What is New in Vaginal and Pelvic Floor Boot Camp?
By: Holly L. Thacker, MD • Posted on May 08, 2019 • Updated October 18, 2022
An Updated Women's Boot Camp
Vaginal and pelvic floor strength training is generally intensive, productive and life changing. We refer to our new pelvic floor program as “vaginal boot camp”.
This program is designed to help women achieve their goals through a variety of treatment options.
Remember Your Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises are very important for women and you should have your women's health care clinician assess your pelvic tone at the time of your pelvic exam. Women should be taught to do these exercises PRIOR to, during and after the pregnancy. Unfortunately, many women have very weak pelvic muscles which can lead to the following:
- Urinary leakage
- Pelvic prolapse
- Decreased sexual function and trouble with achieving sexual climax (the pelvic muscles contract with climax)
- Fecal incontinence-bowel/gas leakage
Urinary Leakage is not a Normal Part of Aging
Urinary leakage is a serious problem. The three types of urinary leakage are:
- Stress incontinence: Involuntary leakage when one coughs or sneezes.
- Urinary urge incontinence: Involuntary urine leakage when one has urge to urinate, so called “overactive bladder."
- The dreaded and common mixed urinary leakage: Having both stress incontinence and urinary urge incontinence.
Urinary leakage is embarrassing and is not a normal part of aging. It is very common in women because of anatomy and the pelvic trauma of pregnancy and childbirth. The following can also influence the strength of the pelvic floor:
- Genetic factors that affect collagen/support structures in the pelvis
- Bowel function
- Surgical procedures
- Medical conditions
Treatment for Incontinence
- Prescription medications for overactive bladder
- One over-the-counter Oxytrol® (Oxybutynin) transdermal skinpatch or gel
- Surgical procedures for both stress and urinary urge incontinence
Part of being strong, healthy and in charge is having a strong, healthy and well contracting pelvic floor! For more information, please download our free urinary incontinence guide.
Be Strong. Be Healthy. Be in Charge!
-Holly L. Thacker, MD
Holly L. Thacker, MD, FACP is nationally known for her leadership in women’s health. She is the founder of the Cleveland Clinic Women’s Health Fellowship and is currently the Professor and Director of the Center for Specialized Women’s Health at Cleveland Clinic and Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. Her special interests are menopause and related medical problems including osteoporosis, hormone therapy, breast cancer risk assessment, menstrual disorders, female sexual dysfunction and interdisciplinary women’s health. Dr. Thacker is the Executive Director of Speaking of Women’s Health and the author of The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Menopause.
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- Urinary Incontinence Treatment Guide
- Urinary Incontinence in Women
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- Pelvic Stimulation Therapy for Women