Women's Health and Pregnancy
Women’s health (continence problems)
Urinary and faecal incontinence (problems controlling the passage of urine or stools) are common problems, particularly in women who have had children or gynaecological surgery. This is as the pelvic floor muscles can become weak and are therefore not able to contract strongly enough. Symptoms are often particularly noticeable when coughing, sneezing or exercising. This is because these activities increase the pressure on the bladder and bowels and therefore require the pelvic floor to work harder. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can therefore help to resolve these problems. Your specialist women’s health physiotherapist will assess you and teach you how to exercise these muscles appropriately. Most continence problems will improve with physiotherapy, however, we do have a close working relationship with the gynaecology service and, where appropriate, your physiotherapist may recommend onward referral for further intervention.
Pregnancy related pain (pelvic girdle pain)
It is common to experience pain in pregnancy, particularly around the lower back and the front of the pelvis. This is referred to as Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) and usually resolves after the birth of your child. You should try and remain active throughout your pregnancy, although you may have to cut back on lifting heavier objects. Regular exercise has been shown to help ease PGP and is safe for both you and your baby. However, you should avoid exercising lying on your back or sports where you could fall or be injured in the tummy (for example cycling or contact sports.)
We offer a specialist PGP advice session for ladies with PGP. The class provides information on anatomy and causes of PGP, postural advice, guidance on exercise and how to self manage this condition. We also advise on the use of maternity belts and can provide crutches if these are required. If you are experiencing PGP in pregnancy, your midwife or GP can refer you for physiotherapy.