I have had two caesarean sections so I thought my lady bits were pretty pristine.
But it would seem that 50 is a magic marker for more than one reason.
Why older ladies need to get their pelvic floor tested
It’s the age at which the muscles of your pelvic floor start to sag, no matter how careful you have been to do your pelvic floor exercises throughout your child-bearing years.
It’s something to do with the lack of oestrogen or at least with the imbalance between all the different hormones.
And it is the reason why older women suffer with prolapse – of their wombs, their bladders, their vaginas, and their bowels.
So, even though I do not let out a little bit of wee when I cough, laugh or jump, I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything possible to ensure that was not an event on the horizon.
What happens during a Pelvic Floor MOT
Maire took a full history and asked about any specific concerns. She was incredibly calm, knowledgeable and reassuring. I didn’t feel embarrassed about asking her anything.
One of the things we did talk about was that some women with incontinence don’t drink enough water because they are worried about having to keep going to the toilet. This is totally the wrong thing to do because becoming dehydrated just makes the urine more concentrated and the bladder more irritated, making the problem worse.
When the time came to drop my undergarments and assume the position, I was totally relaxed.
She gave me the familiar instructions that any woman who has had a smear will know:
“Lie back, soles of your feet together and spread your knees outward. And relax!”
She then inserted two gloved fingers and talked me through what was going to happen.
I was required to tense my pelvic floor muscles and hold for ten seconds.
This happened ten times as Maire assessed the strength of my ability to contract.
By the tenth one, I was struggling to maintain the pressure after about 7 or 8 seconds.
Then ten short squeezes in one burst, which I did not struggle with at all.
Maire congratulated me on being very good ‘for my age’ and told me that I was about a 3.5 out of 5.
She told me that I could improve my endurance by doing the holding exercises every day.
So, if you see me on the crossing and my eyebrows are going up and down, you know what I’m doing!