The Blog

Changing the World, One Clench at a Time...

I missed my huge Wrap Party at the end of my Fringe run. Shame.

The last Saturday is traditionally, a big party night. I spent it in bed with a hot boy... oh yes, I did! Of course, that was mainly because he had a temperature of 39.5C and was puking every half an hour. So, my Fahaaaabulus Daahaalink Pahrtee was dumped and I had an all nighter at A+E instead.

Thankfully, he gets his timing from me, it would have been quite a juggle if his runny bum had started before my bum run had finished. Hurrah for the NHS and the way they Fix Poorly Boys.

Sitting by a bedside gave me time to mull over Stuff...

Gusset Grippers worked (a blessed relief) - I had an audience (ditto), I had positive feedback from my professional peers (ditto), and some reviewers said some very nice things about me (ditto).

We know that comedy can be an effective way of getting people to relax and become receptive to information about sensitive or embarrassing conditions. By making them laugh you make them talk - which bursts the taboo, allows people to share their experiences and prompts some to seek help.

Why do women accept loss of bladder control as an inevitable part of becoming a parent or ageing? Why do we, as a society, accept that a huge number of people are being limited by a condition which won't kill them, but, will interfere with every single aspect of their lives? A condition which can be cured by simple, side effect free exercises in most cases?

What might happen if incontinence pad manufacturers were obliged to put health promotion information onto their packaging? If every pad was printed with a reminder to "do your exercises" would awareness and compliance improve?

It seems to me that pelvic floors and incontinence is in the situation that periods were 30 years ago. Menstruation, a normal bodily function, was seen as being shameful and to be hidden away...well, incontinence isn't normal - but I'm not convinced it's something to be ashamed about.

If we are more open about it and promote the simple exercises which will cure'll go away. And then women will be able to participate in sports and normal life and be, you know, be happy.

So, the exercises:

1. Hold for 10 seconds - imagine you are trying to stop a fart from leaking out. Hold it in for 10 seconds, and you should feel a "drop" when you let go. No "drop" and you've lost the contraction. If you can't feel it, try doing it lying on your tummy. If you still can't feel it, get a referral to a physio!

2. 10 quick flicks - one second on, one second off, repeat 10 times.

3. Up 3 floors and back down again - imagine you've got a lift in your vagina. Take it to the first floor, the second floor, the third floor and then back down again. Best not to over-think who these people are and where they think they are going - just try do it.

It's really important to relax in between each exercise, and to breathe as you do them. Once you've got the hang of it you can do them in a queue, as you walk, in time to music on the radio, every time you crave a bar of chocolate, whatever suits.

Follow me on twitter @gussiegrips to remind you to #doyerblardyexercises. Research has proved that these exercises don't work if you don't do them! And, seeing as how there isn't a Pelvic Floor Fairy - you are just going to have to get on with it.

I fixed my pishy pants, so you can fix yours too. Go forth and clench.