Bladder Control

Many people, both men and women, suffer from bladder control problems. The control of our bladders is by a group of muscles called the "pelvic floor" muscles.

It is thought that up to 30% of women are not able to isolate and use their pelvic floor muscles adequately.

During our lives there are many factors that can affect these muscles leading to "stress" incontinence - this means that when you cough, sneeze, run or jump you may leak.

One can also suffer from "urge" incontinence which is a sudden need to rush to the loo (key in the door symptoms). Some people suffer from both.

Factors that lead to stress incontinence:

  • Pregnancy and childbearing puts a lot of downward pressure on the muscles of the pelvic floor.
     
  • Hormones, such as a fall in oestrogen during menopause, cause muscles to lose tone.
     
  • Repeated episodes of cystitis.
     
  • Constipation and being overweight puts more pressure on our pelvic floor.
     

Specific exercises can be taught by a physiotherapist to help you isolate these muscles effectively, and set you up with a graduated programme that over a period of months can help make a difference. These exercises usually need to be done for life to be effective.