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National Continence Awareness Week 19 - 25 September (http://www.bladderandbowelfoundation.org/) is aiming to make women much more aware of a very common and distressing health condition and to make them aware that simple and effective treatment is available.

You are not alone! The most common form of incontinence, Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI), afflicts over 4,000,000 women in the UK and over 350,000 new mums are at risk every year if they do not do regular and effective pelvic floor exercises. One in ten women in the workplace have to manage the problem of embarrassing leaks that could occur at anytime when they cough, sneeze, laugh, move suddenly or exercise.

There is a simple solution. The condition is caused by pelvic floor muscles that are stretched or weakened by childbirth, the menopause, obesity or a lack of the correct kind of exercise. Regular, effective pelvic floor exercises can cure the problem in over 80% of cases. NICE recommends that women be individually assessed, trained and supervised by a specialist in a three month programme of Pelvic Floor Exercise (PFEs) but very few women receive this basic treatment. Most are just offered a simple instruction sheet to use unsupervised. Specialists in the field have long recognized the weaknesses in the current system. Clinical estimates suggest that a third of women cannot identify their pelvic floor and how to squeeze it in the first place, so giving them just an instruction sheet is of no real benefit and leads to frustration and despair.

Your GP can offer effective help. Do not be fobbed off with an exercise sheet. Your GP can now prescribe the clinically proven PelvicToner™ exercise device which will ensure that your exercises are as effective as possible and will help you confidently identify and exercise the correct muscles.

The author of the clinical trials for the PelvicToner, Professor Marcus Drake of the Bristol Urology Institute, says: "continence service provision is patchy and this sort of product empowers women, gives them better privacy and the prospect of not wasting their time. In our study the PelvicToner aided women to identify their pelvic floor confidently. It increases patient choice and may promote subsequent compliance and sustained efficacy.''

The use of the PelvicToner should also bring significant cost benefits to the NHS. Prescribing the PelvicToner in the first instance could and should save the NHS GBPmillions and enable the NHS to focus scarce resources such as Continence Advisors, specialist physiotherapists and surgeons on the most needy cases

Unfortunately, stress incontinence is still a taboo subject for many women and the media, and many women will just not discuss the matter with their GP, partners, friends or colleagues. The only research on the subject found that women were prepared to suffer for up to 4 years, on average, before seeking professional advice.

If you are too embarrassed to discuss the matter with your GP then you can buy the PelvicToner directly. The PelvicToner costs just GBP31.99 (including p&p) and can be purchased from www.pelvictoner.co.uk or from 0117 968 1414, or from your local pharmacy.

ENDS

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

For more information contact Barry Fowler at press@spml.biz. 0117 968 0171 or 07768 233670

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