The 'M' word Part4- pelvic floor

The pelvic floor consists of a set of 16 muscles slung between your tailbone, pubic bone and the two hip points. They support the abdominal organs, sexual function and have a role in preventing incontinence. The problem in menopause is that lack of oestrogen may cause a weakening of these muscles. This may lead to stress incontinence that is coughing, sneezing, high impact exercises, or lifting may cause leakage of urine. Pregnancy may have also weakened the pelvic floor. 

BUT like any muscles the pelvic floor muscles CAN be strengthened. When I used to do pre-natal classes I tried various ways to help 'my' ladies to strengthen their pelvic floor (a strong pelvic floor means fewer contractions to give birth - a great incentive!) but the way described below was the one they found easiest. Let me know how you go on.

Pelvic floor strengthener
Sit on a rolled up blanket or cushion with the soles of your feet together. When you look down at your legs they will be in a diamond shape. For this exercise the feet represent your pubic bone, your knees, your hip points and your tailbone is your actual tailbone. Spend a minute tuning into your breath then breathe in and as you breathe out isometrically draw your feet, knees and tailbone together (this means that although there is a 'squeezing' together these points do not actually move. You should be able to feel a 'lift' of your pelvic floor. Now breathe in and let everything relax. Repeat 9 more times.  Repeat this exercise daily.

Please see also ''The M-Word Part 1-Diet to help ease your way through the menopause''- 

''The 'M' word Part 2 - coping with 'brain fog', and memory impairment'' 
''The 'M' word Part 3-Avoiding weight gain in the menopause''

Stay healthy

Janet x

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