The pelvic floor is an area at the bottom of your trunk that controls your bladder and bowel. Pelvic floor problems also contribute to a range of conditions involving pelvic organs and sexual function.
The Pelvic Floor and Incontinence
The pelvic floor muscles support and control the bladder and the bowel as well as playing a role in sexual function. Many health and lifestyle factors can damage the pelvic floor. Pregnancy and childbirth, constipation and straining, chronic cough, menopause, inactivity, pelvic surgery, obesity and ageing can all negatively impact on the function of the pelvic floor muscles.
Problems such as bladder incontinence (the leaking of urine), faecal incontinence (soiling or leaking of poo), prolapse and pelvic pain can all be caused by weak or damaged pelvic floor muscles.
Dr Nahon will carefully assess your pelvic floor symptoms and ensure that your treatment is individualised to your symptoms. Treatments include bladder and bowel training, lifestyle changes and pelvic floor exercises.
Irmina provides a personalised approach to ensure you have a pelvic floor muscle exercise program suited to your needs and lifestyle. Research shows that for a pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation program to be effective it must be prescribed under the guidance of a specifically trained physiotherapist rather than from a brochure or online.
Pelvic and Sexual Pain
Pelvic, vulval and sexual pain is distressing and more common than you think. The pelvic floor muscles play an important part in their management. Strong pelvic floor muscles are important in maintaining bladder and bowel control. Normal pelvic floor function is the ability to contract and release these muscles. Relaxing pelvic floor muscles is important for sexual function and comfortable urination and defecation.
Women and men sometimes have difficulty in relaxing the pelvic floor muscles and as a consequence have chronic tension and pain in the pelvis. This is sometimes described as a “headache in the pelvis”. Symptoms of pelvic pain and heaviness, sexual dysfunction, pain in the vulva, the testicles or anus and in the bladder or bowel can all cause or be caused by pelvic floor tension.
Careful assessment and individualised treatment programs can make a big difference to the life of a pelvic pain sufferer.
Children and Continence
Irmina’s passion in working with kids goes back a very long way. As a teenager she was very involved at her mother’s work as a teacher at a special school in Sydney.
Many children both mainstream and special needs have trouble with toilet training and attaining continence. Bed wetting, day wetting, giggle incontinence as well as soiling and constipation can be treated in all children. Irmina works with paediatric specialists to offer a comprehensive assessment and treatment of these children.
While full continence may not be attainable in all children with a disability, many can be greatly improved with behavioural and lifestyle changes. The impact of reducing the frequency of soiling or wetting episodes can have a significant influence on a child’s school and social life.
Children of all ages are put at the centre of the assessment and treatment of bladder and bowel issues. The child centred approach has been shown to be much more effective than other approaches when dealing with childhood incontinence.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor muscle training will vary according to your problem and your goals. If the muscles are weak then they need to be strengthened with maximum contractions. If they are not lasting long enough then you may need to have an endurance program. These programs will be prescribed for you after the physiotherapist assesses you.
Like any other training program you will need to have a routine and stick to it in order to see improvement. Irmina will help you to develop this routine and fit it into your daily activities in a way that is not arduous.