LOVE IS DRUG TO KEEP YOUNG
By Bel Mooney
Relationships acquire a particular meaning as we get older.
In fact, a survey conducted by the charity Relate found that 83 percent of those over 50 believe that relationships are the most important factor in a happy afterlife.
They are right More than one study has shown that marriage is good for health. In 2016, for example, a team of academics from British universities estimated that married people were 14 percent less likely to die after a heart attack than single people.
For more and more people, the problem is not to maintain a strong personal relationship, but to find love for the second time. According to the Office of National Statistics, 1.3 million people over 60 are divorced, a figure that has tripled in the last 20 years, possibly due to the loss of the stigma associated with ending a marriage.
Bel Mooney shared tips to find love for the second time. She says you can damage your chances of finding a new love by focusing too much on appearance, income or age (file image)
A second marriage or an advanced life relationship may seem like a "triumph of hope over experience," in the words of the sage Samuel Johnson, of the eighteenth century.
After a divorce or a grieving, middle-aged (and older) people often rebel against tiptoeing into old age alone and long to walk hand in hand with a loving partner. It is a sweet thought. But it might not be so easy.
How difficult is it to "recover" from the loss, whether through death or separation? And, once you have it, how do you meet new people?
Returning to appointments can often lead to disappointment and even to acute demoralization. But the search for love for the second time begins because the heart will always look for a home.
So, how to do it?
Forget your usual "type"
It always bothers me when I read the conditions that people give to waiting partners. A woman will write that she only likes "tall men", but she only has to look at Rod Stewart and his taller wife, Penny Lancaster (clearly happily married), to realize that height has nothing to do with the happiness.
Meanwhile, there are men (too many) who have reached the age of 60 or 70, and still look for brides of about 40 years. Be realistic Why miss the perfect companion, handsome, affectionate, who shares their interests, simply because they happen to be a vivacious 58?
Deciding that you will only consider someone who conforms to strict requirements based on your appearance, income or age will only damage your chances of finding a new love.
Consider whether it is your heart or your vanity that establishes the law. And realize that someone who does not share your interests may well prove the old adage that opposites attract.
Bel suggests first consider how you can recreate before trying to meet someone new. She suggests refreshing her hairstyle and criticizing her wardrobe (file image)
I have witnessed unlikely, but very happy, connections between people who could be described as "a strange couple" (which actually fits my second husband and me, since he loves motorcycles and I am a book addict). We must all open our minds to the infinite possibilities that exist, and not close the doors without worrying first to see what is behind them.
It's time to reveal a new you. . .
Internet dating sites are often discouraging for older people, and also scare younger people. I know people who have had good experiences and others who hated the whole business, so all I can say is that it's worth a try.
The question "why not?" It must be at the heart of your search for a new love. Why not turn to Internet dating, but then, for God's sake, also get away from the computer and leave?
Why do not you join, for example, The Ramblers walking carity? Even if you're lazy, you'll turn the page, meet people and stay in shape. Or research the University of the Third Age and put the brain cells in shape, too. Learn a new language Voluntary. Try new activities and join the clubs are basic elements of the advice of columnists, for very good reasons. This is about becoming more interesting. If you make the decision to try to find a new partner, you must first be creative with your own life.
If you dream about the excitement and joy that the new love can bring, first consider how you can recreate your own being.
After all, that is the easiest place to start. . . go back to do yourself. If that means a new hairstyle or a critical eye on your wardrobe, so be it.
It always amazes me to read (in the blind date column of Femail magazine, for example) that men will appear disheveled to meet a new lady. Act! If you want to find love, make an effort.
Bel warns that focusing on a spark instead of friendship can reduce the chances of finding lasting love (archive image)
Do not worry about a spark
So many people are desperate to meet "The One", when he or she could be someone they already know.
Sometimes, old friends can become life partners (I do not use clichés & # 39; lovers & # 39 ;, because too much emphasis on sex is potentially harmful) and one wonders why he never realized what special what was that person
Friendship is at the heart of this whole subject, because it is one of the four ancient Greek words used for love (philia). The others are affection (storge), passion or romance (eros) and charity (agape).
So it seems really sad to me that so many older people get obsessed with romance (usually women) and sex (usually men) when these are obstacles to finding a good relationship.
Again and again, my column of Saturday's tips in the Courier reveals how these "romantic" delusions can hinder the pursuit of satisfaction for the second time: if you are not interested in friendship, you are unlikely to find a lasting love.
Older people who go on a date and then leave it "because there was no spark" could be missing a trick.
Think of the difference when you make a platonic friend. Do you expect bells and whistles when you appear with a new person? No, you know them and you realize that, even if you are different, you can enjoy each other's company.
When it comes to dating, instead of waiting for lightning, try to realize the value of thinking, "I may not like you (yet), but I like you."
Bel says that people who cling to preconceived notions are destined to feel disappointed and experience pain (archive image)
And, on the subject of taste, ask how much you like yourself. Would you be your own friend? It's a good question before leaving.
Celebrate the fact that you have changed
All of us change as we get older and it is vital to learn that those changes in the way we see and feel are positive.
Yes, there are wrinkles, but you can get the best out of you. Yes, there is a bit of belly, but that is not exercise, and a good diet will not work. No, you do not look the same or you feel as sexy as before, but honestly, are not you much safer and more fun?
I think we can all reinvent ourselves, and it's exciting (and also essential) to accept that we're not the same people we were in our 20s or 30s.
If you cling to the old delusions, you will be dragged down
Given the option, would you return and repeat your mistakes? Or do you prefer to look forward and celebrate the fact that, through all the stages of our lives, we change, change, develop and grow?
That's why people who cling to their preconceptions (& # 39; Oh, I've always had a weakness for bad guys & # 39;) are condemned to disappointment and pain.
If you cling to the old delusions, you will be dragged down. Eliminate them and you will be liberated to float towards new experiences and (hopefully) new love.
If I were you, I would take a stretching and breathing exercise like Pilates too, as it will improve essential flexibility, body and soul. I'm serious.
Relax, do not rush things
Do not succumb to despair. Learn to like your own company and you will also feel more comfortable with others. Of course, older people hear the footsteps of Father Time and want to rush to the next stage. Life is, in fact, short, but one more reason to use time wisely.
As an advice columnist for the Daily Mail, I receive letters from people so eager to find a second wife / spouse / life partner that they run where angels advise patience. My advice: relax! Live the moment. Cherish the company before it rushes to embrace.
If the person you have fallen in love with is recovering after the duel, you must understand that the old love will always be present.
Encourage the memories and stories of that other person. If you become impatient or jealous, you will kill the new love before it has the chance to spread its feathers.
Those who come back to life after divorce also need time. They will not feel good when they are called to forget what came before.
Once I apologized to my second husband for talking about my first and he said: "Why not? . . after all that time? & # 39; What a wise man.
Bel says it's easy to fool yourself and think that sex is a necessity, but believes that hugs are more important than copulation (file image)
We all carry our past with us and the wise soul understands the richness of all experience. If your new partner has been hurt by a past relationship, it will help by listening and encouraging them to focus on the present.
In that way, they will join you in small steps towards the affectionate company, being what Charles Dickens called "a comfortable couple", which heals the heart.
Secrets for a long relationship
Nobody said that marriage was easy. The polls show that it's good for your health, but I can already hear those who feel trapped in an unhappy union say: "Yes, of course! & # 39;
Many marriages have problems from the beginning, when the romance has died, children cause stress, bills accumulate and, suddenly, the long-awaited state of marriage feels like a prison.
That stage is dangerous, but it can wear down, especially if a couple learns to share everything from the care of children and domestic chores to emotional concerns.
This may sound obvious, but it is not clear how to maintain a romantic relationship through the decades. There is no magic formula, although (obviously) sharing and speaking is the key.
How can a couple reconnect with each other over the years? In fact, I believe that all of my essential rules for finding love for the second time can also be applied within long-term relationships.
Be flexible, accept that each of you is changing, trying new things (and I'm not talking about sexual positions!), Learning together, being the best tolerant friends, supporting each other in different interests, making an effort with your appearance. . . all are as important in lasting love as in a new courtship.
Finally, no marriage will succeed unless you first put your partner
The miraculous thing about successful marriages is their ability to change and stay the same, so that the couple see each other as the man and woman who fell in love, and rejoice in the maturity of faces, figures and minds in constant change.
But how are you going to live with a serious imperfection? The direct answer is that if a couple knows that they are bad for each other, and possibly also for their children, they should seek advice.
It can really work, even if it only helps them separate in a civilized way. But, to be positive, long relationships can be remade, as a couple realizes that being "out there" could only be much worse than working to improve what they have. That means, of course, speaking, speaking, speaking.
If sex is a problem, once again, counseling is a very good idea, rather than simply suffering in frustrated silence.
Here, I would add a note of consolation. In our highly sexualized society, older men and women can be deceived and think that sex is a necessity, a right and absolutely essential for a happy relationship. Actually, it is not.
You will be surprised how many dedicated couples feel relieved to achieve a friendly security in the peace and quiet of their cozy double bed.
With all due respect to the sex therapists, he muttered subversively that hugs are more important than copulation.
Finally, no marriage will succeed unless you put your partner first.
That means treating them as you would like them to treat you, listening as you long for them to listen to you, not having important secrets and understanding the meaning of "in sickness and in health".
All lasting marriages, especially when it comes to fatherhood, include the same sacrifice, mutual respect and continuous effort, until the end.
ENCHANTMENT IN OUR 70S GAVE US A NEW LIFE LEASE
By Alison Roberts
Geoffrey Morton proposed his wife, June, at the top of the Eiffel Tower. While the other tourists offered congratulations and took pictures, the couple toasted champagne and watched Paris.
It was an intensely romantic moment. However, Geoffrey and June are not millennial backpackers or even divorced from forty-somethings.
Geoffrey was 78 when he knelt, a risky maneuver for many men his age, while June was 73 years old.
"Getting married definitely made me feel younger," says Geoffrey, a former editor who is now 82 years old. "What has happened to us feels like a lovely surprise, but unexpected."
Geoffrey Morton, 82, (pictured with his wife June) met his current wife, June, in his retirement village in Taunton. He was married to his wife Freda for 53 years before becoming a widow and getting married in June
When they met in their retirement village in Taunton, Somerset, Geoffrey and June were still married. However, in 2012, both had been widowed.
"I was married to Freda for 53 years, and June to Tom for 42," says Geoffrey. "Up to a point, when June and I got together we had already lived a life."
After the loss, neither of them was looking for a new partner, but the events continued to bring them together: both were members of the committee of village residents and were active in the local church.
It was the curiosity about the world that really connected them.
"I've always loved traveling and also June," says Geoffrey. "We have traveled the world twice and we are always planning the next trip.
"Traveling as a couple is much better than going on your own, I did it after losing Freda and I lost a lot because there was no one to share thoughts with".
It is not that they live in the pockets of others. "If one of us wants to do something for himself, that's fine," says Geoffrey. "We are quite happy to let the others be independent.
We wanted to get married, but we were not sure how the children would feel, especially on the inheritance side of things
"However, we both watch." I can not imagine June being upset at some point, but if, say, she has a concern about my health, she has her way of making it clear that I should also take her seriously. "
Among them, they have four children: one son and one daughter each, all of whom were consulted before the wedding in 2014, and seven grandchildren, between five and 29 years old.
& # 39; It was the only thing that bothered us. We wanted to get married, but we were not sure how the children would feel, especially on the inheritance side of things. "
Following legal advice (June had been legal secretary before retirement), they decided to keep their properties separate, and each would go to her own side when the time came.
All gave their blessing and, on the great day, Geoffrey's son was his godfather and June's daughter his matron of honor.
"It was a wonderful day, and it's still wonderful," says Geoffrey. "We had a job trying to squeeze all our belongings into a single home, but we did it and, on our first day, I took June to the other side of the threshold."
SEX IS THE PERFECT ANTI-AGER. BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN GOING BAD?
by Anna Hodgekiss
When we get older, "sex does not disappear, it just changes shape," said novelist Erica Jong. And, contrary to popular belief, you can change for the better.
An investigation published by King & # 39; s College London that analyzed the libido of women found that the sexual function of some women actually improved after menopause.
The principal investigator, Tim Spector, a professor of epidemiology, believes that the results of the four-year study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2015, "are a bit surprising." "By changing your life and attitudes towards desire, you can change things sometimes for the better, even if you are older," he says.
There is also no doubt that, for others, sex becomes less important.
The good news is that if sex is important to you, research shows that it can actually help prevent diseases that can affect old age, such as heart disease, and improve brain function.
Anna Hodgekiss revealed that frequent sexual activity can have both physical and psychological health benefits (archive image)
When it comes to the heart, it seems that the benefits are both physical and psychological. A study of men aged 40 to 70, published in the American Journal of Cardiology in 2010, found that men who had sex at least twice a week were less likely to develop heart disease, compared to men who had sex sex once a year. month or less
The research said that this could be because sex has a direct physical benefit (as a form of exercise), but also an emotional effect. The thought is that regular sex means that a man is in an intimate supportive relationship and the reduced support and stress that this provides can improve health.
The most frequent sexual activity has also been linked to better brain function in older adults, according to a study published by the universities of Coventry and Oxford last year.
The researchers found that people who participated in more regular sexual activities scored higher on tests that measured their vocabulary and their ability to perceive objects and spaces between them.
Meanwhile, research published this year found that sexually active couples perform better in memory tests in middle age.
So, there it is: sex is anti-aging. The problem is that, while the spirit may be willing, aging meat may be weak. Here, the experts explain the problems that could be sabotaging your sex life, and what you can do about it. . .
For women, many physical problems stem from hormonal changes related to menopause. However, contrary to popular belief, menopause does not have to end their sex life, says Dr. Heather Currie, gynecologist at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary in Scotland.
"The main problem is that many women are ashamed to talk about their symptoms of menopause to solve them," he explains.
It could be your hormones Not only do estrogen levels fall with menopause, but also the hormone progesterone, which stimulates the production of another sex hormone, testosterone. (Testosterone is usually associated with men, but women also produce small amounts, and it is key to their sexual drive).
Reduced levels of estrogen also play a role, affecting your sensation and the ability to orgasm. Estrogen helps the body produce collagen, a protein that keeps tissues healthy and is necessary for lubrication. The lack of it means that the tissues can become thin, weak and shrink, which can make sexual intercourse uncomfortable.
Dr. Catherine Hood advises women who have lost their libido to have more sexual intercourse, since it can increase the amount they want (file image)
What you can do: It may seem hard to believe, but the more you have sex, the more you want it, says Dr. Catherine Hood, an expert in psychosexual medicine who works at the NHS. But, as we get older, it's important to make time for intimacy and foreplay, since spontaneous desire is more likely to have vanished, he adds.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which helps restore estrogen and progesterone levels in women, can also restore a woman's sexual desire.
Some doctors also believe that taking testosterone in the form of a gel, patch or implant can improve a woman's libido. This is available only through a prescription & # 39; off-label & # 39; at the discretion of your GP and you may have to pay for private treatment to obtain it.
This may be due to vaginal dryness that tends to occur after estrogen levels fall during menopause. The tissues become thinner and prone to irritation.
Painful sex can also be a sign of other gynecological conditions, including pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts or cancer, so you should consult your GP if you are concerned.
What you can do: Dr. Currie recommends internal moisturizers: pessaries that slowly release a variety of soothing ingredients like aloe vera in a few days. For a more immediate solution, there are lubricants that can be purchased without a prescription, although some may be prescribed. HRT can also restore vaginal health.
However, if the main symptom of menopause is vaginal dryness, the use of vaginal estrogen, instead of a TRH pill, may be more effective. In fact, it may be necessary even if you are taking HRT. The vaginal estrogen is available as a pessary, a cream or an inner ring and may be prescribed by your GP.
Some studies have shown that plant-based therapies taken as supplements can provide modest reductions in dryness.
Vaginal estrogen that may be prescribed by your GP may be necessary even if you take HRT, to relieve symptoms of vaginal dryness (file image)
An analysis of more than 60 studies in 2016 conducted by Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, found soy and soy extracts, as well as herbal remedies, including red clover, that can reduce dryness.
Fennel, in the form of a supplement, is also a safe and effective treatment, according to a study conducted last year by the American Menopause Society.
Discomfort during sex can also be related to chronic cystitis, to which women are more likely around menopause.
The urethra can narrow, thereby encouraging bacteria to the bladder, explains Richard Viney, a consulting urologist surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, and The Bladder Clinic in Solihull.
"We also see changes at the cellular level, with the immune system becoming less effective," he says.
What you can do: "There is no need to suffer in silence," says Mr. Viney. & # 39; If the behavior of your bladder is changing, look for an opinion from your doctor to rule out other causes & # 39;
The treatments are intended to reverse these changes. "The use of lubricants for intercourse and a greater emphasis on hygiene can help," he says.
However, often, he adds, other options are needed, including HRT, either as a pill or as a pessary.
But forget about the cranberry juice for cystitis. & # 39; Without a prescription, there are better tests to support D-mannose, a sugar (taken as tablets or powder) that interferes with bacterial adhesion to the bladder wall, and sodium or potassium citrate (found in the standard over-the-counter medications) cystitis relief powders, which alter urinary pH to the detriment of bacteria, "he says.
Physiotherapy and pelvic floor exercises can be used to overcome incontinence, however, more severe cases may require surgery (file image)
"For some patients, we offer bladder cocktails: solutions that we wash in the bladder to revitalize and protect the lining of the bacteria.
"Ultimately, for some, we offer antibiotics at low doses in the long term to prevent recurrent infections."
Incontinence is often associated with childbirth, but it is not necessary that you have had children to experience it. In fact, many women do not have problems until after menopause.
It is usually caused by weakness in the sphincter muscle, most commonly as a result of nerve damage, but also because the surrounding muscles and tissues weaken as a result of the fall of estrogen around menopause.
What you can do: Physiotherapy and pelvic floor exercises, sometimes called Kegel exercises, can be very helpful (see next page).
Sex is a great form of exercise on the pelvic floor and ensures a regular supply of blood to the area, keeping the tissues healthy and functioning effectively.
De hecho, evitar las relaciones sexuales puede empeorar las cosas, dice la Dra. Jane Woyka, un médico de cabecera con un interés especial en la menopausia con sede en el noroeste de Londres.
En casos más severos, las mujeres pueden necesitar cirugía para reparar el piso pélvico.
A medida que los hombres envejecen, experimentan dos problemas principales de salud sexual: marcar la libido y la disfunción eréctil. A la edad de 40 años, alrededor del 40 por ciento de los hombres se ven afectados por la disfunción eréctil en algún momento; por 70, es 70 por ciento, de acuerdo con un importante estudio de EE. UU
Esto puede deberse a una serie de factores, como colesterol alto, presión arterial alta y enfermedad cardíaca, por lo que debe investigarse.
Suks Minhas aconseja a los hombres que tienen una disminución de la libido y la disfunción eréctil para perder peso con el fin de aumentar los niveles de testosterona (imagen de archivo)
"La disfunción eréctil puede ser el primer signo de enfermedad cardíaca porque los vasos sanguíneos diminutos en el pene pueden abarrotar primero", dice Suks Minhas, un andrólogo asesor (experto en salud masculina) en Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust en Londres. Otra posible causa subyacente es la diabetes: los niveles altos de azúcar en la sangre pueden dañar los vasos sanguíneos y los nervios, incluidos los que suministran los órganos sexuales.
Además de afectar la sensación, puede causar problemas de erección.
Algunos tratamientos para el cáncer de próstata también pueden dañar estos nervios y vasos sanguíneos. Por lo general, el efecto es temporal, aunque en algunos hombres, puede ser permanente.
Los tratamientos hormonales para el cáncer de próstata también pueden afectar el deseo sexual de un hombre, ya que reducen la cantidad de testosterona en el cuerpo; Las células de cáncer de próstata generalmente necesitan testosterona para crecer.
Lo que puedes hacer: perder peso es el primer paso. "Esto puede ayudar a controlar el colesterol alto y la presión arterial alta y ayudar con los niveles de testosterona", dice el Sr. Minhas.
La grasa abdominal produce toxinas que efectivamente "desconectan" la producción de testosterona, lo que afecta su libido. Estos también convierten la testosterona en la hormona femenina estrógeno, que es la razón por la cual los hombres reciben 'tetas masculinas'. Los niveles mejorados de testosterona también deberían mejorar la función eréctil.
Las primeras opciones médicas para la impotencia son los medicamentos llamados inhibidores de PDE5, como Viagra, Cialis y Levitra. Todos funcionan de la misma manera, dilatando los vasos sanguíneos que suministran sangre al pene.
Viagra y Levitra son de acción corta y pueden funcionar en una hora, después de cuatro a seis; Cialis tarda dos horas en funcionar, pero puede ser efectivo durante 24 horas.
Ahora los hombres también pueden comprar Viagra sin receta, siempre que cumplan con ciertos criterios (no se venderá a hombres con enfermedades cardíacas graves ni a medicamentos con los que podría interferir).
Suks afirma que los hombres con diabetes pueden beneficiarse de la terapia de reemplazo de testosterona en base a una investigación reciente (imagen de archivo)
Cuando las tabletas no funcionan, otras opciones incluyen inyecciones de la droga alprostadil en el pene. Estas inyecciones relajan los músculos y los vasos sanguíneos, mientras ayudan a mantener la sangre en esta área.
Pueden ser recetados por un médico de cabecera y el paciente se inyecta solo.
Hay otro tipo de inyección, generalmente recetada por un urólogo, en lugar de un médico de cabecera, llamada Invicorp, que puede ser menos dolorosa.
Vacuum pumps and penile implants are the final options.
IS THERE MALE HRT?
There has been much talk in recent years about the ‘male menopause’. The theory is that men’s testosterone levels plummet from their 40s and 50s, leading to symptoms such as low libido, low mood and a lack of energy.
Proponents claim giving middle-aged men testosterone replacement can transform their libido. Prescriptions have leapt by around 20 per cent since 2012, costing the NHS £20 million a year.
But it is a controversial area, with some experts warning the jabs are being used as a ‘lifestyle drug’ and could increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even issued a warning about the possible connection between testosterone therapy and increased risk of heart attack or stroke. The warning was based on research published in the journal PLOS One.
However, other studies suggest that it may have a beneficial effect. Research published in 2016 in the American Journal of Cardiology reported testosterone therapy helped to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in older men with low testosterone levels who were suffering from severe coronary artery disease.
And Mr Minhas says: ‘Research also shows that men with diabetes can benefit from testosterone replacement therapy if they have a low reading.’
EXERCISES TO PUT THE VA-VA-VOOM INTO YOUR LOVE LIFE
Pelvic floor exercises can make a real difference to both men and women —helping with many of the problems that can see sex drive evaporate, such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
But the exercises will help only if they’re done properly. Here we reveal how to master the techniques . . .
The muscles you need to train
For women: To identify your pelvic floor correctly, pull up and in as if you’re trying to stop passing wind and urine at the same time.
There are different muscle fibres that make up the pelvic floor and each needs a slightly different version of this exercise.
Any woman new to pelvic floor exercise, or who has symptoms such as leaking urine when laughing, should do a set of these exercises three to six times a day. This can be reduced to once a day when women feel they’re getting better at them or symptoms reduce.
You could see results in just weeks, but you do need to persist — as soon as you stop, you lose that tone.
The charity Prostate Cancer advises men to exercise the muscles around the back passage for five seconds to improve their pelvic floor (file image)
First, do a maximum contraction and hold for ten seconds — then repeat ten times, leaving a gap of four seconds between each to allow the muscle to relax. Then do ten quick contractions at the rate of one per second.
Finally, squeeze as hard as you can and then let the muscles go half way; then contract to that level ten times leaving 20-second gaps.
For men: To identify the muscles, sit relaxed, and tighten the muscle around the back passage, as if trying to control wind. Do not tighten your thighs or buttocks. Then imagine you’re trying to stop yourself passing urine. You should feel a dip at the base of the penis, while the scrotum moves up slightly.
Slowly tighten and pull up the pelvic floor muscles as hard as you can for as long as possible — the charity Prostate Cancer suggests five seconds, but says that if, when you let go, you can’t feel the muscles relax, you’ve held for too long. If this is the case, try again for a shorter time to find your ‘level’.
Then, tighten the pelvic floor muscles for your length of hold, relax and rest for five seconds. Repeat five times. As it becomes easier, increase the length of hold and number of repeats. Aim to do the exercise at least five times a day.
The gadgets that can help
While everyone should do pelvic floor exercises, many people still struggle to master them alone, as the muscles can be hard to isolate. Here Amanda Savage, a spokesperson for the Professional Network of Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy, suggests some of the best gadgets to help.
Squeezy NHS App
Kegel8 V For Men Pelvic Toner (pictured) is a stimulator that exercises the pelvic floor for you
This app, for men and women, encourages you to do pelvic floor exercises in sync with the movement of a bubble on the screen.
It also has visual prompts to tell you when to do each one, which can be set at a slow or fast level or be modified to fit in with any pelvic floor exercises given to you by a physiotherapist.
Kegel8 V For Men Pelvic Toner
A stimulator that does pelvic floor exercises for you.
An insertable probe, or pads on the skin, fire electrical impulses to make the pelvic muscles contract. Use once or twice a day, depending on the severity of symptoms.
Elvie Pelvic Floor Trainer
A sensor-packed device that’s inserted into the vagina and removed with a small handle.
You clench your muscles around it in five-minute workouts designed to ‘lift and tone’. The sensors check you’re exerting the right pressure.
Elvie Pelvic Floor Trainer (pictured) can be used by women as it works out the muscles inside the vagina
Homecraft Aquaflex Weighted Vaginal Cones
This comprises two different sized vaginal cones, with a separate set of weights.
A weight is placed in the cone, which is inserted in the same way as a tampon. This causes the pelvic floor muscles to contract around it automatically, toning the muscles.
As your pelvic floor becomes stronger, you will be able to add more weights and increase the time you are able to keep the cone in place, for up to 20 minutes per day.
Innovo For Men
£249 from restorethe floor.com and selected Lloyds Pharmacy branches
This electrically stimulates a man’s pelvic floor muscles to cause them to contract, explains physiotherapist Gerard Greene.
It consists of two Velcro wraps that sit around the top of each leg and buttock; the wraps are connected by a wire to a chargeable controller that fires electrical impulses at the pelvic floor.
You use the device for 30 minutes a day, five times a week for 12 weeks.
Herbal help for men and women
Rhodiola rosea is a herb that has been used for centuries to relieve stress and boost energy. But it can also boost low sex drive caused predominantly by stress, in both men and women, according to research led by Dr David Edwards, an Oxfordshire-based GP with an interest in sexual health, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2016. The supplement is available on the High Street.