Women don’t have to put up with a weak pelvic floor

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Health -

One in three women over the age of 40 have some de­gree of uri­nary in­con­ti­nence – leak­ing when we cough, sneeze or lift the gro­ceries. It’s up­set­ting and can stop women ex­er­cis­ing as well as af­fect­ing them so­cially and psy­cho­log­i­cally.

But we shouldn’t have to live with blad­der leaks, bowel dis­func­tion or pain. Leak­ing may be com­mon when we cough or sneeze but it’s not nor­mal and there’s al­most al­ways some­thing we can do about it through move­ment, nu­tri­tion and stress man­age­ment.

And it’s want­ing to get that mes­sage out to women that led me down this route af­ter

I qual­i­fied as a physio 25 years ago. I started in sports medicine, work­ing with foot­ball teams and elite ath­letes, but when I had a baby 18 years ago I didn’t have a great ex­pe­ri­ence and that’s what started me on my jour­ney into women’s health.

I was in­tro­duced to

Holis­tic Core Re­store (holis­tic­cor­ere­store.com) and was so im­pressed with their pro­gramme of pelvic-floor and core fit­ness ex­er­cises, along with nu­tri­tion, that I be­come a clin­i­cal con­sul­tant for them. I over­see the ma­te­rial the coaches teach and ad­vise women at all life stages, in­clud­ing preg­nancy, post­na­tal and menopause. I also teach, lec­ture and men­tor all over the world, in­clud­ing Amer­ica, Canada and Aus­tralia.

When you sign up to a six-week HCR pro­gramme, you are as­signed a coach near to you who takes you through the ex­er­cise classes. Most women no­tice huge im­prove­ment in blad­der

con­trol within 12 weeks – com­plete re­gain of con­trol for some women and sub­stan­tial im­prove­ment for the rest.

Even if you do end up need­ing surgery for a blad­der or bowel is­sue, the bet­ter shape you are go­ing into it the bet­ter your out­come.

Michelle Lyons, 46, is a women’s health physio from County West­meath, Ire­land

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