Hot Topics, Our Physios
May 30th, 2022
May 30th, 2022 / Nicki Chick
This is D’s Story, in his own words:
“Like many men, when I reached middle age I began to have to get up in the night to pee. At first this was once a night, which seemed no great problem. By five years ago it was beginning to be a minimum of twice a night, often three and occasionally even four. Getting up this often badly disrupted my sleep.
So, of course, I went to the doctor’s and after the standard prostate tests was told that it was probably just the usual prostate enlargement, that it was to be expected, and that there were some drugs that might help.
I tried the drugs. One didn’t work at all and the other – as often happens apparently – caused retrograde ejaculation. This was very unpleasant and made me feel worse than the getting up in the night! So, like so many other men, I grinned and bore it.
At the same time I was also suffering a marked loss of genital responsiveness and arousal. This wasn’t ED, it was something about the preliminary state of readiness and interest in that part of my body. I told no one about this, not even really having the language to describe it and knowing that even if I did it would just be put down to aging.
Then the physiotherapy/pilates practice where I see my personal trainer issued a brochure that advertised the services of a “men’s health” physical therapist, which mentioned the male pelvic floor as an area which, if addressed, might improve the peeing problems. I had never seen that before, so I started looking it up on the internet. What I found was a series of American (mostly) women practitioners in the field of male pelvic health, incredibly frank and straightforward, who seemed to go directly to the heart (or the floor) of what I was experiencing and who were saying, in effect, that it wasn’t a necessary if regrettable feature of age, but things could be improved.
So I started googling practices in London and found Leanne at Six. She was frank, straightforward and addressed my difficulties sympathetically and directly. This was important because male embarrassment, as we know, is a major inhibitory factor preventing men seeking treatment for certain conditions. So we have been working for 10 months, with exercises and trigger point release, with Leanne setting a programme of home exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor and also to be able to relax it properly.
The problems I have described as incredibly common and represent a minor and (I now realise) often unnecessary misery for too many men. Probably the majority of us simply have no idea that we males even have a pelvic floor (imagining that only pregnant women have one) let alone that it is important and can become weak or dysfunctional and that this tendency can be countered by physiotherapy.