Women's Health

Pelvic floor dysfunction is common amongst women and can lead to a variety of problems - Follow the links below to get more information and useful advice:

There are two main types of urinary incontinence - information can be found below:
 
Urge incontinence is due to an overactive bladder:
 
Stress and urge incontinence can also occur together and this is known as mixed incontinence.
 
If you are experiencing stress incontinence and/or urge incontinence strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help to resolve your symptoms.
 
This animation shows the location of your pelvic floor muscles - Pelvic Floor Anatomy
 
The following is a video of one of our physiotherapists explaining how to do pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy, but the same principles apply at any other time - Pelvic Floor Exercises
 

And this is a leaflet version - Pelvic Floor Exercises For Women.  Many women find it difficult to remember to do their pelvic floor exercises. Using an app such as Squeezy can help, as you can set reminders at times that suit your daily routine.

Healthy bladder habits are important to help reduce urge incontinence:
 
Bladder training can often help to reduce urge incontinence. This is explained in this leaflet - Bladder Training
 
Here is an example of a bladder diary (as described in the leaflet) that you can complete - Bladder Diary
  
Healthy bowel habits are important as straining to empty your bowels can make urinary incontinence worse:
 
Maintaining a healthy weight can help to alleviate bladder leakage symptoms - Weight Management
 
Stopping Smoking can help to alleviate bladder leakage by reducing coughing associated with smoking - Help Me Quit
 
Menopausal symptoms can influence pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms.  See below for some useful information regarding the menopause:
 
Promoting Continence with Physiotherapy - This booklet is written by the POGP (Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy), a UK based Physiotherapy Professional Network affiliated to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. It contains information about the physiotherapy advice and treatment available for anyone with bladder and bowel problems.
 
For more support you can contact the Bladder and Bowel Community
A pelvic organ prolapse is a common condition that involves one or more of the pelvic organs bulging down in to the vagina - Pelvic Organ Prolapse
 
This leaflet explains how to help to reduce prolapse symptoms - Pelvic Organ Prolapse – Management and Advice
 
Pelvic Organ Prolapse - This booklet is written by the POGP (Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy), a UK based Physiotherapy Professional Network affiliated to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, for women who know they have or feel they might have symptoms associated with a pelvic organ prolapse 
 
Strengthening weak pelvic floor muscles can help to prevent or reduce pelvic organ prolapse symptoms. They can be strengthened by doing regular pelvic floor muscle exercises.
 
This animation shows the location of your pelvic floor muscles - Pelvic Floor Anatomy
 
The following is a video of one of our physiotherapists explaining how to do pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy, but the same principles apply at any other time - Pelvic Floor Exercises
 
And this is a leaflet version - Pelvic Floor Exercises For Women.  Many women find it difficult to remember to do their pelvic floor exercises. Using an app such as Squeezy can help, as you can set reminders at times that suit your daily routine.
 
Healthy bowel habits are important as straining to empty your bowels can make prolapse symptoms worse:
 
Maintaining a healthy weight can help to alleviate prolapse symptoms - Weight Management

Stopping Smoking can help to alleviate prolapse symptoms by reducing coughing associated with smoking - Help Me Quit
 
Menopausal symptoms can influence pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms.  See below for some useful information regarding the menopause:
 
Promoting Continence with Physiotherapy - This booklet is written by the POGP (Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy), a UK based Physiotherapy Professional Network affiliated to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. It contains information about the physiotherapy advice and treatment available for anyone with bladder and bowel problems.
 
Fit following Surgery: Advice and Exercise Following Major Gynaecological Surgery - This booklet is written by the POGP (Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy), a UK based Physiotherapy Professional Network affiliated to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.  It is a general guide for women who have had all types of major gynaecological surgery.
Bowel control problems can affect people in different ways:
 
  • Sudden urges to poo that you can’t control
  • Accidental bowel leakage
  • Being unable to hold on to wind
The information below may be helpful:
 
 
Weak pelvic floor muscles can contribute to bowel control problems. They can be strengthened by doing regular pelvic floor muscle exercises.  This animation shows the location of your pelvic floor muscles - Pelvic Floor Anatomy
 
The following is a video of one of our physiotherapists explaining how to do pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy, but the same principles apply at any other time - Pelvic Floor Exercises
 
And this is a leaflet version - Pelvic Floor Exercises For Women.  Many women find it difficult to remember to do their pelvic floor exercises. Using an app such as Squeezy can help, as you can set reminders at times that suit your daily routine.
 
Menopausal symptoms can influence pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms.  See below for some useful information regarding the menopause:
 
Promoting Continence with Physiotherapy - This booklet is written by the POGP (Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy), a UK based Physiotherapy Professional Network affiliated to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. It contains information about the physiotherapy advice and treatment available for anyone with bladder and bowel problems.
 
Improving Your Bowel Function.  This booklet is written by the POGP (Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy), a UK based Physiotherapy Professional Network affiliated to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. It contains information about non-surgical treatments and self-help advice.
 
For more support you can contact the Bladder and Bowel Community

We see many women who have been referred to physiotherapy due to symptoms of persistent pelvic pain. These can include bladder pain syndrome (interstitial cystitis), chronic pelvic pain and vulvodynia:

See below for some useful information that you may find helpful if you have a persistent pain condition:
 
See below for some useful information that you may find helpful if you have an overactive or tight pelvic floor:
 
Taking care of the vulval (genital area) skin is important - Care of Vulval Skin
 
This leaflet is useful if you have found having a smear test painful - Smears Without Tears
 
If you have endometriosis you can contact Endometriosis UK for support. The Vulval Pain Society provides support for women with vulval pain.

Pain during and/or after sex is known as dyspareunia - Dyspareunia – Pain with Intercourse

There are many causes of dyspareunia. Some women have tension in their pelvic floor muscles (sometimes known as an overactive or tight pelvic floor) and this may contribute to pain having sex.
 
See below for some useful information that you may find helpful if you have an overactive or tight pelvic floor:
 

Taking care of the vulval (genital area) skin is important - Care of Vulval Skin

This leaflet is useful if you have found having a smear test painful - Smears Without Tears

Pelvic floor dysfunction and constipation may contribute to difficulty emptying the bladder and/or bowels.  The information below may be helpful:

Weak pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened by doing regular pelvic floor muscle exercises.
 
This animation shows the location of your pelvic floor muscles - Pelvic Floor Anatomy
 
The following is a video of one of our physiotherapists explaining how to do pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy, but the same principles apply at any other time - Pelvic Floor Exercises
 
And this is a leaflet version - Pelvic Floor Exercises for Women.  Many women find it difficult to remember to do their pelvic floor exercises. Using an app such as Squeezy can help, as you can set reminders at times that suit your daily routine.
 
Menopausal symptoms can influence pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms.  See below for some useful information regarding the menopause: