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Pelvic Floor Disorders

Pelvic floor disorders is categorised as an inability to control the muscles of the pelvic floor and results in a variety of conditions, the most common being:

  • pelvic organ prolapse

  • urinary incontinence

  • fecal incontinence


The pelvic organs are the bladder, uterus and cervix, vagina, and rectum, which is part of the bowel. These organs sit on a mass of muscle which creates a hammock like support for these organs. When these muscles and/or tissues become weak or damaged, a prolapse occurs and these organs are forced to drop and thus press into, and sometimes out of the vagina. There are different types of prolapse, this depends on which organ is affected, such as the uterus, bladder or rectum. 


Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control and can range from occasionally leaking urine during a cough, all the way to have a sudden urgency to urinate and not having time to get to the bathroom. This can be a temporary condition or a long term condition and is sometimes not preventable. Similarly, faecal incontinence is the inability to control the bowel with stool often leaking from the bowel. Faecal incontinence is most often caused by weakened muscles around the bowel however its important to note that a range of factors may contribute. 


So why see an Exercise Physiologist? 

Pelvic floor exercises can assist in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles which is not only recommended to women who have experienced prolapse but also for all women to prevent pelvic floor weakness. Pelvic floor exercises are very useful in managing and preventing urinary incontinence. These exercises can be tailored to each individual in terms of difficulty and can be completed within a general program designed at Seniors Fitness. 


Balance and strength is also important when suffering from urinary and faecal incontinence as this has been proven to increase the risk of falls in older adults due to the urgency to get to the toilet. Balance and strength may assist with moving safely to the bathroom and increase confidence to resume activities of daily living such as social outings. 

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