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#pelvicroar Campaign Infographic

#pelvicroar aims to break taboos surrounding pelvic health issues, and signpost men and women to evidence-based information at all stages of life

The pelvicroar Campaign Launches and Calls ‘Time’ on Lack of Awareness and Support for this Crucial Area of Health, Demanding Closer Collaboration between Healthcare Professionals, Fitness Trainers & Policy-makers

• 1 in 3 women wet themselves due to weak pelvic floor muscles
• Women are unaware they can be referred by a GP to a specialist physiotherapist
• Women are twice as likely to suffer post-natal depression if they leak¹
• Strong pelvic floor muscles mean stronger orgasms and prevent age-related leaks²,³

18th June 2018, As World Continence Week starts, a new health campaign launches: #pelvicroar calling for closer collaboration between healthcare professionals, fitness professionals, industry and individuals to educate and manage problems such as incontinence and pelvic organ prolapses. It is spearheaded by 3 specialist pelvic health physiotherapists: Emma Brockwell (physiomum), Elaine Miller (Gussie Grips) and Myra Robson (Squeezy App). Myra says, “We’re working with MPs, MSPs, the Department of Health, the Royal Colleges and Professional Bodies to make pelvic floor exercises and good pelvic health as highly-prioritized as dental health. Pelvic floor exercises should be as standard as brushing teeth twice daily. We’re in the dark ages here, so must form a collective roar about the injustice women (and men) face to get outcomes they deserve!”

LET’S ALL SQUEEZE TOGETHER

#pelvicroar aims to break taboos surrounding pelvic health issues, and signpost men and women to evidence-based information at all stages of life as part of ‘sex and relationship education’, pregnancy care (including antenatal and postnatal) menopause, prostate care and during senior years. #pelvicroar is a physiotherapy-led collaborative campaign in the UK, but aims to become the leading, global forum for all things ‘pelvic health’.

Pelvic floor issues have been prominent in the media recently, with Mumsnet’s postnatal care campaign, a Royal baby, and the mesh scandal. Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, Kate Winslet, and presenter, Holly Willoughby, have been vocal on the subject. Yet, still, many people are unaware what their pelvic floor is, namely, the hammock shaped group of muscles that support our pelvic organs and control our front and back passages. They don’t know help is available if they suffer from bladder leaks and/or are too embarrassed to seek help: It takes an average 6.5 years for women to go to their GP with this issue, and over 4 years for men⁴. The 2015 NICE Guidelines recommend 12 weeks of rehabilitation as first-line treatment for women presenting with bladder weakness post partum, yet many GPs are unaware of the Guidelines.

LAUGHTER LEAKS: NO LAUGHING MATTER

Many people’s daily life is dominated by the need to plan loo trips, causing anxiety and risking social exclusion. A ‘laughter leak’ is a common cause for embarrassment and concern, but it’s no laughing matter. That said, the specialist pelvic health physiotherapist, Elaine Miller, trains women post pregnancy using her taboo-breaking comedy sketches to educate them: “We need to spread the word that leaking is ‘common, but not normal’. No one should put up with this dreadful intrusion into their lives!”

Often, the first time that women hear about the importance of exercising their pelvic floor muscles is during pregnancy. Having given birth, they are unsure if their pelvic organs have returned to normal, and if not, what they can do. Emma Hardy MP has demanded that all post-natal women are reviewed by a specialist physiotherapist, as is standard elsewhere in Europe, to check if they require further intervention such as pelvic floor muscle training with a physiotherapist, or use specially designed medical devices that can be purchased online. Some such devices such as vaginal cones can be used to exercise the pelvic floor and show you how strong it is. Some are available on prescription, yet few are aware of this.

Kegel8 is a British company specialising in pelvic floor health which wholeheartedly supports #pelvicroar. Stephanie Taylor, Managing Director, says, “Our team hears from thousands of women each year who are desperate for a solution to their bladder weakness or prolapse, having suffered for years in silence. Knowing that there are medically-proven, non-surgical ways to improve their situation brings them enormous comfort, and is a step on the way to rebuilding the confidence and control they have lost. It’s never too late to start building a stronger pelvic floor. A strong pelvic floor also makes for stronger orgasms, and therefore a healthier love life for both partners.”

THE FACTS AND THE COSTS OF ‘LETTING THINGS SLACKEN’

As women reach the menopause, lower oestrogen levels mean there’s a natural weakening of these muscles unless they are strengthened, such as via general fitness routines. Emma Brockwell notes, “Fitness trainers often lack knowledge on how to strengthen these muscles, and some encourage women to lift weights in the wrong way, or too soon after giving birth, which can weaken and damage these muscles. I regularly treat women who have early signs of prolapse or incontinence as they’ve done the wrong exercises, or are unaware of the need to wait at least 6 months after delivering their baby.”

As people age, urinary incontinence is the 2nd most common reason for admittance into a care home⁵. Yet, physiotherapy is recognised as being front line treatment for urinary and bowel incontinence, prolapse and pelvic pain, and has an up to 90% success rate⁶ in treating stress incontinence. However, Incontinence is still under-recognised, under diagnosed and under-funded. The total cost of incontinence to the UK is unknown, as the data has not been collected. Australia’s equivalent costs in 2012 were $42.9billion: a lot of money is spent on a condition that is commonly manageable, if not curable, with physiotherapy, advice and lifestyle changes. Incontinence also prevents people exercising, yet it is still absent from UK obesity management guidelines. This is significant as diseases of inactivity are now responsible for more premature deaths in the UK than smoking.

REFERENCES

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17308861
https://psychcentral.com/news/2011/06/21/incontinence-may-in...
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4462060/
3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4796457/
4 www.allaboutincontinence.co.uk/incontinence-statistics
5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2614622/
6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3289701/

ABOUT #PELVICROAR

For further information, visit www.pelvicroar.com and help spread the word about the campaign via social media using #pelvicroar. Its ‘ROARING 3’ EXPERTS include:

Emma Brockwell – pelvic health physiotherapist specializing in postpartum recovery.
Developed a women’s health clinic at London Bridge Hospital and works at Halos Clinic, Oxted, Surrey. Instagram: @physiomumuk|Twitter: @emma_physiomum

Elaine Miller – pelvic health physiotherapist and comedian based in Edinburgh.
‘I’m perfectly suited to comedy and working with genitals, as I’ve never been embarrassed.’ Instagram: @GussetGrippers|Twitter: @GussieGrips

Myra Robson - pelvic health physiotherapist and works in a small pelvic health team at Lewisham. Has an interest in use of pessaries for prolapse management, mesh complications, pelvic floor exercise adherence. Launched the award-winning physiotherapy app, Squeezy, which is the No.1 paid-for medical app in the UK. Instagram: @squeezyapp|Twitter: @squeezyapp

ABOUT KEGEL8

For over 10 years, Kegel8 has been the top choice for men and women suffering from pelvic floor weakness. It is the most recommended brand of pelvic healthcare products by UK GPs and gynaecologists in treating patients for all conditions associated with a weak pelvic floor. This British company offers personal support and alternative home solutions for those who wish to prevent pelvic floor weakness, avoid their condition worsening, avoid surgery, or recover effectively from pelvic surgery. It is passionate about its range of medically-approved, clinically proven products and excellent customer service.

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