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Incontinence can affect men, women and children. Bladder leakage affects one in three women and although less common in younger men is common in men after prostate surgery. The symptoms of incontinence may start with an occasional leakage of urine with coughing, sneezing or whilst trying to get to the toilet on time. If left untreated, leakage that initially occurs once a month may start happening once and week and eventually may be happening every day.

Urinary incontinence is often accepted as an inevitable part of aging but there are many older persons that never leak. Urinary leakage is a sign that the pelvic floor muscles, which are important for urinary and bowel control are not functioning properly. Although incontinence is not a life threatening condition it is can affect a person's quality of life and incontinence is often cited as one of the major reasons for older persons requiring nursing home care. It is therefore better to seek treatment for incontinence even when the symptoms may seem mild.

Pelvic floor muscle training is recommended by the as the first line treatment for men and women with incontinence but only 17% of women are able to learn pelvic floor exercises by reading a leaflet. Research using real-time ultrasound to observe women performing pelvic floor muscle exercises has shown that over 40% of women with incontinence and prolapse are performing pelvic floor muscle exercises incorrectly and may actually making the incontinence worse.

At Body Logic Physiotherapy we complete a full assessment of your problem and design an individual program for you. If you are having problem with incontinence, prolapse, pelvic or vaginal pain it is likely that you need individualized, supervised pelvic floor muscle training. Don't delay in seeking help; it could change your life!

Research References

Thompson, J. A., and P. O'Sullivan. (2003). “Levator plate movement during voluntary pelvic floor muscle contraction in subjects with incontinence and prolapse: a cross-sectional study and review." International Urogynecology Journal and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction 14(2): 84-88.

Thompson, J. A., P. O'Sullivan, K. Briffa, P. Neumann, and S. Court. (2005). “Assessment of pelvic floor movement using transabdominal and transperineal ultrasound." Intl Urogynecology Journal 16: 285-292.

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