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Factors that may lead to pelvic floor weakness

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Pregnancy places a lot of new additional stress on your pelvic floor muscles, causing them to weaken in as little as twelve weeks.

So a weak pelvic floor is the primary cause of bladder weakness but what causes your pelvic floor to become weakened in the first place? In women, typical causes of pelvic floor weakness are pregnancy, menopause1 and high impact exercises and in men, the most common cause is prostate surgery.2 However these are not the only causes. Other reasons for a weak pelvic floor include: 

  • Over time pelvic floor muscles can weaken if we do not exercise them. They can become stretched, weak and no longer work effectively, leading to leakage.
  • Straining to open your bowels. The ‘pushing down’ movement when you strain to open your bowels can actually put pressure on the pelvic floor and make it weaker.
  • Being overweight puts more pressure on your pelvic floor. If you are currently experiencing bladder weakness, losing weight may help you in dealing with the issue.
  • Having a chronic cough can contribute to weakened pelvic floor. The impact of coughing bounces on the pelvic floor, so persistent coughing can damage and overstretch the muscles.

 

In women, typical causes of pelvic floor weakness are pregnancy, menopause and high impact exercises and in men, the most common cause is prostate surgery.

Related articles

1) http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/america-asks-11/stress

2) Stanford JL Urinary and Sexual Function After Radical Prostatectomy for Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer The Prostate Cancer Outcomes Study JAMA 283 (3) 2000 p 354.