April 28, 2020

What do women know about their own pelvic floor?

As pelvic floor specialists, we work every day with women who suffer from pelvic floor problems. The pelvic floor is an intimate area and therefore deserves a special approach. Every day we notice that there is still a lot of taboo when it comes to pelvic floor problems. Many women are ashamed of the complaints they experience and do not like to talk about them. But that also limits our ability to help them properly. Even in a cosy, familiar chat among friends, I often notice that many women do not know exactly what that pelvic floor is supposed to do. Many women feel insecure about that area. Is my pelvic floor working properly? Am I doing it correctly? Or the opposite... aren't the symptoms I feel just normal? Aren't the symptoms just part of being a woman?

Vague complaints must make first step

The figures we show on this website are clear. But make no mistake, it is common but not "normal". If you are experiencing complaints or problems, it really does mean that something is going wrong somewhere and it is definitely worth talking about. Let us inform you about the possible solutions and see if that brings improvement.

Taboo has not yet been broken

A few years ago, we asked a large group of women aged between 18 and 65 (212 young women who had never been pregnant, 402 pregnant women and/or women who had recently given birth and 165 middle-aged women after menopause) to complete an extensive questionnaire about the pelvic floor, what it is used for, what pelvic floor problems are and whether they ever received information about it and would like to receive it.

All the details have been published as part of my PhD, I am happy to repeat them for you. Women of all ages know very little about the pelvic floor and admit this themselves. The older women did know a little more than the younger women. It was noticeable that younger women believed even more strongly that pelvic floor problems are normal after pregnancy and childbirth, something that certainly doesn't have to be true or certainly shouldn't remain normal after six months or a year. If we continue to keep quiet about this and think it is normal, far too few young women with problems will dare to seek help. Then we will probably only see them walk into our consultation later in life with more serious problems.

This is precisely why we, as a team, are so passionate about sharing information on the pelvic floor. Our research showed that the vast majority of women (over 90%) would be interested in information! So it's time to do something about it.

Breaking the taboo in style with good and honest insights

Accessible information thanks to platform

How do you do this? How do you improve women's knowledge on the subject? Do we now shout from the rooftops that pelvic floor problems are common but should not be "normal"? On the contrary, this subject deserves more finesse. That is why we hope to take a first step in the right direction with this platform.

Let it become a warm platform where women can learn more about the pelvic floor in a familiar atmosphere. Our ultimate goal is to empower women with good and honest insights. An informed woman is worth two. We want to break the taboo in style and invite you to do so with us. If we can get rid of uncertainty, women will start talking more about these complaints and find their way more quickly to the care providers they may need.

Welcome to the floor! We look forward to meeting you here!

Warm greetings from a woman with a strong passion to improve "Women's Pelvic Health" care, from the whole team,

Hedwig Neels

1. Neels H, Wyndaele JJ, Tjalma WA, De Wachter S, Wyndaele M, Vermandel A (2016) Knowledge of the pelvic floor in nulliparous women. J Phys Ther Sci 28 (5):1524-1533.doi:10.1589/jpts.28.1524

2. Neels H, Tjalma WA, Wyndaele JJ, De Wachter S, Wyndaele M, Vermandel A (2016) Knowledge of the pelvic floor in menopausal women and in peripartum women. J Phys Ther Sci 28 (11):3020-3029. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.3020


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