According to a recent survey by CoreWellness, a Europe-wide campaign, around 20% of women have no idea where their pelvic floor muscles are or what they do. I have to admit I wasn’t that aware of mine until I had a baby, two years ago. I was given a leaflet explaining what they are and how to tone them up – very important after a vaginal delivery. Strong pelvic muscles are vital for sexual confidence and enjoyment, strong orgasms, good posture and tummy tone, and general urinary health. It’s no fun if you leak every time you cough or sneeze and this is a common problem that many women are too embarrassed to discuss.
According to consultant gynaecologist, Robert Freeman: ‘We are seeing an increasing number of women of all ages who are experiencing problems relating to poor pelvic floor strength – bladder weakness, problems with prolapse and bowel control, and the associated sexual problems.’
I know it’s important to exercise your pelvics daily but it’s easy to forget or do it incorrectly and if you’re going to learn how to do it properly (i.e. locating each muscle individually) certain positions are better than others – so forget about doing it discreetly on a bus! A Yoga or Pilates teacher will be able to help you identify where the muscles are and how to exercise them effectively. I’d recommend regular Yoga classes anyway for flexibility, strength and body confidence.
Professor Kari Bø, an exercise scientist and physiotherapist at the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, Oslo has spent 20 years researching and developing techniques for women with pelvic floor disorders. She has developed the Pelvicore Technique, to help women improve their core muscle strength. The affected muscles are those at the top of the respiratory diaphragm, those behind the spine, the abdominals and the pelvic floor muscles. So far, studies have shown the technique can cure stress urinary incontinence in up to 70% of women.
As well as improving your sex life, strong pelvic muscles are vital for health in later life. See www.corewellness.co.uk for further info and a free DVD.
Fun Factory’s Smart Balls add a little fun to the proceedings, too. These are vaginal training balls, which have a smaller set of internal balls that rotate as you move. An intimate massage on the go.