Menopause: The Pelvic Floor
As we go through menopause, the production of hormones (progesterone and oestrogen) from the ovaries reduces. These altered hormonal levels can have a significant effect on the body, including your pelvic floor structures, bone density and cardiovascular system. So how can physiotherapy treatment and healthy lifestyle assist in a smooth transition through this stage of life?
Decreased oestrogen production may result in symptoms of pelvic floor and vaginal dryness, thinning and irritation. Some women will experience reduced pelvic floor sensitivity or bladder infections. During menopause incontinence and pelvic floor prolapse (often experienced as a heaviness or bulging in the vaginal area) may develop or worsen. Furthermore, we know that incontinence increases the risk of falls and fractures in the elderly due to rushing and difficulty accessing toilet facilities.
Physiotherapy education and exercise prescription in combination with local oestrogen therapy (prescribed by your G.P.) can effectively manage PF symptoms. Use of local oestrogen will assist pelvic floor tissue health and reduce associated symptoms. An individualised pelvic floor exercise program will increase pelvic floor awareness and circulation as well as improve strength and function. Symptoms of stress urinary incontinence, urge incontinence, and prolapse can all improve as a result.
Contact Brisbane Women’s Physiotherapy to make an appointment today.