There are a number of causes and risk factors that can contribute to incontinence.
Pregnancy and childbirth can stretch and weaken the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments, which is why incontinence is more common in women than men. As we age, our bladder muscles can become less effective, decreasing the urine storage capacity and becoming less able to expand and contract, so pressure can lead to unexpected leakage. Damage to nerves, over-activity of the bladder muscle and certain medical conditions can also cause incontinence.1,2,3
The Pelvic floor muscles are a layer of muscles that support the abdominal and pelvic organs. These muscles are like a ‘hammock’ and span from the pubic bone to the coccyx in both women and men.
Pelvic floor or Kegel exercises are used to keep those muscles in good shape. A web search for pelvic floor or Kegel exercise will show you in more detail how they are done, but here’s a brief overview:
- Imagine you’re trying to stop urine flow after it’s started. That’s the pelvic floor muscle at work.
- Tighten that muscle and try and hold for 5 seconds, then relax for 5 seconds. Then repeat 10 times. You may need to start with 2 or 3 seconds and build up to longer durations.
- Repeat this exercise three times a day until you can hold the muscle for 10 seconds each time.
However, there are a number of devices that have now been developed to help the exercise process.
EMS is an acronym for Electrical Muscle Stimulation. It is related to TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), a technique that has been used for many years to manage pain.
Using a similar mode of action, EMS has become a well-established method for treatment of pelvic floor weakness as it stimulates the nerves causing
the pelvic floor muscles to contract. These muscle contractions retrain the muscles, increase their effectiveness and improve their condition to build strength and tone, allowing users to develop their own muscle control.
Pelvic Floor Exercisers send gentle electrical muscle stimulation directly to the pelvic floor muscles through a discreet probe to help strengthen/tone or soothe these muscles.
You can explore the range of TensCare Pelvic Floor Exercisers here.