Pelvic floor muscles weaken for similar reasons to other muscles in our bodies: natural ageing and inactivity.
However the pelvic floor has extra demands on it and may become weaker or damaged through any of the following:
- ageing - we lose 2% of striated (skeletal) muscle each year after the age of about 30
- constipation / straining on the toilet
- hormonal changes (postnatally, peri-menopause, post-menopause are the main ones)
- childbirth, especially vaginal birth but just being pregnant has an effect on the pelvic floor muscles and tissues
- chronic cough - not just smokers cough but respiratory conditions like asthma, hayfever, bronchiectasis, CF etc
- pelvic or abdominal surgery
- prolonged heavy lifting
- poor exercise technique
Factors unique to women:
- hormonal changes - especially the decline of oestrogen levels through menopause
- pregnancy - whether you have a vaginal or ceasarean delivery, carrying a baby during pregnancy stretches the pelvic floor tissues
- vaginal childbirth
Factors unique to men :
- prostatectomy ( surgical removal of the prostate)
- prostate treatment ( radiation, TURP surgery )
- BHP : benign hypertrophy, or enlargement, of the prostate - a much more common condition than actual prostate cancer.
The material presented in this information sheet 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.
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