Pelvic Floor and Age: 5 Things You Need to Know

Pelvic floor issues affect women of all ages.

Just because you may be young and healthy now, you are not exempt from the risk factors. There are major disorders that can result from not taking care of your pelvic floor. Like so many other health issues, they are often only talked about AFTER they have become a problem. How many doctors are talking about preventative care and being proactive? Not enough. That’s why we are speaking up and spreading the word. There are simple measures you can take to be smart about your physical wellbeing. 

The female body is equipped to do so many things instinctively:

  • Preparing for the chance of pregnancy every month
  • Creating human life
  • Carrying and nurturing that life for upwards of a year
  • Instinctively knowing how to contract and endure the physical demands of childbirth

As a woman, your body is highly capable and resilient, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat it with care. There are certain risk factors that can increase your chances of experiencing pelvic floor changes over time. You now have a resource for learning how to keep your pelvic floor as strong and healthy as possible! Despite inevitable life changes and experiences, you can be more prepared. Read on to see which scenarios may apply to you! 

  

1. Risk Factors for Younger Women


Did you know that the common actions of sneezing and coughing could put you at risk for pelvic floor dysfunction? Stress incontinence is the term for this occurrence. When pressure is put on the urethra and bladder, lack of muscle control can cause leakage of urine. This is known as incontinence.

Stress incontinence is the most common pelvic floor issue, especially for younger women. Fortunately, it can be treated with exercises called Kegels.

Another super common issue arising from the pelvic floor region is overactive bladder. While certain dietary changes can help reduce the need to urinate as frequently, overactive bladder requires retraining of the muscles. This is where pelvic floor training through Kegel exercises comes in.

Younger women have the advantage of catching these symptoms sooner and being proactive. Prioritize your self-care BEFORE it gets to the point of needing invasive surgeries.

 

2. Pregnancy Affects Women of All Ages

Prolapse is a pelvic floor condition developed by 50% of all women who have had children.

This is huge.

Pelvic organ prolapse is the condition where the pelvic structure becomes too relaxed. This can lead to general discomfort, pain during sex, and bladder and bowel issues. These bladder and bowel control issues are also experienced with incontinence- only progressively worse.

Hearing this, who wouldn’t want to know how to prevent it? Unfortunately, many women just tough it out and live in fear of having an uncontrollable leak in public, or start to avoid social situations altogether.

The good news is that pelvic muscle strengthening is the biggest solution for all these conditions, and the sooner this technique is implemented, the less likely you are to need other methods of intervention.

 

3. Risk Factors for Menopause Age and Beyond.

For women, the aging process is shown to have a negative impact on the structure or function of the pelvic floor. The age-related changes that cause a decrease in muscle strength are believed to have the same effect on the pelvic floor and result in poorer support.  

Regardless of whether you are generally healthy, the importance of building a strong pelvic floor is crucial. Taking preventative measures is ideal, but training can be implemented at any age.

By being diligent and proactive about their health, women can reduce the risk of experiencing age-related pelvic floor dysfunctions. Most of these conditions can also be experienced by younger women for varying reasons, such as prolapse and incontinence. The difference is that the risk increases with age, due to prolonged stress and weakened muscles supporting the pelvic floor.

 

4. Weight and Pelvic Floor Health.

Maintaining a healthy weight is a preventative measure that applies to all women. This is a factor that can affect women of all ages, before or after experiencing any signs of dysfunction. Awareness of this is important, because excess weight can place an unhealthy level of pressure on your pelvic organs.

 

While this may not be a popular solution, it is an action that women of all ages can take. Weight loss can decrease the chances of experiencing unpleasant pelvic floor dysfunctions or seeing them get worse in the future. In addition to weight awareness, simultaneously practicing pelvic floor strengthening techniques is shown to improve these issues for everyone.

 

5. Genetic Risk Factors.

Studies show that both environmental and genetic factors play a role in the development of pelvic floor disorders. Women with these types of disorders are likely to have family members who also experience these issues. Research has revealed frequently shared genes between women who have had surgery or been treated for pelvic floor dysfunction. This inherited chromosome has been linked to the development of these disorders; women with a family history of these issues are more likely to develop a pelvic floor disorder.

Preventative care in this area is critical. If you’re a woman with any family history of this kind, awareness is a powerful tool.

 

What is the Solution for Pelvic Floor Issues?

Prevention is key.

An estimated one third of all women will experience some form of pelvic floor disorder in their lifetime. Because these disorders are caused by weakening of the muscles and tissues or injury, the solution lies heavily in prevention. 

There is nothing stopping young women from making Kegel exercises a part of their lifestyle sooner.

Recovery from pregnancy and childbirth is highly accelerated by having a strong pelvic core. Wouldn’t it be great to know how to prepare for an easier delivery AND smoother recovery? Pelvic floor training gives you this ability.

Kegel exercises are an easy and effective way to see results in a short time. The Perifit trainer and app work together to take the guesswork out of your new Kegel exercise routine. They track your progress as well as accuracy, as it’s important to isolate the right muscles to strengthen them correctly.

Join the group of women who are putting their health first at every age and stage of their life. Click here to learn more and reserve your personal trainer today!

 

 

References

Chen, G. (2008, August 15). Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in Aging Women. Retrieved March 16, 2019, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1028455908600066

Pelvic Floor Disorders May Have Genetic Link. (2009, April 26). Retrieved March 20, 2019, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090423132606.htm

TriHealth. (2018, July 20). Retrieved March 19, 2019, from https://www.trihealth.com/dailyhealthwire/living-well/womens-health/common-pelvic-floor-issues-in-women-and-what-you-can-do-about-them    

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