Feeling embarrassed or overwhelmed are common feelings experienced by most suffering from incontinence. Some people go on to develop debilitating anxiety to the point where they withdraw from social interaction. As I’ve already stressed, YES it is common, NO it is not normal and help IS available. Don’t suffer in silence. You deserve better!
At the end of the day a one size fits all approach does not exist and it is not as simple as performing your Kegal exercises. Did you know that 60% of people who were verbally instructed to perform Kegal exercises were actually doing it wrong! This is really a cause of concern as we may be exacerbating our current status or predisposing ourselves to a problem later down the track.
Prevention is always better than a cure, however certain situations are unavoidable therefore we need to know where to go for help. Below I outline some simple strategies as a starting point.
- Create a routine
- Always open your bowels soon after the first sensation of needing to perform a number 2
- Avoid just in case toiletting (I'm going out, I better quickly run to the loo or I'm about to head into a meeting, I better go to the loo scenarios)
- Ensure adequate fibre and fluid intake. Note: if you increase your fibre intake, don’t forget to increase your fluid intake too!
- Get active- 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week
- Limit alcohol, soft drink and caffeine
- Practice supported sitting when performing your business. This allows for your pelvic floor muscles to relax and minimises the need to strain.
- Last but not least… If any of my posts resonate with you please speak to a health professional.
Supported sitting. Image: Continence Foundation of Australia
There are various ways to manage incontinence and these will depend on the type of incontinence you have. It is best to work with your Physiotherapist specialising in Women’s Health to accurately assess and provide you with a plan of action.
I hope this week series on incontinence has reinforced the fact that 'incontinence is no laughing matter' and help IS available. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 8721 9972 to book in.
Have a lovely weekend!