It is December, and it seems that everyone is sick right now. And with the sickness comes the coughing, the sneezing and constantly blowing your nose. Sure it sucks for everyone, but for those suffering with weak pelvic floors or worse a pelvic organ prolapse these inconveniences can turn into emotionally debilitating issues. The constant worry of peeing your pants with every sneeze, or feeling your insides are falling out with every cough, this can keep an already self conscious Mama from even leaving the house. What is going on here? When you cough, sneeze or blow your nose you are increasing the intra abdominal pressure very quickly and your pelvic floor may be too weak or too slow to make the necessary contraction. Add to the contraction the opposing force created by the intra abdominal pressure and it makes the job of the PF muscles that much harder. When sick the constant repetition of coughing for days on end can really wear out your pelvic floor muscles. Imagine doing a 100m sprint up hill every single time you had to cough, sneeze or blow your nose?! You too would be exhausted in a couple of days! So what can we do? This is where it helps to have your pelvic floor exercises engrained in your memory. If you haven’t been doing them regularly, now is a good time to start them back up again. If you have never done pelvic floor exercises, speak to a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist, or someone who specializes in all things core and floor fitness. There are several exercises that you can do to help strengthen your floor and core while sick, to help the muscles out. If you feel things are different than they used to be, book in with your pelvic floor physio ASAP. Many times, what was simple heaviness in your pelvic floor before, can turn into a stage 3 prolapse due to excessive coughing. If things are feeling bulgy, get it check out. Another quick trick that has been working for me lately, is to bend at the waist and cross at the knees for each cough or sneeze. This bend & cross posture has helped ease the pressure on my pelvic floor and reduce the severity of symptoms. Being sick sucks, but being sick with prolapse is even worse. Take care, Mama!