We spoke last month about issues surrounding postpartum health and the workplace. One of the main issues that women struggle with after childbirth is urinary incontinence (UI). Sadly this isn’t usually a temporary problem that resolves itself a few months postpartum.
We all know that we should be doing regular pelvic floor exercises before, during and after pregnancy. But realistically most of us don’t manage it. It’s difficult to appreciate the importance of these exercises until after the damage has been done.
However, you can reverse some of that damage and strengthen your floor by doing those exercises now.
Pelvic floor exercisers
Because the problem is so widespread, there are of course a number of products available to help with toning your pelvic floor.
These devices are usually designed to be inserted into the vagina, where they act as resistance so that your pelvic muscles work harder during the exercises.
Many of these pelvic floor exercisers have a built-in mechanism that provides physical feedback. This lets you know if you are using it correctly. However, one significant reason that women avoid doing these exercises is that it is difficult to identify the correct muscles. And even more so after childbirth.
So while a bit of physical resistance is great, if you’ve never identified the right muscle before, it can be hard to know whether that resistance is coming in the right place.
The new kids on the block
Modern technology can be a wonderful thing, and scientists are really beginning to harness its value in treating some common physical complaints.
We’re already seeing widespread use of smartphone apps to monitor periods, track fertility and even diagnose some minor ailments. Now, some companies are using that technology to help you strengthen your pelvic floor.
One such product is the next generation Leva, by Renovia. Currently only available in the US, this prescription-only device comprises a vaginal probe and a linked smartphone app, which tells you exactly what you need to do to regain control of your pelvic floor.
Dealing with stress incontinence
Whilst these products can undoubtedly be very useful in treating urinary stress incontinence, it is always worth consulting with a gynaecologist before investing in a gadget. Pelvic floor (kegel) exercises are very simple once you know how to do them effectively. And they can be done at any time, in any place.
Just five minutes a day of exercising your pelvic floor can significantly reduce urinary stress incontinence within a few weeks. But it is also important to ensure that there is no other reason behind the leaks.
For more information on urinary incontinence, postnatal health or any other women’s health issue, call us on 0121 308 7774.