Many women experience accidental leakage of urine when they cough, sneeze, laugh, run or jump. This is known as stress urinary incontinence and is the most common form of urinary incontinence. Other women get strong, frequent urges to pass urine which cause them to rush to the toilet and they may not reach the toilet in time before leaking urine. These bladder symptoms are often due to overactive bladder syndrome – more about this type of bladder problem later.
However, many, many women will experience a mixture of both stress urinary incontinence and overactive bladder syndrome, in which case their symptoms are described as mixed urinary incontinence. As many as 1 in 3 women experience problems with their bladder control and yet women are still reluctant to talk about these symptoms and therefore do not seek help.
However, stress urinary incontinence can be helped and many cases cured with Women’s Health Physiotherapy. One of the main causes of stress urinary incontinence is pelvic floor muscle weakness. The pelvic floor muscles are a sheet of muscles deep inside the pelvis which support the bladder and prevent leakage of urine from the bladder.
Government guidelines recommend pelvic floor muscle exercises as first-line treatment for stress urinary incontinence and it has been shown that women who do pelvic floor muscle exercises regularly are 8 times more likely to report that their symptoms are cured and 17 times more likely to report that their symptoms are improved than women who do not do pelvic floor exercises.
Women’s Health Physiotherapists are specifically trained in the assessment and treatment of pelvic floor muscle problems and therefore are able to work with you to develop an effective, personal pelvic floor muscle training program to relieve stress urinary incontinence.