The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles found inside the pelvis that form a floor in the body. They surround the urethra, vagina and rectum and should, along with the sphincter muscles, maintain control over these openings.
The muscles should also support the urethra, bladder and womb and withstand all increases in abdominal pressure that occur during physical exercise.
If the pelvic floor muscles are weak the urethra can fall during exertion, resulting in leaking.
In order to find your pelvic floor muscles try interrupting the flow when you urinate. Feel which muscles you are using to do this. These are the same muscles you use when trying to hold back wind. These are the muscles you need to work on.
Next we’ll talk about how you actually do Pelvic Floor Exercises.
If you want to read more in the meanwhile then visit the Pelvic Floor Exercises section on our website.
A few of the earlier articles have mentioned Pelvic Floor exercises – a simple yet very important activity that can significantly improve and reduce stress incontinence and bladder control problems.
Even more importantly, regularly doing Pelvic Floor exercises can reduce the risk of experiencing incontinence problems later on in life, especially following childbirth. Over the next few 3 days we’ll cover the topic in a short series of articles.
Pelvic Floor exercises can be done at almost anytime or anywhere, at home, work or even queuing for a bus! Once you have learnt to tighten your pelvic floor muscles, you can squeeze them and hold when you sneeze, lift or jump to prevent leakage. However, please note that you may have to do them for a few months before you notice any improvement.
Next we’ll look at what the Pelvic Floor is and how you find it.
If you want to read more in the meanwhile then visit the Pelvic Floor Exercises section on our website.
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Divertular disease is a suprisingly common condition, yet one few people know much about. Having had several people enquire about products for this condition we thought it might be worth giving some more background information.
Diverticular disease is a condition that affects the large bowel, or colon and is, believed to be the result of too little fibre in the diet which is why it’s very rare in developing countries where diets are high in fibre. In Western countries where many people still don’t eat enough fibre, Diverticular disease becomes more common as people get older.
About one in four adults is affected by the time they reach 60, and two-thirds are affected by the time they reach 85. Men and women are equally likely to be affected.
A diet low in fibre creates the ideal conditions for constipation to develop. When this happens, the pressure in the large part of the gut increases, which forces small parts of the gut lining outwards through the muscles surrounding the gut. This causes the lining to form small balloon-like pouches called diverticula.
Unless these become inflamed, many people won’t have any obvious symptoms. Indeed, they may only become aware they have diverticular disease when it’s found by chance during tests for another condition. Under these circumstances, to prevent future problems developing, it’s advisable to increase the amount of fibre in the diet to avoid constipation.
When the diverticulae are not inflamed those who have symptoms find that their symptoms tend to come and go. Episodes of abdominal pain, bloating, and the passing of excess wind are common. These are often accompanied by a change in their normal bowel movements, with constipation or diarrhoea, or both, alternating.
Dietary advice to increase the amount of fibre is a first action and sometimes medication is recommended for use when needed.
If someone with diverticulitis is unwell, they may be treated at home with painkillers, antibiotics, laxatives and dietary advice. However, diverticulitis is often severe, and can need hospital treatment with antibiotics and fluids.
For those people experiencing occasional diarrhoea as a result of Diverticular disease then being able to get on with normal activities whilst feeling secure is important. As a result for the majority of our customers with this condition the best product to use they have found to be Tena Pants Super. The advantage of using this type of pull-up disposable underwear is that it can be used in a smilar way to normal underwear but has the security of a built-in highly absorbent pad as well as elasticated leg cuffs and waistband for security against leakage. The side tears mean the product can be quickly and easily be removed after use without having to remove clothing fully.
More information on Diverticular Disease can be found on the BUPA Website.
A new report just published has confirmed again that incontinence is one of the most common problems experienced by women and yet most of the women experiencing it haven’t discussed it with their Doctor.
The new report, commissioned by the National Women’s Health Resource Center (NWHRC) in America, is a first-of-its kind study on the prevalence of pelvic health disorders among American women.
The report says that an estimated 33 percent of “Baby Boom” women (those born between 1946 and 1964) have stress urinary incontinence, but only about 47 percent of all women have ever asked their doctor about it.
Many women don’t realize that treatment may be as simple as pelvic floor exercises or biofeedback, the report said.
We receive lots of enquiries about Waterproof, Plastic Incontinence Pants. Therefore, having reviewed a number of different alternatives, we have recently added the Readi range of waterproof pants to our catalogue and website.
These pants can provide extra re-assurance and security against leakage when worn over disposable incontinence pads and pants. This can be important during the day if going out for a long trip or at night time to help protect mattresses and bedding further.
Our Readi Waterproof pants are made from a softened polymer to prevent the “rustle” that can be associated with these products and they also have an elasticated waist band and leg cuffs to give a comfortable seal against the skin.
We receive a large number of orders for absorbent bed pads, both washable and disposable but these alone are not sufficient to protect your mattress against incontinence despite their high absorbency levels.
At night, it is quite common for someone in deep sleep to empty their bladder completely. This means that although the bed pad will be able to absorb a large quantity of urine it will still take some time for this quantity of liquid to wick (or spread) throughout the pad. This means that the individual will still become wet, and risk disturbed sleep.
If an individual experiences night time incontinence then we always recommend using an absorbent disposable pad or pant as well. If the individual is mobile then we would recommend a disposable pull-up incontinence pant as these enable the wearer to visit the bathroom normally if they do wake up without the inconvenience of re-inserting a pad which can be time consuming in the middle of the night. If the individual is less mobile then we would recommend to use an all-in-one incontinence pad as these are easier for a carer to put on and remove.
For night time use, it is wise to use the most absorbent pad possible to reduce the risk of leakage.
Given the expense of mattresses it is always a good idea to use a protective mattress cover of some kind. We offer both low cost PVC covers and also breathable Allergon covers which are made from a cotton terry upper with a polyurethane membrane, these not only protect against incontinence but also against dust-mites making them ideal for people who suffer from allergies. For people experiencing particularly heavy incontinence problems then we also offer total enclosure mattress covers which give complete protection for all sides of the mattress.
Finally given the expense of bedding it is always worthwhile considering duvet protectors and pillow protectors. These fit underneath the normal covers and give a waterproof, breathable protective layer to protect the duvet or pillow underneath.
As this week has been Carer’s Week we thought we should focus on them for today’s article.
As you may already know, incontinence is one of the main problems carers have to deal with and one of the most frequent reasons for people moving from their own home into care.
The issue of dealing with incontinence is not just a practical one in terms of dealing with changes of bedding, pads, etc. for the individual or carer but for those experiencing incontinence then the emotional issues can be even larger as many adults who experience incontinence often feel embarrassed about their condition.
Any carer who works closely with incontinent adults can help improve their daily life by making them feel better about their condition. There are a many ways that to help the person you care for feel better about incontinence or bladder problems.
1. Let them know how common it is
Knowing there are others experiencing incontinence and that they’re not alone can make some people feel better about their condition. In fact, about 6 million people in the UK experience bladder weakness or incontinence of some kind.
2. Nothing to be ashamed of
Carers can significantly reduce the emotional concerns over incontinence by helping their loved ones feel less ashamed and being sensitive to their concerns.
3. Be prepared
As a carer, you can make living with incontinence less stressful if you are prepared for any incidents that may occur and also for the emotional concerns of the person in your care. Keep a good stock of absorbent products and hygiene products handy for wherever you may need them (and an easy means of disposing of them hygienically) and try not to focus too much on any incident and deal with it in a calm and organized manner.
4. Prevent incidents
Avoiding incidents is a simple way to helping your loved one feel better about their condition and minimise the impact on their life. To avert incidents as best as possible take the person you care for to the bathroom regularly (once every couple of hours, or even once every hour). This can be a lot of work for the carer, but it is a good way to maintain dryness and avoid incidents and safe time that is needed to clean up after incidents do occur.
With a lot of understanding and patience, you can help your loved one feel better about incontinence and get back to doing the things they enjoy. For more information on how you can help someone you care for either visit the helping others manage incontinence section of our website or email us for a copy of our Carer’s Guide at email@example.com.
This week’s revelation that TV celebrity Kerry Katona experienced “leaks” during her recent pregnancy highlighted a condition that affects a large number of pregnant women – Stress Incontinence.
Although not widely talked about, stress incontinence is very common during pregnancy, especially during the latter stages, as the weight of the growing uterus puts increased pressure on the pelvic floor muscles so that a sharp increase in pressure, from lifting, exercising or even laughing can cause a few drops to leak out.
There are 3 things you can do that can minimise the effects of stress incontinence during pregnancy:
1. Keep up your Pelvic Floor Exercises, these are very important as they help retain muscle strength during pregnancy, and also after the birth as well. This will reduce the likelihood of experiencing incontinence later in life as well.
2. Don’t let your bladder get too full, this will increase the pressure on the bladder.
3. If you are worried about incidents there are a large number of highly absorbent, discreet pads and pants available which will keep you dry and protected throughout the day or night such as Tena Pants Discreet.
For more details on Pelvic Floor Exercises and how to manage stress incontinence visit the Managing Your Incontinence section of our website.
There are almost six million carers in the UK, that equals nearly one in ten adults. Half of these juggle work with caring responsibilities for a disabled, ill or frail relative or friend.
To highlight the work done by carers, Carers Week was created by the Carers National Association. Now in its thirteenth year it has subsequently grown to be a partnership of seven charities; Carers UK, Counsel & Care, Crossroads Caring for Carers, Macmillan Cancer Relief, the MS Society, Rethink and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers.
The objectives of Carers Week are to:
•Each year ensure that tens of thousands more carers know they are not alone, and start to find out about the support and services available to them
•Celebrate the contribution that carers make every day of the year
•Inform and influence key groups, such as healthcare professionals and employers, who can significantly affect the quality of life of many carers
•Raise awareness of the role and value of carers amongst MPs, other key decision-makers and opinion-formers, and with the general public
Each year over 1,000 local and regional partners organise thousands of events and activities for and with carers, throughout the UK.
Details of local events in your area and more information on Carer’s week can be found at www.carersweek.org
For many carers, bladder and incontinence problems are one of the major issues they face. For some simple tips on how you can minimize the impact of these conditions on someone you care for and yourself visit our helping others section of the website.
And if you’ve any experiences of caring for others that you’d like to share then just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share them via this news section.