The Real Reason Men Need to Look After Their Pelvic Floor

Updated: Aug 25, 2020


Did you know that over 5 million Australians of all ages experience bladder or bowel control issues and around 1 in 5 older Australians and 1 in 20 younger Australians are incontinent? Incontinence costs us $42.9 billion p.a., which equates to $9,014 per person.


Are you (or a significant man you know) suffering in silence? Let’s take a look at the symptoms:

  • Urinary frequency

  • Urinary urgency

  • Nocturia (frequent night time urination)

  • Urinary incontinence

  • Hesitancy (difficulty initiating urination)

  • Intermittent urine stream

  • Terminal dribble (a prolonged final part of urination, slowing down to a dribble)

  • Post micturition dribble (an involuntary loss of urine immediately after toileting)

  • Excessive straining


These symptoms are not something that you should have to put up with. If incontinence is treated conservatively, 75% are either cured or significantly improved.


In addition, a short mention on the infamous Prostate and a little condition called Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) which can present with the above symptoms.


BPH also known as prostate gland enlargement is a common condition that occurs in men where the prostate gland gradually enlarges over time. Most men will develop some degree of BPH during their lifetime and a number of individuals will experience incontinence as a result. Just to reiterate, these symptoms are treatable!


It is important to note that BPH is NOT prostate cancer! If you are concerned about Prostate Cancer you should make a visit to your GP for prostate cancer screening? This is even more important if you can check off any off the following list.

  • Age > 50

  • A family history of prostate cancer or;

  • Have had an onset of urinary symptoms such as those mentioned above



Assessing and Treating/Managing the Male Pelvic Floor


Origin’s Physiotherapists are trained to assess and treat men in relation to the bladder, bowel, pelvic floor and prostate (including post-prostatectomy). Remember you don’t need to suffer in silence, but we need to see you to help you. To demystify a little of the unknown we will set out what things may look like.


Assessment:

  • We call the initial consultation a ‘Men’s Health’ consultation

  • This initial consultation involves a thorough interview and physical assessment

  • The physical assessment may encompass both manual and ultrasound modalities. This may be a challenging experience for some of our men, so we make it paramount that all our men are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve

  • Diagnosis. After the diagnosis we move on to planning the treatment/management

Treatment/management would consist of an individualised treatment plan with goal setting, progression and modification. Below are some treatments you may find in a treatment plan.

  • Pelvic Floor Muscle (PFM) Training

  • Increase PFM strength, endurance and functional use

  • Bladder and Bowel retraining

  • Urge suppression and deferral

  • Fluid intake

  • Voiding posture

  • Defecation training

  • Lifestyle Interventions

  • General exercise

  • Education

  • Modification of activities of daily living (ADLs)

In summary the male pelvic floor is a somewhat a taboo topic until something goes wrong. If you have any of the symptoms listed (or you know a man who does), we encourage you to contact a pelvic floor physiotherapist or GP. Early intervention is always best so let’s break down the silence and continue the dialogue.


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