Let’s make some noise with Pelvic Roar (Feb 2019)

I am a specialist pelvic health physiotherapist working at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust in South London. I am also the co-creator of the pelvic floor muscle exercise app, Squeezy, and one of the founders of the pelvic health collaborative campaign group, #pelvicroar. Denise and I had a long and enthusiastic conversation in the summer, where we shared our interest in pelvic floor issues and in particular, the problems surrounding mesh implants for stress urinary incontinence.

Denise is one of the inspirational women that we have connected with in #pelvicroar and I am very much looking forward to her book. Elaine Miller, Emma Brockwell and I formed #pelvicroar as we are aware that there are many campaigners working on fantastic projects in the field of pelvic health yet so often, the work is lost among the vast amount of information that is found on the internet. We wanted to find a way to bring these campaigns and projects together to make these vital messages heard by more and more men and women.

IMMDS Review in UK

Denise is in agreement with us that conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence should never be viewed as normal. We all want to get the message across to women that symptoms can and should be treated and an excellent place to start is pelvic floor muscle exercises and physiotherapy. Squeezy was created to support men and women with a pelvic floor muscle exercise programme and is the top-selling, paid medical app in the UK. It can be set with a personalised programme when you have seen a specialist physiotherapist, and it comes pre-set with a standard, evidence-based exercise programme. It also has personalised reminders as we all know that remembering to do these vital exercises can be a challenge! Another excellent source of information on pelvic floor exercises can be found at the website of our specialist physiotherapy organisation, pogp.csp.org.uk.

Do you find yourself struggling to work out how to do your pelvic floor exercises? Do you feel as if you are not improving or feel that your progress has plateaued? Then ask your GP to refer you to a specialist pelvic health physiotherapist, or visit one privately. A personalised examination and individualised programme is very helpful. It can also help to discuss your own particular activities and goals, and make sure that your programme is working towards those.

Alongside pelvic floor muscle exercises it is important to look after your pelvic floor in other ways. Avoiding constipation and keeping a healthy weight can all help. Exercises such as Yoga and Pilates can be very positive for the pelvic floor, whilst stress incontinence during activities such as running can be helped hugely by wearing pessaries such as Contifom or Incostress. Conservative treatments should certainly be explored before any consideration of surgery and most importantly of all, do seek treatment and do not simply put up with your symptoms!

For more information about what we do, follow us at www.pelvicroar.org or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter…..and join in the conversations around pelvic health!

About the Author:

I qualified from the University of East London in 1991 and became interested in the field of pelvic health a few years later. Once I had my two children that interest developed further and I now work in a small pelvic health team at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust in South London.I am particularly interested in the use of pessaries for prolapse management, mesh complications, pelvic floor exercise adherence and ways to address the stigma surrounding pelvic health conditions such as incontinence.I have worked closely with the team at Living With (formerly Propagator) and in 2013 we launched Squeezy, the physiotherapy pelvic floor muscle exercise App. This has become the number one paid medical app in the UK and has won several industry awards. It has been translated into Arabic, is selling worldwide and is also available for men and for people with Cystic Fibrosis. Living With have also developed a connected version of the app (SqueezyCX) which links to a clinician-led platform to support adherence and remote monitoring.I am passionate about enabling all men and women to find it easier to talk about their pelvic health problems and to access suitable support and treatment.

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