Did you know that over 1.1 million New Zealanders are affected by incontinence? Unfortunately, many of these individuals will also not seek any help even though the common contributing factor of pelvic floor dysfunction can be treated. 

What is incontinence?

The unintentional loss of urine or faeces. 

What are the common symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction?

– Leakage with exertion, coughing, sneezing or laughing

– Urgency to reach the toilet with leaking or a fear of leaking

– Pain in the buttock, pelvic or groin region

– A heaviness, bulging or dragging feeling internally

– Increased frequency of urination

– Waking one or more times a night to pass urine 

What are some of the risk factors for incontinence?

– Older age

– Pregnancy

– Childbirth

– Obesity

– Smoking

– Bladder infections 

Can physiotherapy help?

Yes. Pelvic floor training is an internationally recognised treatment option for incontinence and prolapse. Women’s health physiotherapists are trained to complete thorough assessments in order to assist you in regaining adequate control of your bladder and bowel. Treatments could include the following:

– Education regarding how to effectively activate and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles

– Techniques for bracing during coughing or sneezing

– Strategies to manage urgency

– Education on correct toiletting techniques

– Retaining an overactive bladder which may include the use of bladder diaries