If you are reading this most likely you are facing challenges with a weakened pelvic floor and it’s ok – there is help and you are not alone. The first step is acknowledging it, the second step is talking about it and seeking help and the third step is taking control over something that has most likely affected all facets of your life for many years.
Over 1.5 million Canadians, most of them women, are affected by urinary incontinence in its varying forms (outlined below). Most of these women are either too embarrassed to talk about it, unaware of the treatment options available or simply believe it is just a fact of life. While common, incontinence is not normal and can often be treated with simple muscle release and exercise techniques you can do at home. Seeking the help of a pelvic floor physiotherapist will help you better understand your pelvic floor and support your return to function.
Types, Causes & Symptoms of Incontinence:
This is the most common type of incontinence, affecting close to 50% of women with pelvic floor challenges. Varying amounts of urine leak out - depending upon the severity of their condition – with laughter, coughing, sneezing or during exercise. Stress incontinence can be caused by damaged or weakened pelvic floor muscles often as a result of pregnancy, childbirth or hormonal changes from menopause.
Urge incontinence is typically a result of the involuntary contraction of a muscle in the bladder which causes an urgent and frequent need to empty the bladder, even when it is not full. This type of incontinence is often due to surgery, or nerve damage, but can also develop through poor diet and elimination habits.
As the name implies, mixed incontinence occurs when a women suffers from more than one type of incontinence at the same time. The most common combination is Urge and Stress incontinence, especially in older women.
Your first line of treatment should be to seek the help of a pelvic floor physiotherapist. Visit our Find A Physio page to find one near you.