Easy right ? You sit on the loo and …. well, just go don’t you ? NO !
Many pelvic floor problems are either caused, or made worse by, poor toilet posture and poor pushing. In fact, let’s leave the word pushing out of it altogether as it makes you want to strain and think that pushing or bearing down is the normal “way to go “.
We are designed to SQUAT when we use our bladder or bowel which is a little difficult on our western toilets. Squatting opens up the anal passage , and encourages us to use the correct pattern and co-ordination of the pelvic muscles to empty the bowel /bladder. If you are interested in converting your loo to a squat loo , have a look at the Toiletstool sold on our website
I always tell my ladies that men tend to have less problems doing a bowel motion for several reasons:
- they don’t give birth – nothing we can do about this one ( imagine if it was the men !)
- they tend to be taller which puts their knees slightly higher than their hips when sitting ‘on the throne’ - we can’t grow taller so use a stool or a toilet roll (pack of two works well) under your feet. If nothing available, keep your feet flat on the floor and lean elbows on knees.
- they take something in to read which puts them closer to the a squat by resting elbows on knees - keep your back straight , hands or elbows on knees, chest forwards (don’t slump here either)
- they take their time - ever wonder where your partner is when you need a job done (excuse the pun!!) Men are good at disappearing to the loo. I suspect there is a connection between this and selective hearing but that is for another day… the point is, they take their time. We girls tend to get in push it out and get out of there - usually because there is a child scratching at the door demanding breakfast . You need to make time to go in comfort NEVER PUT OFF THE URGE TO PASS A BOWEL MOTION.
- NOW HERE IS WHERE WE HIT COMMON GROUND - boys we need your attention here too! The way you empty is with correct co-ordination of the pelvic floor muscles and core . Aim to widen the waist, slightly bulge the tummy and don’t hold you breath. The easiest way to get the hang of this is to MOO ON THE LOO ! this stops you from closing the throat off and bearing down and slumping your back . The effect is similar to using a coffee plunger to get things started , the natural contractions of the gut and rectum should then take over for an effortless poo.
- THIS DOES ALSO DEPEND ON THE CONSISTENCY OF THE MOTION - the gold standard to aim for is a teflon coated sausage. Sounds awkward doesn’t it, but the quality of your poo is very important in passing it easily . Things that help here are drinking plenty of water , get your 5 veg and 2 fruit serves a day, you may need a natural supplement like psyllium husks or one of the many available at the chemist – avoid laxatives if possible.
So, in summary, a successful poo has 3 main requirements:
1. Correct consistency of the poo
2. Correct posture on the loo
3. Correct way in which you do
These handy hints should help reduce pelvic floor damage, prolapsing pressure on the pelvic organs, haemorrhoids and fissures.
Have a look at the book The Healthy Bowel Habit written by Dr Robyn Nagel gastroenterologist and Shirley Owen continence physiotherapist
Happy toiletting !
The material presented here is intended as an information source only. The information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters presented herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information. The information should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of the advice of a health care provider. Pelvic Floor Exercise does not accept liability to any person for the information or advice provided , or for loss or damages incurred as a result of reliance upon the material contained herein.
© Fiona Rogers, Pelvic Floor Exercise all rights reserved