Men are clueless when it comes to their partner’s health – with many having no idea what a pelvic floor is, a study has found.
Four in ten men admit they have no understanding about health issues their wife or girlfriend may face.
Almost a quarter of men have “no idea” what a pelvic floor is or does – one in twenty believe it’s another name for your pelvis while some clueless men even think it’s a new ‘twerking-style’ dance move.
Men are also stumped when it comes to the length of the average period and believe a ‘Kegel’ is a new gym fad or a body part rather than an exercise to strengthen your pelvic floor.
But the research, by pelvic floor experts INNOVO to mark National Pelvic Floor Week, found that a lack of knowledge has led to one in four women being on the receiving end of an insulting or funny comment from a man.
One female respondent even told how her partner thought women only got their periods during a full moon.
Jane Wake, women’s health and fitness expert, said: “Intimate health issues can be a difficult subject for many to discuss and men may well feel it’s something they don’t need, or want to know.
“But this lack of knowledge could be causing them to make mistakes, or not offer a partner the support they need.
“It may be funny to think men have no idea what a pelvic floor is or does, but it’s a subject which needs to be taken seriously – especially as men also have a pelvic floor, and can suffer the same problems as women.
“For men and women, it can be embarrassing to discuss your private health concerns with someone of the opposite sex, even if it is your own partner.
“But by being as open as possible with each other, it will gradually break down the taboo and mean people suffering from intimate health problems may feel less alone and more supported.”
The study found that almost four in ten men don’t feel comfortable talking to women about intimate health issues.
And as a result, more than a third try to avoid all conversations with a partner about periods, women’s emotions, intimate screening tests and even sex.
Another 15 per cent of men also admit they would refuse to attend a doctor’s appointment with a partner if it was to do with an intimate health issue, even if it was serious or their other half wanted the support.
But 23 per cent of men feel bad for not having a better understanding of health issues their partner may be going though, or could face in the future, and 58 per cent admit they need to make more effort to boost their knowledge.
And more than one in ten said their clueless demeanour had led to rows with a partner, while one in twenty admitted it had caused a relationship break-up.
Researchers also revealed three in ten women wish they could share more about their health concerns with their partner, but 19 per cent don’t talk to their other half due to embarrassment or feeling that he doesn’t need to want to know everything.
Just 22 per cent of women also said they talk to their partner about their pelvic health, despite more than a third saying they have a weakened pelvic floor.
And almost half of women have suffered bladder leaks.
Of those, more than one in four say their bladder weakness has affected their confidence, while 17 per cent say their fitness levels have dropped because they can’t run or exercise like they used to.
Others say it has affected their sex life, work life, relationship and social life. For 17 per cent, it has been so bad, they have sought medical advice.
Jane Wake added: “Bladder weakness is more common than hay fever and is often caused by a weak pelvic floor, which is a crucial muscle group and needs exercise to strengthen it just like any muscle.
“That’s what INNOVO® wants to educate people about during Pelvic Floor Week, which starts on Monday 19th September.
INNOVO® is celebrating Pelvic Floor Week with a dedicated stand at Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 between Monday September 19th and Sunday September 25th 2016. For more information please visit www.restorethefloor.com.