Who's at risk?
Some people are more at risk of developing pelvic floor problems than others. These include:
- women who are pregnant or have recently had a baby (postnatal)
- women who have ever had a baby
- women who are going through, or have been through, menopause
- women who have had gynaecological surgery (e.g. hysterectomy)
- men who have had prostate surgery, and
- elite athletes such as gymnasts, runners or trampolinists.
Additional risk factors that can increase a person's risk of developing pelvic floor problems include:
- a history of back pain
- previous trauma to the pelvic region such as a fall or pelvic radiotherapy
- ongoing constipation (i.e. regularly straining to empty your bowels)
- a chronic cough or sneeze (e.g. due to asthma, smoking or hayfever)
- being overweight, or having a body mass index above 25, and
- heavy lifting on a regular basis - either at work or at the gym.
If you experience pelvic floor (or bladder or bowel control) problems it is advisable to see a continence professional to determine the cause of your symptoms and discuss the best treatment and management options to suit your needs.