Harry Potter star, Helena Bonham Carter, has shockingly revealed that she wore nappies on set because her pelvic floor was too weak to control her leaky bladder. (Sunday Times 22 April 2012).
This is great news for the millions of women for whom absorbent incontinence pads are a key part of their daily life and offers hope to the 15,000 new mothers every week that look to the NHS, in vain, for effective advice on pelvic floor rehabilitation after childbirth.
NHS treatment for women with pelvic floor weakness is pathetic and any story that highlights this last great taboo should be welcomed.
In a recent survey of GP practices 62% of women seeking help and advice for pelvic floor problems were just sent home with a leaflet that lacks any evidence of clinical effectiveness and does not even follow NICE guidelines. Specialists in the field have long recognized the weaknesses of this indifferent approach. 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.
Fewer than half (47.8%) of practices could correctly identify the current NICE Guidelines that recommend that women be individually assessed, trained and supervised by a specialist in a three month programme of Pelvic Floor Exercise (PFEs). Only 20% actually refer patients to physiotherapy or a continence nurse for such treatment.
Fewer than 2% of practices are prescribing the PelvicToner device that offers the greatest hope of a rapid improvement of pelvic floor muscle tone, and is clinically proven to be as effective as supervised PFEs but at a tenth of the cost.
The consequence is that tens of thousands of women each month are not getting appropriate advice and the NHS is wasting tens of thousands of pounds of scarce resources.
In terms of effectiveness, the ‘Exercise your pelvic floor’ leaflet is in the same league as those other great NHS attempts to get the populace to take the healthy option – the ‘Please Stop Smoking’ and ‘Please lose eat less’ leaflets.
Any women with stress incontinence or symptoms associated with pelvic floor muscle weakness should expect their GP to prescribe a PelvicToner™ exercise device. New mothers will receive their PelvicToner free of charge on presentation of a valid Maternity Exemption Certificate so there is no financial excuse for ignoring the potential problem.
For those women too embarrassed to discuss the matter with their GP, the PelvicToner costs just GBP31.99 (including p&p) and can be purchased from www.pelvictoner.co.uk, 0117 974 3534 and all good pharmacies.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
For more information contact Barry Fowler at email@example.com. 0117 974 3534 or 07768 233670
Stress incontinence is still a taboo subject and many women will just not discuss the matter with their GP, partners, friends or colleagues. And the problem is huge. There are over 4,000,000 women in the UK with the problem and every week 15,000 new mums are in urgent need of sound advice so that they do not join this growing total. Unfortunately, 5000 or more will – every week!
Pelvic floor rehabilitation in new mums is a matter of great importance yet, universally, this group are not being offered positive help and advice.
One of the greatest concerns identified by the recent practice survey is that very few GPs are even aware of the first major advance in the NHS primary care treatment of SUI for over 60 years.
The PelvicToner™ offers much improved outcomes for the women who use it and brings 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, urologists and surgeons on the most urgent cases.
The PelvicToner is the first and only pelvic toning device to be recognised by the NHS and a special new category of ‘Pelvic Toning Devices’ was created on the Drug Tariff IXA.
Professor Marcus Drake of the Bristol Urology Institute, and the author of the clinical research published in the British Journal of Urology, 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.
Primary care does not provide supervised pelvic floor exercises except in rare cases. The vast majority of women are handed a leaflet and not examined. Supervised PFEs are known to be better than that rather poor service. Thus, in being equivalent to supervised PFEs, the PelvicToner is better than unsupervised. Supervised means that women are actively taught the pelvic floor contraction by a highly trained healthcare professional (and hence it is expensive).”
Barry Fowler, MD of PelvicToner manufacturer SPM Ltd, said: "The PelvicToner has been available on prescription for over a year and the cost-benefits to the NHS are well-established. With 15,000 new mums each week, pelvic floor rehabilitation is a major issue yet both GP budgets and their patients are suffering because of the entrenched view that a sheet of exercises is a sufficient treatment.''
The PelvicToner™ is a simple, portable exercise device that works by strengthening the walls of the pelvic floor through mild resistance training. This tightens the muscles around the neck of the bladder and prevents urine leaking out when you cough, sneeze, laugh or make a sudden movement.
The PelvicToner was developed in the UK and is manufactured in the SouthWest.
For Reader Offers contact Barry Fowler firstname.lastname@example.org
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