One in six women don’t know where their pelvic floor muscles are, poll claims

And many do not realise weakness in the area is linked to bladder leakage, survey suggests

Rob Knight
Tuesday 18 February 2020 17:32 GMT
Exercises can help women’s pelvic floor health during pregnancy and after birth
Exercises can help women’s pelvic floor health during pregnancy and after birth

One in six women do not know where their pelvic floor muscles are, according to research.

Of the 1,000 women surveyed, nearly one-quarter did not know the purpose of the pelvic floor muscle at all, with some even thinking it was in the inner thigh.

Nearly half of women were unaware that the is uterus’ main role is to develop and grow babies, with more than one-third wrongly believing it is there to link the vagina to the womb.

One in 10 women were also unsure what their vulva was. The poll was commissioned by Always, a feminine hygiene brand.

The Only Way is Essex star Ferne McCann, said: “Women are conscious of their health, but can be unclear about what vital parts of the body are actually there for – and how this affects them.

“Having experienced bladder leaks myself, I know how it can impact your life.

“At times, I was worried to leave the house and I avoided any kind of cardio exercise for so long.

“Understanding what’s going on in your own body is so important to improving your health and happiness.

“We need to put more of a spotlight on women’s health, we shouldn’t be embarrassed about these topics.

“Many women claim they know that exercising their pelvic floor muscles can prevent and improve leaks – but they still don’t prioritise these in their daily routine.

“Squeezing these muscles for a few minutes a day can make a big difference for many women.

“It’s definitely improved things for me and I’ve now got the confidence to get back on the treadmill.”

The study also found more than one in 10 women did not know that a weak pelvic floor was linked to bladder leakage.

But while weekly exercise, “me time” and a daily skincare routine are among the things women made sure they did regularly, only 8 per cent said they were performing pelvic floor exercises once a day.

And more than one-third were not doing them at all.

When asked what they do in order to strengthen their pelvic floor muscle, 44 per cent of women said they had attempted pelvic floor exercises, with three-quarters believing it was possible to prevent or decrease bladder leakage through exercises.

Of those who did pelvic floor exercises regularly, the most likely locations chosen take place were while watching TV on the sofa and in bed – while one in 10 said they would even do them on the bus.

More than half of the women polled, via OnePoll, also thought that being fit and exercising regularly meant they were less likely to suffer with bladder leaks.

Gynaecologist Dr Anita Mitra said: “Bladder leaks are common in women of all ages, it doesn’t mean they should accept it as normal, and many do not realise that there are often simple things that can be done to help their situation.

“Talking to a GP or nurse is the first step, even if just to put your mind at ease.

“They will be able to talk you through a treatment plan which doesn’t necessarily mean medication or surgery, and many can improve their symptoms with regular pelvic floor exercises alone.”


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