Movember, originated in Australia and has now become a global men’s health awareness campaign whereby men grow their facial hair to raise awareness for significant men's health issues like prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, cardiac health and suicide prevention. This Movember, let's turn our attention to a crucial aspect – Men's Pelvic Health.
Understanding Pelvic Health:
Pelvic health is a topic that is difficult to talk about and people from all walks of life find it challenging to openly communicate about pelvic health. However efforts are being made to address the lack of open communication , through Movember awareness month as well as Men’s prostate Ca recovery groups and education through Maggie centres and other cancer charities such as Prost. One of my Men’s health Physio colleagues Jo Milios from Perth, Australia and Sexual Health consultant, Melissa Hadley Barrett have a great podcast under the title of the Penis Project where they openly chat about all things Men’s health. Definitely worth a listen, you’ll learn and laugh and cry and above all no topic is off limits.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction:
The pelvic region plays a vital role in numerous bodily functions, including reproductive and sexual health, bladder and bowel control, and general activity. Optimising pelvic health along with overall wellbeing can significantly improve a man's quality of life.
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support the pelvic organs. Pelvic floor muscles play a vital role in maintaining bladder and bowel control and dysfunction in these muscles can lead to issues such as incontinence (leakage of the bladder or bowel), constipation, pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction.
Persistent pelvic pain is a condition that affects many men and can have significant impact on their quality of life especially if they are unable to sit or exercise comfortably, or if they are experiencing penile, perineal or testicular pain. Pelvic pain can be misdiagnosed as benign prostatitis. Pelvic pain can be caused by various factors including muscle tension, inflammation, nerve issues and lifestyle. Physiotherapy is a useful adjunct in the treatment of pelvic pain and physios are an essential part of your MDT (multidisciplinary team when it comes to treating this complex condition)
The prostate is a small walnut-sized gland and is key in male reproductive health. Prostate cancer is a prevalent concern for men and though it affects men in the older age groups it can affect younger men especially if there is a family history. Regular check ups and discussions with health professionals about prostate health are essential in early detection and effective management .If you have symptoms such as pain in the pelvis, waking up more frequently at night to urinate, difficulty initiating urination or reduced flow, or are experiencing a change in sexual function, please speak to your GP.
Also remember as Jo Milios often quotes “heart health” and “ hard health” are linked so please remember your cardiovascular and checks ups for type 2 diabetes are essential and if you are experiencing changes in sexual function then cardiovascular health must be considered.
Physical activity and Lifestyle
Regular exercise, if you are able, such as walking, jogging, cycling and swimming is essential to health. Other exercise such as pilates TaiChi and yoga can be great for flexibility and core fitness along with functional pelvic floor exercise contributes to overall general health and pelvic health, strength and function. Group activities such as badminton, tennis, football rugby and crossfit are great ways to stay in touch with friends and improve your fitness and mental and physical health.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle can contribute significantly to pelvic health. Regular exercise, a balanced diet and avoiding processed food and sugar, avoiding excessive alcohol and tobacco use and maintaining a healthy weight all promote overall health, including pelvic well-being.
Movember goes beyond the surface level of mustache-growing; it's a movement that delves into the heart of men's health issues. This Movember, lets break the silence, let's raise awareness about the importance of pelvic health and encourage men to prioritize their well-being.
So come and join us at one of our community Meet the Expert informal chats at a venue near you. So if you live in Malmesbury, Brinkworth, Chippenham, Stroud, Tetbury or Cirencester, let’s chat and and have open conversations so that men can lead to healthier, happier lives, and ultimately, that's the true spirit of Movember – making a difference, one mustache and one conversation at a time.
By Nicky Travlos
Invictus Pelvic Health
Ashcroft Practice, Cirencester and Brinkworth House, Malmesbury
10 discounted Men’s Health MOT sessions available through Movember and December 23 plus £10 pp donated to Movember cause