Kegel8 Letter to Good Health Editor, The Daily Mail
Following The Daily Mail covering incontinence in their health pages, our Managing Director Stephanie Taylor wrote with her reply to the article.
First of all I must congratulate you for tackling such a taboo subject as incontinence as you did in the piece that appeared yesterday.
This really is the last taboo Justine, and we here at Kegel8 try to do our best to educate and inform women of options and to try to instil in them that like brushing your teeth, pelvic floor exercises are a vital part of looking after your body and need to be done daily.
However, the emphasis of the piece by Carol Davies is on surgical procedures to solve the problem but NICE recommends pelvic floor exercises as a front line treatment and you mention that "Many women do them incorrectly and get no benefit". This is indeed the case which is why physiotherapists also use a range of pelvic floor exercisers. You go on to say that "These exercises are very effective, especially when taught by a physiotherapist who can also use a scan to show women which muscles to use".
At Kegel8 we have women who come to us for advice and buy our products because they can't get appointments with physiotherapists. We also have women who have suffered for years with light bladder weakness'- the occasional drop here and there. They don't realise that this is a warning sign that the pelvic floor is weak and pelvic organs could prolapse.
One in every 4 women suffers bladder weakness and one in 10 of those will also develop faecal incontinence. This is serious life-changing stuff for a woman: It affects not only her but her husband and family; Some women who will not leave their home because they are afraid of 'accidents'; Some won't have sex because they afraid of being smelly or leaking urine during intercourse; and 25% will suffer depression because of the condition.
We at Kegel8 don't like to use the word 'incontinence' because it's just not sexy and conjures up pictures of 'old smelly women' - but that just isn't the case! For example, 25% of female college varsity athletes lose urine when doing provocative exercise, and most do not consider it a problem; indeed, most experts would agree that these young women do not have a major health problem.
Surgery is the right option for some women but many of these procedures are temporary but women are rarely told this. Surgery cannot strengthen a pelvic floor, but exercise and physiotherapy will. Surgery merely treats the symptoms (leaking urine or faeces) - and that's great - ask any woman who's has a successful TVT op and she'll be delighted - but many TVT operations fail after 9 -18 months, because the pelvic floor is not supporting the organs properly and their symptoms will return. Many women undergo repeated TVT operations - each less successful than the last.
Even in the depths of a recession we are seeing record sales as more and more women are looking to strengthen their bodies - women who are unwilling to put up with 'laughter leaks', reduced sexual sensation and a loose pelvic floor. 'Sisters are doing it for themselves' - women are telling their daughters and Mothers (there is a genetic link, if your Mum had a hysterectomy chances it is because she had a weak pelvic floor and you'll suffer too) and preventing the misery of embarrassment and ignorance.
And of course, a healthy pelvic floor is an orgasmic pelvic floor, so let's hear it for those women looking after themselves and having better leak free sex than ever before.