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ActiveBody

Incontinence doesn’t discriminate Julie Colan, the founder of Secret Whispers, talks about how common leakage issues are, the misconceptions, associated taboos and how she has seen a rise in it during lockdown

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ET’S TALK ABOUT something embarrassing shall we? Does a little wee escape when you laugh, sneeze, cough, jump, or run? Is this now your new normal? It doesn’t have to be. As women (and men) we are pretty uneducated on the importance of our pelvic floor, the structure of it and why doing egels pelvic floor exercises) is so important. nfortunately, for most women the first time they hear the words egels and prolapse is when they have a problem. This is why I am so passionate about campaigning for ational elvic Floor Awareness because most weak pelvic floor issues could be avoided with education and doing egels. p to 0% of women in the have a prolapse. owever, this figure is likely to be a lot higher because many women are fearful of seeking help or advice due to the associated shame. The physical, psychological and social wellbeing impact for women who suffer with weak pelvic floor conditions, and their families, is heart-breaking and could be avoided. Because of the propaganda adverts from certain pad companies which portray leaks as “little oops moments” many women believe that bladder leaks after childbirth are normal and even to be expected. This is most definitely not the case. Incontinence is very common but it is not normal and if left untreated will only get worse. our pelvic floor is a muscle like any other and needs to be exercised. Think of your pelvic floor as a hammock that holds up your bowel, bladder and uterus. When it weakens and/or becomes damaged (for various reasons) it can no longer support these organs which drop out of place, known as pelvic organ prolapse (POP). These organs push into the walls of the vaginal canal and can eventually bulge outside of the vagina, causing major distress as well as pain. Some of the signs of POP are: a bulging sensation in the vagina, tampons push out, pain/pressure in the vagina and/or rectum, urinary and faecal incontinence, back/pelvic pain, painful intercourse and bowel incontinence. It’s worth noting that a lot of women and men who suffer from back and hip pain may find they actually have pelvic floor issues. our pelvic floor is key to your core strength and needs to be strong. Yes, childbirth is a leading factor associated with POP, as is being overweight and constipation, due to the associated bowel straining. Menopause can be a contributory factor as well due to the reduction of oestrogen levels at this time.

As women (and men) we are pretty uneducated on the importance of our pelvic floor, the structure of it and why doing Kegels (pelvic floor exercises) is so important.

en have a pelvic floor too and can suffer in the same way as women; dribbles, leakage and erectile dysfunction are some of the problems they face. There are two types of egels, slow and fast and are exactly the same for men and women. Imagine holding in wind and urine at the same time - hold that contraction for up to 10 seconds and release for three seconds, repeat 10 times. Then do 10 fast egels. Aim to do these twice a day. Studies have shown that even the majority of women who are told how to do an effective egel exercise struggle to get it right. This is where our Secret Whispers egel Weights kit can help as it teaches women to feel how to do them correctly. Our egel weights are just like a dumbbell for your pelvic floor and include a six step programme, which is doctor, physio and mum recommended. During lockdown we saw a rise in the number of customers who suddenly found themselves with leakage and prolapse issues. They had taken up running and IIT classes with no thought about their pelvic floor well why would they o one has told them otherwise). Running and jumping puts increased pressure on the pelvic floor. Imagine it s like a trampoline holding up your pelvic floor organs. If it’s weak, it’s bouncing up and down with your pelvic organs inside and getting weaker, which can lead to leakage and prolapse issues. So, please, do your egels www.secretwhispers.co.uk

September 2020 / theactivemag.com

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