Fanny, flower, foo-foo, fluff and front bum are just some of the words I’ve heard used for our lady bits! (And if we want to get technical, they’re referring to the vulva NOT the vagina, but that is a whole other blog post!)
The thing is though, with British women, is that we just don’t seem to want to talk about anything remotely to do with down there……but we really should.
When did we stop talking?
When we are young teenage girls, we talk about EVERYTHING with our girlfriends and cant wait to share with them that we have started our periods, had our first kiss – we literally overshare everything.
Somehow though, as we get older we start to develop this “Fight Club” mentality. We no longer share our secrets and we end up silently suffering with dysfunctions (that are actually really common for most women). But we don’t realise that we are not alone, because first rule of Fight Club (or in our case “Womanhood”); Don’t talk about fight club.
So whether it’s taking days off due to period pain, menopause, a sneeze tsunami making us leave an event early or withholding from sex due to pain….. we just don’t talk about it enough. In fact, we don’t talk about it at all!
I often think that just maybe, if we spoke more about it, we would realise that we aren’t the only one it is happening to. But more importantly, we would realise it doesn’t have to be “normal”. Ladies, we do not have to accept feeling this way and suffering in silence. There is a really good chance that you might be able to do something about it before it gets worse – which without some kind of intervention, it probably will eventually.
You see, ‘down there’….. there are some really important muscles that you might know as the Pelvic Floor Muscles – the powerhouse of a women’s body!
Where the problem lies (in my opinion) is that we always just associate the Pelvic Floor as something that weakens as a consequence of delivering babies via vaginal birth. Once we have popped them out, we do a few kegels (when we remember) and then that’s about it, job done! If we end up with stress incontinence, we accept it as “just one of those things when you have a baby”. We reassure ourselves with statements such as
“She was a big baby”
“I had tearing during labour”
“That’s what happens when you have 4 kids”
We convince ourselves that it is normal to have a dysfunctional pelvic floor – rather than accept it is COMMON, but doesn’t have to be our normal.
It’s not just about the mums!
Contrary to popular belief (and social media), Pelvic Floor dysfunction is not something that just affects mums. Actually, 1 in 4 women globally will suffer with some form of dysfunction with their Pelvic Floor between 30 and 70 years old.
Basically – you or one of your friends probably have or are currently dealing with some form of dysfunction but you’re just not talking about (yet).
Dysfunction can be anything from leaking a bit when you sneeze, during a workout/run, chronic pelvic pain, difficulty having sex or can be as severe as a prolapse.
Whatever our level of dysfunction, we need to focus on what we can do to prevent these things getting any worse rather than waiting till it’s so bad we need medical intervention and it is significantly impacting other areas of our life.
Who doesn’t leak when they jump?
I hear women all the time tell me that they do their kegels daily and yet they still leak a bit when they work out/jump and they just accept that it’s just the way it is…. “who doesn’t leak on a trampoline?
“That’s what Tena Ladies are there for isn’t it?”
Honestly, it really doesn’t need to be that way for you. Leaking urine (Stress incontinence) is very common, but it’s not normal, it’s a sign something isn’t working as effectively as it should with our pelvic floor and its a signal that we shouldn’t be ignoring.
Do your kegels
I don’t know about you, but in the hospital bed the following morning after labour, I was told by the midwives to make sure I do my pelvic floor exercises. The websites I googled after becoming a mum told me the most important thing I could do were my kegels.
I think it is safe to say, we all know that we should be doing some kind of pelvic floor exercises…..BUT
- Has anyone ever really explained to you how to do it properly? Quite often we find that many women are just squeezing their bum cheeks and thighs rather than actually contracting their Pelvic Floor muscle. So even though they think they are working the muscles – they’re not.
- Have you ever been told how important it is to relax the muscle as well as contract? Often women can over work the Pelvic Floor because they don’t know how to relax the muscle. They focus so hard on squeezing the muscle tightly but then forget about the relaxation phase. Like any muscle that’s over worked, it can become too tight and a tight muscle is not a strong muscle.
What can I do?
We developed our women’s guide to training your Pelvic Floor to help prevent and treat minor pelvic floor dysfunction. Our approach does this by addressing key issues which can affect the strength and function of the pelvic floor: alignment, breathing and core control.
As I said earlier, childbirth isn’t the only factor that affects your pelvic floor. A weak core, bad posture, breathing incorrectly and performing high intensity exercises without correct brace can also cause problems for your pelvic floor muscles.
I cringe every time I scroll past instagram trainers telling new mums that they should be doing advanced plyometric (jumping) techniques that would place pressure on event the strongest pelvic floor, let alone one that has been through pregnancy/childbirth.
Just think for a second and imagine performing multiple squat jumps if you have any sign of weakness in your pelvic floor, core muscles or any of your stabilising muscles around the pelvic area? You are just going to be adding further stress to the issue and although it might get you sweaty, chances are it’s also going to get you a bit leaky!
Our free programme is home based training, simple to follow and gives you the skills to be able to train your Pelvic Floor for life.
So download your FREE copy and lets start talking more about our pelvic floors and encourage women to challenge the dysfunction.