Menopause and your pelvic floor

During perimenopause the muscles of the pelvic floor are affected by reduced oestrogen levels, this can lead to continence problems and other pelvic health issues.

Menopause and your pelvic floor

The power of the pelvic floor muscles!

The muscles of the pelvic floor are complex. They support the bladder, bowel, and uterus and help control the release of urine. These muscles share a similar developmental origin to the tissues of the vagina and lower urinary tract, meaning they all develop from the same type of tissue before birth. Because of this shared origin, they respond to oestrogen in the body. As menopause leads to a reduction in oestrogen levels, the muscles of the pelvic floor will also be affected by loss of oestrogen, among other things.

Menopause, like puberty, is a stage in our lives where, although things may feel out of control, there are some positive changes that we can absolutely do to influence the effect of those hormonal imbalances. Things like vaginal dryness, pain with intercourse, having to race to the bathroom more often, having to get up at night to go to the toilet, and feeling like you’ve got less control over the bladder and bowel. Although these symptoms are common, you do not need to accept them!

There is good evidence that simple interventions can make radical differences in many of these symptoms. 

Weight management and healthy lifestyles, including physical activity, eating well and stopping smoking, are known to improve the symptoms of urinary incontinence (UI), pelvic organ prolapse and even constipation.

More importantly, during menopause, your pelvic floor will demand a bit more attention. Connecting with your wonderful pelvic floor muscles and engaging with pelvic floor muscle exercises have been shown to improve blood flow to your vagina, to improve vaginal lubrication, to improve vaginal flexibility, as well as improving your pelvic floor muscle function, the net result being better bladder and bowel control and better sexual function. Woo hoo!

So, how do I know what a ‘good’ pelvic floor muscle exercise programme is?

Pelvic floor muscle exercise(PFME) is defined as an exercise programme that increases muscle strength, endurance, power, flexibility, and relaxation and is an undisputed method for the effective treatment and prevention of UI.  We know this from many clinical trials, including trials with post-menopausal women (1). A recent study looked specifically at the prevention of UI.  359 women who were NOT symptomatic of UI were recruited to be part of a supervised PFME programme, and the results found these women were less likely to develop symptoms of incontinence, had an increase in pelvic floor muscle strength, and needed to go to the toilet less often. This was compared to women who were just given information about PFME, but no instruction or help on how to do them (2). 

So, the power of the pelvic floor for prevention AND treatment of those symptoms.

This is where femfit® is here to help. Not only does it give you visibility on your pelvic floor muscles to make sure you are doing your exercises correctly, but the training programme is progressive and evidence-based, so you will do enough to get the required changes. The size, shape, and nature of femfit® itself is also easier to use, being very slim, flexible and made from a soft medical grade silicone.

So, here is the challenge:

Can you discover the power of your pelvic floor and do your exercises right every day this week with femfit?

There is a special discount code femfit+MM for all members of Menopause Movement during Continence week (17th-23rdJune). Get on board today!

For more information on menopause and the pelvic floor, check out this video by Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, Hannah Orr, or head to our website.

1.     Pelvic floor muscle training as a treatment for genitourinary syndrome of menopause: A single-arm feasibility study. J.Mercier, M. Morin, D. Zaki, B. Reichetzer, M.-C. Lemieux, S. Khalifé, et al.Maturitas 2019 Vol. 125 Pages 57-62.

2.     Keeping the pelvic floor healthy. C. Dumoulin, L. PazzotoCacciari and J. Mercier. Climacteric 2019 Vol. 22 Issue 3 Pages 257-262
DOI: 10.1080/13697137.2018.1552934


Find a WHP who can help!

·The Menopause Movement Directory

·The POGP/Squeezy App Directory

June 2024


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