Search Knowledge Base by Keyword
Facts and Myths About Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Prevalence in Canada:
- 3 million Canadians suffer from incontinence.
- 1 in 3 women are incontinent.
- 1 in 9 men are incontinent.
- The most common cause of male incontinence is a radical prostatectomy.
- 1 in 6 children under the age of 17 struggle with incontinence.
- Only 1 in 12 people seek out treatment because they are embarrassed to talk about it, or don’t know that help is available.
- Decreased self esteem.
- Impedes social activity.
- Impedes physical activity.
- Incontinence is the number one reason for nursing home admission.
- Heavy economic burden on patients, families, and society (it costs far less to invest in some pelvic floor physiotherapy than to pay for the ongoing costs associated with incontinence).
Factors That Increase Your Risk of Developing Pelvic Floor Dysfunction:
- Post-menopause (Hormonal Changes)
- Over 40 (1 in 3)
- Pregnancy and childbirth:
- Multiparous: Having had more than one child
- Obstetric trauma (from forceps, suction, tearing)
- Gynaecological or urinary surgery
- Chronic illness
- Chronic straining (constipation or heavy lifting)
- Radical Prostatectomy
- Prostate enlargement
It is normal to have urinary leakage after childbirth.
It is common to have urinary leakage during pregnancy and after childbirth, but there is something you can do about it.
It is normal to have urinary leakage as you age.
The prevalence of incontinence increases with age, but there is something you can do about it.
Only older adults experience urinary leakage.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Children and young adults experience urinary leakage too.
Athletes do not experience leakage.
Nope, nope and nope. Even elite athletes experience urinary leakage.
My leakage will go away on its own.
With time urinary incontinence can get worse.
There is nothing I can do about my urinary leakage.
Hopefully, this resource helps you understand that there is a high level of evidence that physiotherapy can improve or resolve your symptoms.
How Can You Prevent Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
- Avoid constipation. Your stool should be soft and smooth like toothpaste.
- Drink plenty of water. If your urine is dark yellow and/or has an odour, you are likely not drinking enough.
- Sit on the toilet, don’t hover.
- Avoid straining while urinating or having a bowel movement.
- Avoid going to the bathroom to urinate “just in case.”
- Address a permanent cough.
- Maintain a healthy body mass index.
- Participate in regular exercise and recreational sporting activities to keep you fit and healthy.
- Exercise your pelvic floor. Consider consulting with a pelvic health physiotherapist to help ensure you are doing your exercises properly.