I have issues with my pelvic floor when coughing and running 

Can you please provide some advice? I am 41 and have two children but my youngest is 7 now.

Pelvic Floor Answers

The approach to menopause is a time when many women who may have never experienced bladder weakness previously,  find they have issues particularly when sneezing, coughing, running and jumping on trampolines.

Like other muscles, the pelvic floor muscles weaken with lack of use and it can be difficult to know which are the right muscles to switch on and how much is enough exercise to make a difference.

The initial cause of bladder weakness is usually pregnancy itself - the constant pressure bearing down on the pelvic floor muscles, this is exacerbated by each pregnancy. The body naturally produces hormones during pregnancy that allow the pelvic to soften to prepare for childbirth.

The drop in oestrogen leading up to menopause can result in a similar effect where the pelvic floor muscles soften or lose their muscle tone. This can affect otherwise physically fit women. Heavy lifting, straining and coughing can also lead to what is often referred to as stress incontinence.

Smart Balls are a simple and effective method of toning the pelvic floor muscles, and correcting and preventing bladder weakness in women of all ages and life stages. There is no magic to them, they are a weighted ball that when inserted vaginally rest and move across the pelvic floor muscles. The muscles naturally contract to hold the balls in place. So apart from when you start using the balls, there is no real effort required other than inserting and removing the Smart Balls.

Like any exercise regime, Smart Balls are ideally worn for short periods of time (such as from 30 minutes if your muscles are quite compromised) and building up until you can wear the balls for up to several hours a day. We don't recommend going straight into wearing them for hours the first few times as the pelvic floor muscles can get fatigued and you can take a few days before you can hold them in if you go to hard out at the start. (Same principle as not running a marathon the first day you take up running.

Once you have done the 6-8 weeks of regular work out, you can then shift to a once or twice every couple of weeks to keep your tone on.

Smart balls come with instructions for use. 

We recommend always using a hypoallergenic lube with your Smart Balls for comfort and ease of use. Start with the single ball Smart Balls Uno and then progress to the double balls Smartball Duo. These can be purchased in a set with everything you need to get started.

Smart Balls are made in Germany from skin friendly, non porous silicone and are designed to be used and reused over several years as needed, can be washed in hot soapy water and rinsed and stored away from sharp objects.

Check out the Pelvic floor blog for other FAQ's and  women's questions answered