Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Share this free course

Talking about the menopause: symptoms, support and the role of exercise
Talking about the menopause: symptoms, support and the role of exercise

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

1.4 Declining pelvic floor health

Pelvic floor muscles are those muscles across the bottom of the pelvis that support the contents of the abdomen. Good pelvic floor health is vital in exercise and also during everyday activities. Activities that involve high impact movements, such as running and jumping, rely on the pelvic floor being able to withstand the forces placed on them, or else the result is leakage of urine, or urinary incontinence (UI). Oestrogen plays a key role in maintaining the pelvic floor and this is affected by the reduction in its levels. Also this reduction of oestrogen can lead to the thinning of the lining of the bladder and the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder) (Newson, 2023). These factors can contribute to leaking from the bladder when the pelvic floor muscles are put under pressure from coughing, sneezing or sudden loading movements, such as when landing during running or jumping. The pelvic floor muscles may have already been weakened through vaginal child birth or obesity. Pelvic floor exercises should be performed daily and as part of a strength and conditioning programme to maintain pelvic floor function and avoid any leakage. Pelvic floor health during the menopause will be examined further in Session 4.