I first heard the word ‘prolapse’ when I was pregnant. In fact, what I heard was ‘rectal prolapse’ and that random phrase galvanised me like a 1000 volt cattle prod poking into my stately rear end.
Peri menopause brings presents – and perils. One of the perils that can be managed is that of pelvic floor weakness In other words, the floor of muscle and ligament that supports your womb, bladder, bowel, rectum and associated plumbing can slacken and weaken. It may have been prompted by giving birth, especially to a large baby, or with forceps assisted birth. Carrying excess weight strains the pelvic floor too, so it’s not all down to menopause. But it will certainly show up now if it’s going to.
As the muscles slacken, various organs can move downwards, resulting in discomfort (well, that word covers a multitude of sins) – leaking urine when you don’t want to – uterine position changes and more. Let’s not dwell too much on this but do be aware.
The other aspect of this problem is an emotional/psychological one. A woman in this stage of life may feel pretty vulnerable anyway.
Finding that you can’t control your bladder so well, or noticing the unwelcome feeling of damp knickers, has a very unsexy effect on a girl’s psyche. Or so I found. The knowledge that things are sagging can make you feel as though this is really the slide into Tena pads.
Take heart. The drop in estrogen does cause some elasticity to seep from your precious tissues. But getting to know those muscles intimately, and making sure they are healthy, exercised and hydrated and that you carry your pelvic organs correctly (remember ‘deportment’ at school? Bet that’s not what they meant) are going to make a big difference. Orgasm is negatively affected by slack pelvic floor muscles too – and positively improved by a bouncy, muscular, vaginal canal, I can assure you!
Things to do:
Get intimate: what does your pelvic floor look like? A bit like this…
2 Build pelvic floor exercises into your day. Easy to do anywhere, especially while waiting for check out!
You can find out where the pelvic floor muscles are and how you control them next time you go to the toilet. As you wee, try to stop the flow briefly. The muscles you use to do this are your pelvic floor muscles.
Don’t do this more than once, though – it’s not good for your bladder to stop mid-wee and doing it regularly may lead to a urinary tract infection.
Once you’ve found your pelvic floor muscles, try stopping an imaginary wee rather than a real one. Once you can locate them like this, you can exercise them any time you like by tightening and lifting them.
To tighten and lift your pelvic floor muscles, imagine doing the following at the same time:
Squeezing your bottom as if stopping a poo
Squeezing to stop the flow of wee
Squeezing as though you’re gripping a tampon in your vagina.
You can do pelvic floor exercises anywhere you like. Nobody will know what you’re doing – as long as you don’t raise your eyebrows each time you squeeze!
You can exercise on the bus, while you’re on the phone or waiting in the supermarket queue.
3. Discover the power of breath and correct posture to support and enliven those organs and that tissue. This is where a knowledgeable Yoga teacher is invaluable.
Although the classical information about squeezing the pelvic floor muscles is all fine and good, but does not describe the power and relationship between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor. This is gold standard information. I recommend you start out by investigating a living legend, Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, and her Yoga work for women’s health:
So, no more waiting and pushing it to the back of your mind. The sooner you strengthen them, the better you will feel!
As ever, contact me for details of these teachings. I will be teaching full breath and pelvic floor work, at my next retreat or just ping me an email
https://debsdevries.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/shockedface.png640960Debs de Vrieshttps://debsdevries.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/logo-sig-300x92.pngDebs de Vries2017-11-29 12:55:422018-01-20 20:16:05Perimenopause support - who wants soggy undies anyway?