Every day, your pelvic structures work for you.
Your “bits down there” are all about your bladder, your bowel, the support of your pelvic organs, your intimacy times and keeping all these organs and structures functioning beautifully and painlessly through a lifetime. Are you taking these amazing systems for granted?
You can start by asking yourself these questions:
Bladder: Do I void/pass water/urinate 5 – 6x in 24 hours, at most once during the night? Do I go to the loo only when I’m ready, in full control and never leak en route? Can I run water, arrive home and/or pass the bathroom without dashing in? Can I sneeze/cough while jumping on the trampoline without leaking? Do I void fully and completely with a strong stream with no hesitation, double voiding or pain? Can I even remember the last time I had a bladder infection?
Bowel: Do I have regular, comfortable, satisfying, well formed and complete bowel movements 1 – 2x per day? Do I have full and complete control of gas and stool without a painful or uncomfortable urge to go? Do I ever have ‘skidmarks’ in my undies? Am I never constipated and/or struggle with hemorrhoids, even when I change my schedule or travel?
Sexual Function: Do I have satisfying and painfree enjoyable intimate function throughout my lifetime? Has my sexual function adapted to baby-having times and life seasons, illness and changes without ongoing difficulty? Have I sailed through menopause/andropause (male menopause) without interruption to my intimate life?
Pelvic Organ Support: Do I have full, strong support of my uterus, bowel and bladder? Has it continued through having babies, gaining weight, impact sport, COPD, allergies/asthma and heavy lifting activities? Can I work a long day without pressure in my perineum from my organs, run with my grandchildren and lift/jump without discomfort?
Pelvic Pain: Do I stay relatively painfree through periods, endometriosis, painful bladder syndrome, injury to my tailbone or sacroiliac joints, ulcerative colitis/Crohn’s disease, IBS, abdominal surgeries etc.? Is my pelvic area skin free from itching, rawness, irritation and discharge?
Prenatal and Postpartum: When my baby is 3 months old, do I have full control of my bladder and bowel and a comfortable pelvis for all of life’s daily activities? Is my split middle (diastasis rectus abdominus) strongly meeting in the middle when I cough, squat, lift or do fitness activities? Does my core feel strong and able to tackle all the heavy work of being a new Mom?
In addition, for men: Am I having regular prostate examinations? Is my urine stream strong, regular, limited to 5 – 6 x/day, pain-free and easy to initiate and complete with no leakage at any other time? If I’m having prostate surgery, do I know how to come out of it dry and in control?
For our children: Do I have full, confident control of my bathroom times (bowel and bladder) by the time I am five years old? Do I allow problems in these areas to stop me from enjoying being a child and doing fun things, being active, having sleepovers and enjoying time with my friends, playing and trying new activities?
If, after reading the questions above, you find that you’re confounded or challenged by any of these questions, welcome to the world of pelvic physiotherapy. We are a small, but keen group of specially trained physios who assess and treat the function or dysfunction of the pelvic region in all stages of life and for men, women and children. It’s not about “the issue in the tissue”, but about how all the systems are all working together in your meaningful tasks, your work and play.
Don’t live with dysfunction in your “bits down there”. Talk to your doctor, physio, exercise leader, massage therapist, chiropractor and ask for help.
Don’t let pelvic challenges stop you from living the most vibrant, active and interesting life today (and tomorrow)! Stay active, be strong and live well, each and every day.