As World Continence Week starts, a new health campaign launches: #pelvicroar calling for closer collaboration between healthcare professionals, fitness professionals, industry and individuals to educate and manage problems such as incontinence and pelvic organ prolapses. It is spearheaded by 3 specialist pelvic health physiotherapists: Emma Brockwell (physiomum), Elaine Miller (Gussie Grips) and Myra Robson (Squeezy App). Myra says, “We’re working with MPs, MSPs, the Department of Health, the Royal Colleges and Professional Bodies to make pelvic floor exercises and good pelvic health as highly-prioritized as dental health. Pelvic floor exercises should be as standard as brushing teeth twice daily. We’re in the dark ages here, so must form a collective roar about the injustice women (and men) face to get outcomes they deserve!”
LET’S ALL SQUEEZE TOGETHER
#pelvicroar aims to break taboos surrounding pelvic health issues, and signpost men and women to evidence-based information at all stages of life as part of ‘sex and relationship education’, pregnancy care (including antenatal and postnatal) menopause, prostate care and during senior years. #pelvicroar is a physiotherapy-led collaborative campaign in the UK, but aims to become the leading, global forum for all things ‘pelvic health’.
Pelvic floor issues have been prominent in the media recently, with Mumsnet’s postnatal care campaign, a Royal baby, and the mesh scandal. Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, Kate Winslet, and presenter, Holly Willoughby, have been vocal on the subject. Yet, still, many people are unaware what their pelvic floor is, namely, the hammock shaped group of muscles that support our pelvic organs and control our front and back passages. They don’t know help is available if they suffer from bladder leaks and/or are too embarrassed to seek help: It takes an average 6.5 years for women to go to their GP with this issue, and over 4 years for men⁴. The 2015 NICE Guidelines recommend 12 weeks of rehabilitation as first-line treatment for women presenting with bladder weakness post partum, yet many GPs are unaware of the Guidelines.
LAUGHTER LEAKS: NO LAUGHING MATTER
Many people’s daily life is dominated by the need to plan loo trips, causing anxiety and risking social exclusion. A ‘laughter leak’ is a common cause for embarrassment and concern, but it’s no laughing matter. That said, the specialist pelvic health physiotherapist, Elaine Miller, trains women post pregnancy using her taboo-breaking comedy sketches to educate them: “We need to spread the word that leaking is ‘common, but not normal’. No one should put up with this dreadful intrusion into their lives!”