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As it is November, the month of Movember, what better time to talk about men’s health. The Movember Foundation aim to help stop men dying too young and are addressing the biggest health issues faced by men. They addressed a variety of topics including prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
Prostate cancer effects your urinary system and in Ireland is the second most common cancer in men, after skin cancer. Each year over 3,300 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer here. 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.
Some of the pelvic floor muscles are removed with the prostate during a prostatectomy and is it this that may cause the altered bladder control. What is the pelvic floor? Men and women both have a pelvic floor. It is a layer of muscles at the base of the pelvis. They support the pelvic organs such as the bladder and rectum, and control the openings of the bladder and bowel. Following surgery exercising these muscles effectively can help regain control of your bladder.
After your prostatectomy, you can expect urinary incontinence or leakage. Unexpected leaking may occur following surgery particularly during physical activity, sneezing or coughing. It can vary from being a mild problem needing pads for the first number of weeks following surgery or needing protective pads longer term.
A Physiotherapist trained in pelvic floor dysfunction can help you achieve your goals and improve your quality of life. The pelvic floor muscles can be difficult to identify inside the body; therefore, expert help will assist you in identifying the right muscle group. Your physiotherapist will ensure best possible technique and training. Knowing how to do the exercises correctly can help boost your confidence. Research also shows that doing pelvic floor exercises following prostatectomy, will help alleviate urinary incontinence quicker.
Pelvic floor exercises can be done before your surgery if you are awaiting prostate surgery. Awaiting surgery can be a difficult time and being proactive with pelvic floor exercises can help you cope and feel somewhat in control. Moreover, improving your general physical fitness prior to surgery will help you recover faster post-surgery. Consult your doctor or physiotherapist if you want to engage in additional physical activity.
Your physiotherapist will create an individualised pelvic floor exercise routine for you, modifying and progressing to meet challenges in your life. Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic, Aileen MaGuire is an expert in Men’s Health. Contact the clinic today on (01) 660 6582 or book online by following this link.