and it was very upsetting. She was brave enough to mention it to her doctor, who suggested physiotherapy but also surgery if physiotherapy didn't help.

"It was very embarrassing to come to a Physiotherapist when I actually had a problem, but it was a relief to get some help, and to know that I could improve this situation. But if I had known years ago how important the exercises were, I wouldn't be putting up with this now at the age of 38. It is devastating to wet yourself, and it has affected my relationship. The muscles are so weak that sex feels 'like a canyon'. I feel very sloppy inside.
I wish I had known earlier when I had my first two children, but no one told me. I only got a brochure given to me after my second baby but I didn't know how important the exercises were. I didn't think I had a problem with my pelvic floor muscles back then, and I didn't think it was important for me to do the exercises.
It would have been easier to keep my muscles working when I was younger. It is such hard work to get the muscles back to working now, after years of not doing the exercises. I think women should do exercises before and during pregnancy, as well as after - it is easier than being 38 and experiencing leaking when you cough or want to go to the toilet!"

Luckily with the help of her Physiotherapist, Freda's problem slowly improved and she regained control over her bladder and pelvic floor muscles. But she felt strongly enough to share her story in the hope that other women will not neglect their muscles and will enjoy the benefit of all of the information, and physiotherapy advice that is available now.



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