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How to decrease risk of pelvic floor problems

We’re talking about some of the lifestyle factors that can significantly reduce our risk, and help with the management of pelvic floor disorders, as described by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in their recommendations. Many of these factors are linked and have cross over.

  1. Manage constipation. Straining to empty our bowels is a prime cause of pelvic floor overload. Staying well hydrated, moving regularly, and including good fibre intake in a varied diet can all help. Refer to my blog post “How to sit on the loo”, for tips on emptying the bowels with less strain.
  2. Build regular activity into your life. Activities that raise your rate of  breathing will help with gut function, avoiding consitpation, maintaintenence of a healthy BMI, as well as being great for our mental health.
  3. Maintain a healthy body weight. Refer to a BMI chart for a rough guide or seek guidance from your healthcare provider.
  4. Treat coughs and colds promptly as, prolonged coughing can overload the pelvic floor.
  5. Give up smoking. Smoking can impact on the quality of our soft tissues and can lead to increased work of breathing and chronic coughs.
  6. Manage diabetes, as studies show diabetes to be a risk factor for the pelvic floor muscles and urinary incontinence.