Linda Davlin – Clinic Director Davlin Health
So, you’ve just given birth to your beautiful baby. Your girlfriends have told you about the wonderful and exciting things that happen to you once you become a mother, but no one tells you about the down side of motherhood – weak pelvic floor muscles and the associated challenges like leaking and possible prolapse.
What is all the fuss about my pelvic floor and why is it so important?
Well, your pelvic floor is the band of muscles that stretches across the bottom of your abdomen, from your tailbone to your pubic bone which your pelvic organs – bladder, bowel and uterus rest on. The pelvic floor muscles act as a basket to support these pelvic organs against gravity and increases in abdominal pressure. With excess strain on the pelvic floor (especially during pregnancy) the pelvic organs can start to protrude near the vaginal opening. This is referred to as prolapse and who wants to deal with this, if you can prevent it?
Because of their attachments to the pelvis and hips, the pelvic floor muscles are an important part of the “core”. These muscles assist other abdominal, hip and back muscles to control movement of the sacroiliac and hip joints.
The muscles of the pelvic floor wrap around and control the opening of your bladder and rectum. When there is an increase in abdominal pressure (for example when you cough, sneeze, laugh or jump), these muscles contract around your urethra and anus to prevent leakage. Equally as important, these muscles have to relax and lengthen to allow us to urinate or have bowel movements easily.
Sufficient strength of the pelvic floor muscles is necessary for orgasm, and excessive tension or sensitivity of the pelvic floor can also contribute to pain during or after intercourse.
How can I tell if I might get bladder and bowel problems?
You can’t! You may find that you have an easy birth, have no genetic history of bladder problems and yet you may still find you have a weak pelvic floor post birth.
However, if you already have bladder or bowel symptoms, like irritable bowel syndrome or an urgent need to pass urine (also called overactive bladder) it is more likely that your challenges will worsen and you gain new challenges, postpartum such as leaking etc.
There are some factors that will contribute to weak pelvic floor such as:
- having your first baby
- having a large baby
- having a long labour, mainly the second stage of labour, or
- a difficult vaginal delivery, when you have stitches or a tear just outside your vagina when the baby is helped out by the vacuum cap or forceps.
Will I escape the above challenges if I have a caesarean birth?
I’d love to say yes, however it is not that simple. A caesarean birth might reduce the risk of severe bladder control problems from 10% to 5% for a first baby, but bear in mind that your pelvic floor will still be under pressure with the weight of the baby which you carry for 9 months.
And even more frightening are the statistic:
Up to 75% of women suffer from urinary incontinence during pregnancy
45% of mothers still have urinary incontinence, seven years postnatally,
Over 75% of women who reported urinary incontinence three months after birth were still incontinent 12 years later and most people take seven years before they address the issue of incontinence.
So, what are my options if I do have a weak pelvic floor and find that I have bladder leakage?
Well your health specialist is likely to offer you three options:
1. Surgery (scalpel, anaesthetic and recovery time!)
2. Medication (long term side-affects and not always effective)
3. Physio with a pelvic floor specialist (may take some time before you see a result)
However, there are alternative solutions such as the BTL Emsella chair.
The BTL Emsella chair is a non-invasive (you remain fully clothed) treatment for urinary incontinence which we use at Davlin Health in Melbourne. It is fast, effective and there is no downtime or recovery time.
One session of 28 minutes is equivalent to 11,200 Kegel exercises (pelvic floor contractions). You can fast track your pelvic floor health by increasing the blood flow which strengthens and improves your pelvic floor health. This in turn gives you back control whilst improving your urinary incontinence (stress and urge). It can also positively impact your sex life. The good thing about the BTL Emsella chair is that is treats the entire pelvic floor. The full treatment consists of six sessions over a period of three weeks.
If you find that bladder leakage is impacting your social life, restricting the places you go and affecting your self-confidence, give your nearest BTL Emsella clinic a call to discuss treatment with the Emsella medical device or if you are in Melbourne, give Davlin Health a call on 0498 111 996. We have helped many women with bladder leakage live a normal life and restore their self-confidence by giving them back their freedom and dignity.
We can do the same for you – 6 weeks after birth. If left untreated, incontinence will become progressively worse. Link to our website here
BTL EMSELLA® is now available in Australia and New Zealand and backed by several peer-reviewed published studies and clinical trials. The therapy has received a NewBeauty Magazine Innovation Award and also the “Most Innovative Technology” Award at the 3rd World Congress of the European Society of Aesthetic Gynaecology ESAG.
EMSELLA® uses HIFEM (High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic) technology to stimulate entire pelvic floor muscles to stimulate over 11,000 pelvic floor supramaximal contractions per 30-minute session. The stimulation leads to regained control over pelvic floor muscles and bladder. The treatment is entirely painless and non-invasive. The patient sits fully clothed in the BTL EMSELLA chair for 28 minutes for six individual sessions, across three weeks. No surgery, completely painless, no downtime, stay fully clothed and non-invasive. And with a 95% satisfaction rate, the patient’s quality of life dramatically changes. BTL Aesthetics Emsella can also help as a preventative measure to assists in UI and weakened PFM in later life.
For a full copies of the clinic studies or more information or to find your local provider visit: https://btlaesthetics.com/en/btl-emsella
You may also like to read:
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction