let’s tackle a topic that many active women might find themselves grappling with – the challenges of exercising when faced with pelvic floor symptoms like leaking and prolapse. We’re going to take a closer look at insights from Jodie Dakic’s research, “Pelvic Floor Disorders in Exercising Women,” and shed some light on the barriers women might encounter on their fitness journey.
First things first, what exactly are pelvic floor symptoms, and how do they impact our exercise routines? Well, pelvic floor symptoms can include issues like urinary incontinence (yes, that unexpected leaking we’ve all heard about), as well as pelvic organ prolapse. These symptoms can be more than just a minor inconvenience; they can significantly impact a woman’s ability to engage in physical activity comfortably.
What does the research say?
Jodie Dakic’s research delves into the challenges that exercising women face when dealing with pelvic floor disorders. The findings highlight a variety of barriers that may prevent women from breaking a sweat with confidence.
1. Lack of Awareness: One major hurdle is the simple lack of awareness regarding pelvic floor health. Many women might not be familiar with the pelvic floor and how its condition can affect exercise. Raising awareness is the first step toward breaking down this barrier.
2. Fear of Judgment: Let’s face it; the gym can sometimes feel like a judgmental space. Women experiencing pelvic floor symptoms may fear judgment from others, leading to a reluctance to engage in certain exercises or activities. Creating a supportive and inclusive environment is key to overcoming this barrier.
3. Uncertainty about Safe Exercises: Knowing which exercises are safe and which may exacerbate pelvic floor symptoms can be confusing. Dakic’s research emphasizes the importance of education and guidance from healthcare professionals in helping women make informed choices about their workout routines.
4. Limited Access to Resources: Access to pelvic floor physical therapy and specialised fitness programs is crucial, but unfortunately, not all women have equal access. Breaking down economic and geographical barriers ensures that every woman, regardless of her location or financial status, can receive the support she needs.
5. Balancing High-Impact Activities: Some women may feel conflicted about giving up high-impact exercises they love due to pelvic floor symptoms. Finding a balance between staying active and choosing exercises that are within capacity for the pelvic floor is essential.
So, what’s the solution? First and foremost, let’s keep the conversation going! Breaking the stigma around pelvic floor health is crucial. Encouraging open discussions about symptoms and seeking help when needed can empower women to take control of their fitness journey.
Additionally, let’s advocate for inclusive fitness spaces that cater to the unique needs of women experiencing pelvic floor symptoms. This may involve incorporating pelvic floor-friendly exercise options, providing educational resources, better screening, and fostering a supportive community.
In conclusion, Dakic’s research sheds light on the barriers that can impede women with pelvic floor symptoms from fully enjoying the benefits of physical activity. By promoting awareness, fostering inclusivity, and providing access to resources, we can break down these barriers and empower women to embrace an active and healthy lifestyle.
Beth Davies is a highly experienced personal trainer and coach specialising in female pelvic health, pelvic organ prolapse and exercise. Her programmes educate, empower and support women back to training or their active life, eliminating symptoms and building strength and confidence. She has been featured in publications such as Stylist, Marie Claire UK, Woman & Home, and Metro