I read this quote about pelvic floor disorders a few months ago and my jaw hit the floor.
"The number of American women with at least one pelvic floor disorder will increase from 28.1 million in 2010 to 43.8 million in 2050. During this time period, the number of women with UI will increase 55% from 18.3 million to 28.4 million. For fecal incontinence, the number of affected women will increase 59% from 10.6 to 16.8 million, and the number of women with POP will increase 46% from 3.3 to 4.9 million. The highest projections for 2050 estimate that 58.2 million women will have at least one pelvic floor disorder, with 41.3 million with UI, 25.3 million with fecal incontinence, and 9.2 million with POP." Forecasting the prevalence of pelvic floor disorders in U.S. Women: 2010 to 2050.
Houston, we have a problem.
Most women think it’s completely normal to leak pee when they sneeze or cough.
Inconvenient but no big deal. Something every mom can expect sooner or later, right? Something that's just part of "being a woman."
We’ve normalized incontinence to the point where we think there’s very little, if anything, that can be done about it beyond wearing a pantiliner and doing a bazillion more Kegels.
All your friends have a pelvic floor that's shot, so it's normal, right?
Sneeze pee isn't normal, it's a sign of a pelvic floor in need of help.
Just because it’s common and therefore “normal” to leak pee doesn’t mean that’s how your body was meant to work, and it doesn't mean you aren’t doing enough Kegels. Really. Enough with the Kegel guilt.
You're meant to have strong, responsive and resilient pelvic floor musculature (no Kegels required), which means it:
- works in concert with the rest of your body to support your pelvic organs and keep them from moving to a new location
- can contract when it needs to and keep things in
- can relax when it needs to and let things out (or in)
Obviously you don't want to be part of the stats cited above and I'm sure you've got a lot of living to do between now and 2050.
Before you settle for a life with pantiliners, uncomfortable sex and that feeling that all is not well "down there", please know there is a lot you can do to help yourself.
Start with something simple (but not necessarily easy) - pay attention to the position of your pelvis when you stand and sit.
Back it up! Stop shoving your pelvis forward over the front of your foot and give your glutes a chance to help keep you upright. Back it up so that your pelvis is stacked over your ankles. Don't be surprised if you feel like you're sticking your butt out. If you’re wearing heels, of any height, this won’t work. For the sake of the long-term health of your pelvic floor, ditch the heels, your pelvic floor will thank you.
Stop sitting on your tailbone and tucking your pelvis when you sit! If you're like most people, you sit, a lot, so how you sit matters. The bottom of your pelvis, known as your ischial tuberosities aka sit bones, is meant to support you when you sit, not your tailbone. Untuck your pelvis and get off your tailbone. This will help alleviate pelvic floor tension and sacroiliac joint discomfort.
Join me for the Pelvic Floor Challenge
Sign up to join the FREE 5-day Pelvic Floor Challenge.
Each day, for 5 days, you'll receive a short video guiding you through 1 exercise.
Each of these 5 exercises will help you evaluate the strength or mobility of key areas of your body that have a big impact on the strength and function of your pelvic floor.
You'll develop awareness of how you do these exercises. Often what you think you're doing, is not what you're really doing.
You'll discover exactly where you're missing important strength and mobility, how it impacts your pelvic floor strength and function, and what you can do about it.