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The Cold & Flu Season is Here! Can Your Pelvic Floor Handle it?

That’s it, summer has been and gone, cold and dark mornings have taken its place. As well as miserable weather, winter is also the time of year when cold and flu is rife. It is also pretty much unavoidable, cold weather and the fact that it is the party season means that you will spend a lot more of your time inside around lots of people, all of which is the ideal breeding ground for the germs to spread. To surmise, unless you want to become a real winter Grinch then you are probably going to fall ill at some point. However, the irritating coughs and sneezes could be more damaging more problematic than you would think…

Suffering from a cold or flu? It can be more stressful and embarrassing that you think

Imagine the situation, you have been feeling a bit rubbish but after a few festive drinks at the work Christmas party you are back feeling great, you are up having a dance, but the smoke machine is irritating your cough, it leads to a coughing fit, and before you have chance to think you’ve suffered from an embarrassing leak.

You are probably struggling to see where the connection is here. Let me explain, every time you cough, sneeze or even laugh your pelvic floor is put under pressure, as a reaction your pelvic floor muscles contract to avoid any leaks from your bladder, however when this happens it puts the muscles under unnecessary stress which can cause them to become weakened and less effective. As the muscles decline in strength they become less able to deal with pressure from coughs and sneezes which then leads to stress incontinence.

We're all familiar with the sneeze-pee or the cough-pee. On regular days they're troublesome but when you can't stop sneezing or coughing it just adds to the misery! When you're in bed feeling like death warmed up or getting dolled up for a party, the last thing you want to think about is bulky, uncomfortable incontinence pads. However what most women don’t realise is that you don’t need to accept these problems as a fact of life.

Just as you exercise healthy habits to avoid getting sick in the first place, you should be exercising your pelvic floor! When you have a fit immune system, you're less likely to catch a cold or flu. When you have a fit pelvic floor, you're less likely to wet your pants when you cough or sneeze. Seems obvious, doesn't it?

Brace yourself to avoid accidents!

If you've been lucky enough to avoid getting sick so far this year, then you should practice now for the next time you feel a tickle in your nose. Don't forget to brace your pelvic floor before you let loose with a sneeze. See if it makes a difference - we bet it does! Keep this up and before long it will become second nature to clench before a cough or sneeze. Then, when you do come down with the inevitable cold your pelvic floor will be ready for the extra strain!

Contract your pelvic floor and perform a Kegel when you feel a sneeze building. This means the excess pressure won't leave you wet. The fast twitch fibres of your pelvic floor contract quickly to keep everything in. You need to strengthen these fibres by performing pelvic floor exercises. Doing manual Kegels is not as easy as you think! Therefore, it's a great idea to treat yourself to a Kegel8 pelvic toner.

It is always better to prevent the problem instead of reacting to the symptoms of the issue. As many as 1 in 3 women are affected by stress incontinence and the added pressure from cold and flu only increases the problem. Don’t let what seems such a little issue lead to much more serious and embarrassing health problems. Ensure this winter is remembered as the enjoyable party season and not the embarrassing cold and flu season. Practice your Kegels now!