So having a weak pelvic floor seems to be three things:
1. Funny. It must be because it’s referenced all the time. “PMSL” for a start. And I’ve lost count of the number of articles or comments that reference “a bit of wee coming out” as a way to make the experience (and the writing of it) even more hilarious. Yeah I’m laughing my head off.
2. Embarrassing. Despite evidently being absolutely hilarious and referenced constantly very few people actually admit to having the problem. Because it’s mortifying. Who wants to admit to smelling of wee?
3. Extremely common. So no-one admits to having the problem, and yet loads of women live with it. Especially ones who have had children. 1 in 3 women. I have about 125 female friends on Facebook at the minute. Just saying.
And alongside this there is a quiet resignation to it. “Well it’s just one of those things. I put up with it.”
I can hardly criticise. I put up with mine for 7 years. From mid pregnancy sneezing (oh good lord) to daily leakage. And worst of all a total inability to do Just Dance 4 on the wii or to run down a hill making that funny noise.
They tell you it’s about whether it affects your quality of life. That’s the key. Can you put up with it reasonably happily? The trouble is it’s easier both physically and mentally to say that you can.
But I think for most women it is a way bigger issue than they admit to themselves or anyone else. I know for me it has affected my self esteem and the practicalities of day life. Not least the ability to exercise. But dealing with it is scary so I put it off. Me and millions of other women.
In hindsight I actually went to the GP about this on a number of occasions. And each time I wasn’t examined and I was told to go away and do some pelvic floor exercises*. So then I put it to the back of my mind for a bit, resolved to do them and failed completely.
The last time I went to a gp she told me I had a “slight vaginal prolapse”. (Ooh we are getting to the good stuff now aren’t we…) I was referred to a specialist and told that that wasn’t true. I don’t. I can’t say I rate that particular GP anymore (it seems like quite a fundamental thing to get wrong) but on the upside at least it got me to talk to someone who actually knew what they were going on about.
And what my consultant said? Pelvic floor exercises. Thats the first answer. Specifically pelvic floor physiotherapy for ten weeks. That sounds appealing doesn’t it?
*I bet if you are pregnant or a mum already you are doing some pelvic floor exercises right now. Good on yer!