In Australia, urinary incontinence affects up to 37% of women¹. It is estimated that 70% of women experiencing urinary leakage do not seek advice or treatment for their problem². The Danish National Birth Cohort (Better health in generations) was established in 1996 and includes data collected about maternal health across the lifespan with 80,000 women followed up over 12 years. The incidence of musculoskeletal disorders were found to be as high as 20% in younger women with one birth, and up to 70% where there were two births or more.In Australia, urinary incontinence affects up to 37% of women¹. It is estimated that 70% of women experiencing urinary leakage do not seek advice or treatment for their problem².
The above statistics and the lack of research into these areas is alarming. There is a clear need for further research into these, and other areas relating to the musculoskeletal health of women through their lifespan. Even with the knowledge and understanding we do have, a large number of women are not receiving this education. Without bridging this gap, there will be ongoing implications for the short and long term health of women as well as substantial repercussions on the Australian health budget.
¹ Australian institute of health and welfare report 2016¹ Australian institute of health and welfare report 2016
² Millard 1998, the prevalence of urinary incontinence in Australia, Australian New Zealand continence journal
As it stands, the exercise industry in Australia is not currently regulated where it relates to exercise in pregnancy. The information that many health providers base their programs and advice on pertains to the safety of the baby and does not take into account the woman with regards to injury both in the short and long term. Such injuries include vaginal prolapse, pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic pain and other musculoskeletal disorders. Whilst the health and safety of babies in utero is of utmost importance, we should not also forget the short and long-term health of the women that bear those babies.
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Women’s Health Education Network is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission ABN 38 74 37 96 395
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