A lot of changes occur in a woman’s life with menopause. Some of those changes can include changes to bladder and bowel function and the function of the pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic floor disorders can present in a number of ways with menopause and may include the following:
- Leakage of urine with coughs, sneezes, or exercise
- Leakage of urine on the way to the toilet
- Getting up twice or more overnight to pass urine
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Rushing to the toilet to open bowels
- Being unable to control wind
- Vaginal dryness
- Painful intercourse
- Pelvic pain
Management of pelvic floor disorders during menopause can include:
- A thorough assessment of the condition, medical history and current health, including diet and fluid intake, exercise levels and mobility, all the medicines you are currently taking, and any other factors that could affect pelvic floor function and a history of the pain if this is an issue
- Physical assessment of the pelvic floor function, strength and endurance
- Rehabilitation which may include pelvic floor muscle exercises, otherwise known as Kegel exercises, biofeedback retraining and changes to lifestyle and bowel habits and pain management.
- Use of Real Time Ultrasound to facilitate rehabilitation
- Assistance with continence aids such as pads and pants.
- Safe exercise programmes
Outcomes from treatment may include:
- Correct pelvic floor muscles exercises can increase the size, strength and length of the pelvic floor muscles.
- Improved management of the symptoms
- Improved incontinence (bladder and bowel), urgency, or emptying.
- Less incidence of urinary tract infections
- Reduced constipation
- Management of pain conditions
- Improved confidence and increased activity and exercise levels