Kegel exercises or Pelvic Floor Exercises are exercises that increase the strength of the pelvic floor muscles and are named after Dr. Arnold Kegel. They are beneficial to women of all ages especially those preparing for birth although they can also help increase sexual enjoyment. Kegel exercises are straightforward to learn and extremely easy, you can perform them in just a few minutes while laying in bed, in the car or in fact pretty much anywhere.
There are many different causes for a damaged pelvic floor and the most common is the strain brought on from vaginal childbirth therefore, strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can ease delivery and make it safer for both mother and child.
Strong pelvic muscles also help control incontinence, many women suffer from incontinence and urinary incontinence brought on by childbirth as well as conditions known as vaginal prolapse and pelvic organ prolapse. In these conditions the uterus, bladder and guts are not properly supported and this leads on to urinary tract and bladder infections as well as incontinence.
Kegel exercises for women can also help with conditions brought on by obesity, aging and naturally feeble pelvic muscles. Many women that have had problems with sexual stimulation and climax have found a great natural cure in the Kegel exercise.
Performing Kegel exercise is fairly straightforward, the general exercise is performed by simply flexing the same muscles that are used to stop the flow of urine. It is important to note that you never want to do the exercise when urinating, this can end up in incomplete emptying of the bladder. It is generally recommended that you slowly build up the time you hold the muscles and be sure to rest the muscles for a similar amount of time and you do the exercises two or 3 times a day.
A recent article by June Rogers MBE of Promocon on Nursing Times.net has summarized many of the issues faced by Continence services as continence nurses are being forced to restrict types and quantities of products, regardless of need.
“We know the NHS will have to save £15-20bn over the next five years.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley has said that this “implied something like 3-3.5%, probably about 3%, efficiency savings each year in the NHS… we may need to do more, because we have increases in demand”.
On the ground, we have all been told we need to make significant savings within our individual departments of approximately 10% of our budgets. This means that those of us working in continence services are under considerable pressure to save, on average, more than £100,000 per year. This is almost impossible when we are already struggling on limited budgets, while the cost of disposable incontinence products and the ageing population who need continence care are both increasing.
The cost of continence products produced in the Eurozone has been dramatically affected by the exchange rate. Between 2007 and 2009, costs rose over 30%.
While the exchange rate has moved slightly this year, industry has still seen a cost increase of around 28% since 2007. Products produced outside the Eurozone are affected by fluctuating local currencies. In addition, raw material prices are increasing and, as those used in continence products are priced internationally in US dollars, there will be a double hit as the euro is weak against the dollar.
The figures do not add up. We want to provide the same level of service, balance the books and save 10% at a time when products are costing nearly 30% more.
Continence services can only realistically seek to cut costs via efficiency savings, rather than on product price. However, many of us are frustrated that our ideas to improve efficiency are often lost within the bureaucracy of the NHS and because continence is not anyone’s “target”, which means it sparks little interest.
Particularly frustrating is the snail’s pace at which services are being transferred from acute to primary care, where they could be better served.
Yet it is disposable product provision that leaves many continence nurses in the line of fire. Calls to the PromoCon helpline, a charity that offers product advice, are increasing. Patients and families are complaining about the limited type and number of products for which they are eligible. The phrase “Don’t shoot the messenger!” often comes to mind as nurses are told by management to restrict the type and number of products they prescribe to save money. This means that many services are not able to provide products to meet patients’ needs.”
Allanda, a leading provider of incontinence products, is celebrating World Continence Week.
World Continence Week (June 21-27), is a creation of the International Continence Society, and is designed to build awareness of incontinence issues and treatments. It’s estimated that more than 33 million individuals are affected by incontinence in the United States and about 6 million people in the United Kingdom.
Incontinence is not something people should be ashamed of or silent about and World Continence Week is all about giving individuals the tools they need to understand and manage their incontinence issues.
“Unfortunately, many incontinence sufferers are unaware of the treatment options and products available to them,” said Diane Newman of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Continence and Pelvic Health.
Allanda fully support this aim and hope that it help increase significantly both awareness of the prevalence of the condition and also helps people experiencing the condition better understand the many treatments and incontinence management products available to them.
With the increasingly busy world in which we live, finding time to care for those we love and help manage their continence issues can be increasingly difficult. That’s were Allanda can help. We can delivery products for Continence Care direct to your door, or even easier, continence care products direct to your loved ones, or those you care for. With a large choice of incontinence products and care products and a choice of next day or standard delivery we have everything you need to help those you care for enjoy a better quality of life plus lots of incontinence help and advise as well.
Even a moderate amount of weight loss can go a long way toward relieving symptoms of female urinary incontinence in obese women.
A 2009 study by the University of California, San Francisco showed that women who lost as little as eight percent of their body weight experienced an average 47% reduction in episodes of both stress incontinence and urge incontinence, with some seeing the number of incontinence episodes drop by an astounding 70%.
The study’s findings, which were reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluded that reduction in urinary incontinence can be considered among the primary benefits of even moderate weight loss in significantly overweight women.
The study included a group of 338 overweight and obese women between 45 and 60 years of age, all of whom were experiencing at least 10 episodes of urinary incontinence per week. The participants were divided into two groups, one of which was put on an intensive six-month weight loss program that included diet, exercise, and lifestyle modification.
The other group of participants did not take part in any structured weight loss program, but were given educational classes on the importance of weight loss to incontinence management.
At the end of the six months, the participants in the weight loss group had dropped an average of eight percent of their body weight, while the control group showed an average weight loss of just over one percent.
Episodes of urinary incontinence dropped in both groups during the study period, but the difference between the groups was striking. The weight loss group reported 47% fewer episodes on average, while the control group reported 28% fewer episodes. The weight loss group showed a clinically relevant drop in the number of episodes of all types of incontinence, the researchers said, but episodes of stress incontinence showed the most dramatic reduction.
Stress incontinence, which is the involuntary loss of urine caused by seemingly inconsequential actions such as sneezing, coughing, or laughing, or by movement such as exercise or lifting, is one of the most common female health problems in the US.
More than 13 million women experience stress incontinence, and it is estimated that one in three women will experience it at some time. The condition is caused be weakness in the pelvic floor muscles, including the sphincter muscle that closes off the bladder. Weakness in these muscles can be caused by a number of factors, including pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, certain medical procedures (notably, hysterectomies), and some medications.
Nearly 5% of American Men Suffer From Urinary Incontinence, A recent study had found.
Major depression, hypertension, enlarged prostates, and older age are all associated with an increased risk of moderate to severe urinary incontinence (UI) in men, a large study suggests.
The findings, which provide one of the first snapshots of urinary incontinence in men, may help improve doctors’ ability to identify men who are suffering from the condition, says study head Alayne Markland, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Overall, 4.5% of American men were found to experience moderate to severe urinary incontinence, which corresponds to having leakage at least once a month, the study showed.
The rate increases with age, from 0.7% in men ages 20 to 34 to 16% in men age 75 and older, the study showed.
The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association.
So she and colleagues analyzed data from 5,297 men aged 20 and older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a nationally representative survey of the U.S. population.
Men were interviewed in their homes, and Urinary Incontinence was assessed using the 12-point Incontinence Severity Index in which participants are asked if they leak and if so, how much and how often. Moderate to severe Urinary Incontinence was defined as a score of 3 or higher.
Among all the men, major depression and hypertension were associated with a 2.6-fold and a 30% increased risk of moderate to severe UI, respectively.
Each 10-year increase in age was associated with an 80% increased risk.
Among the 3,010 men aged 40 and older, enlarged prostate — called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) — was associated with a 20% greater chance of having moderate to severe UI.
The rate of moderate to severe Urinary Incontinence did not differ by race or ethnicity.
A total of 49% of the men had what is known as urge urinary incontinence, in which you feel like you have to go but can’t get to the bathroom in time, Dr. Markland said. Thirteen percent had stress urinary incontinence, which occurs when an activity, such as coughing or sneezing, causes a small amount of urine to leak. The rest had a combination.
BPH a Known Cause of Urinary Incontinence
BPH is a well-known cause of UI, says Ira Sharlip, MD, clinical professor of urology at the University of California, San Francisco.
“Nightly bathroom runs may be the first sign of an enlarged prostate, other symptoms may include trouble starting a stream of urine, leaking, or dribbling” says Dr. Sharlip, who was not involved with the study.
That’s because an can press against the urethra (the tube that carries urine out the body) and block the flow of urine. This causes the bladder wall to become irritable. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination.
More research is needed to find out why depression and hypertension are associated with higher rates of UI, Dr. Markland said.
Medications called diuretics that are often used to treat may play a role, she says. They flush excess fluid from the body and can cause frequent urination.
Some of the drugs used to treat depression may also cause UI, Sharlip says.
“Urinary incontinence is something people don’t want to talk about,” says Lauren P. Wallner, PhD, MPH, a research fellow in the department of urology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
“If you’re having symptoms, bring it to the attention of your Doctor or Health professional as it can often be treated with medication, behavioral therapy and, in severe cases, surgery,” she said.
Stubborn cases of chronic constipation in childhood may become an adulthood problem for a significant percentage of kids, a new study suggests.
Dutch researchers found that among 401 children and teens treated for chronic constipation at their center, one-quarter were still having symptoms 11 years later, as young adults.
The odds of long-lasting constipation were greater when the problem arose later in childhood or when years passed between a child’s first bouts of constipation and his or her referral for specialized treatment.
The findings, reported in the journal Pediatrics, are based on a group of children and teens with symptoms serious enough that they were referred to a specialist clinic.
So they may not be representative of kids treated for less-serious constipation by their primary care doctors, note the researchers, led by Dr. Marc A. Benninga of Emma Children’s Hospital in Amsterdam.
Experts generally recommend that children see their doctor if they have constipation problems that last more than two weeks. Typically, treatment involves diet changes – such as eating more fiber-rich grains, fruits and vegetables – and, with a doctor’s approval, stool softeners or laxatives.
The new findings suggest that children whose symptoms do not improve with initial treatment might benefit from earlier referral to a specialist, according to Benninga and his colleagues.
It’s estimated that functional constipation – constipation not caused by an underlying health condition or medication side effects – accounts for about 3 percent of all visits to the pediatrician. But there has been little research into how often those problems persist into adulthood.
The current study included 401 children and teenagers who were treated for chronic constipation at the researchers’ center in the 1990s. All had at least two symptoms of chronic constipation – such as having fewer than three bowel movements a week and two or more bouts of fecal incontinence per week – and had not improved after using laxatives for at least two months.
After six to eight weeks of “intensive” treatment that included medication and behavioral therapy, the children were followed, through yearly surveys, to track their long-term progress.
After 11 years, the researchers found, three-quarters of the study participants were showing a “good” outcome – defined as having had at least three bowel movements per week in the past month, and fewer than two bouts of incontinence.
That left one-quarter who were still suffering symptoms. For comparison, that rate is much higher than studies have found among adults in the general population; in the U.S., for example, it is estimated that between 4 and 5 million Americans have frequent constipation – with older adults accounting for a large portion, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Benninga’s team also found that certain factors – including constipation problems starting later in childhood, and longer gaps between a child’s first symptoms and treatment referral – seemed to increase the likelihood of persistent constipation.
For example, they say, a boy whose symptoms began at age 3, and included only two bowel movements and multiple bouts of incontinence each week, would have a 7 percent chance of adulthood constipation if there were a one-year gap between the onset of his symptoms and his referral for specialist treatment.
Those odds increased to 31 percent with a 9-year delay before referral.
The findings, according to Benninga’s team, suggest that referring kids for specialist care earlier on might cut the risk of long-lasting problems.
“Referral to a specialized clinic should be considered at an early stage for children who are unresponsive to first-line treatment,” they conclude.
Although it might not be a subject you want to think about, if you are dealing with incontinence, the one thing you should not do is ignore it. Many have the incorrect assumption that nothing can be done to improve the condition but that is far from accurate.
Incontinence is the involuntary loss of bladder or bowel control, i.e. the loss of the ability to determine when and where urination and/or bowel movements may occur. Although rarely discussed it is actually a very common disorder experienced by as many as 6 million men and women of all ages.
Many find it difficult to manage, leading to frustration and even isolation and depression in the worse cases. Yet, incontinence is not a disease, but rather a symptom of underlying conditions that affect men and women of all ages and backgrounds.
The many causes of incontinence include pregnancy, surgery, infections or even just being overweight. It also can be triggered by a variety of other diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and even diabetes.
There are also different types of incontinence:
• Stress incontinence: A small amount of urine is released by such everyday physical activities even ones as basic as, coughing, sneezing or laughing. This is generally due to weakened pelvic floor muscles and in many cases can be easily treated by activities such as pelvic floor exercises.
• Urge incontinence: The urge to urinate comes on so suddenly that it is impossible to reach a toilet in time. This generally results in larger losses than stress incontinence. Bladder re-training may help improve this condition.
• Overflow incontinence: The bladder is constantly filled, causing it to release small amounts of urine frequently.
• Reflex incontinence: The absence of bladder control is due to impaired nerve function. This is often linked to other diseases.
• Faecal Incontinence: Impaired rectal sensation or muscle control results in the loss of faeces (stools) or the staining of underclothes.
We always advocate discussing the symptoms with your own health professional as they are best placed to diagnose your own symptoms and condition and recommend appropriate treatments.
Urinary incontinence products should effectively deal with the leakage of urine no matter whether the incontinence experienced is mild, moderate or severe.
Incontinence pad choice can be difficult because it depends on many factors. Obviously , the quantity of urine loss is the largest factor, but with so many products on the market today other factors can also taken into consideration.
Also important is ease of use, and also your lifestyle and mobility level. The best female incontinence pad might not be a good solution for someone experiencing male incontinence.
Odour control is also essential, and virtually all disposable products have this feature nowadays. Due to their re-usable nature, Washable products do not feature odour contol, and are really only suitable for lighter urinary incontinence. The cost, comfort and durability of incontinence products, all to come into the equation.
The exploration of these factors is crucial for you to find the best incontinence products for your needs.