Fact: 1 in 3 Canadian women over the age of 40 have incontinence.
Incontinence = uncontrolled loss of urine or stool in any amount. Sadly, our culture has done a pretty good job of shrugging it off as something that just happens with ageing. We've bought into the marketing campaigns which suggest that fixing the problem is as simple as buying an incontinence pad. Isn't that a sad commentary on our society?
Uncontrolled loss of urine or stool may be a common occurrence. But just because "everyone's doing it" doesn't mean that it's a good thing. It is not normal and it signifies that somewhere along the lines, pelvic floor dysfunction has occured and has been left untreated.
Imagine if we treated other body parts the same way was we do the pelvic floor. You go to your annual health check up and are given a clean bill of health. However, you don't mention a little problem that you have and your care provider never asks. It's an eye problem that has progressively worsened as the years have gone on. It started in your 20s after a really stressful and long written exam. And now that you are in your 40s you suddenly start to experience bouts of total vision loss and you're no longer able to enjoy certain activities without fear of triggering an episode.
Well, that might be a silly example but it's essentially how we approach our pelvic floors. The good news is that the majority of pelvic floor problems (which actually reflect wider system issues) are completely treatable by physiotherapy if addressed early. Better than early intervention, however, is PREvention. Getting a bit of knowledge and incorporating simple principles into your life can make all the difference.
If you do deal with incontinence, this post is not meant to bring shame. Enough with the shaming - that's what keeps so many of us suffering in embarrassing silence. Rather it is meant to shed light on the best kept secret in women's health: pelvic floor dysfunction. If you're around in London this Saturday, May 9th, come check out a little seminar I will be giving that will delve more into this topic and aim to demystify the pelvic floor.
Ladies (and gentlemen), let's start treating ourselves better. Let's start living whole from the inside out.
The Mama's Physio
We are a team of experienced physiotherapists with a passion for women's health and well being. We focus on pelvic health in the context of the whole body. We care for pregnant and post-partum mamas and women at all life stages from teens to the young at heart. We are mothers ourselves and we are women. We love what we do and we are here to serve you.