Professor Pauline Chiarelli is an Associate Professor and Program
Convener for the Discipline of Physiotherapy at Newcastle University (Australia). She has wide experience as a general physiotherapist and was Australia’s first Physiotherapist Continence Adviser.
Her early professional experience in the field of prenatal education led to an interest in training/retraining the muscles of the pelvic floor. A widespread lack of information about treatment for pelvic floor muscles led to more and more calls for Pauline to share her experiences and treatment protocols with other physiotherapists. It soon became evident that specialised knowledge about urinary continence would be necessary if she were to be able to answer all the questions that started coming her way. Studies in the United Kingdom and Australia have provided the basis for her efforts in continence promotion. Pauline has led many seminars not only for professionals but also for ordinary people whose overwhelming need led her to write this book.
She travels widely and has appeared in many international forums on continence and pelvic floor exercises as well as being a sought-after media speaker. Pauline was awarded Masters and PhD degrees for her extensive research projects to determine the prevalence of incontinence and the effectiveness of pelvic floor exercises. (Also known as Kegel exercises)
She is an acknowledged world expert in her field and has published her research internationally. She lives in Australia with her husband and family.
Pauline Chiarelli is a well respected presenter in the field of incontinence in women and has appeared in over 1500 national and interational broadcasts on the subject. Below you will find links to some of her more recent appearances ...
Urinary Incontinence In Women
Broadcast Monday 28 May 2001
with Norman Swan
Adolescent bedwetting might be an important factor in urinary incontinence in women and researchers from the University of Newcastle looked at the financial costs to women who suffer from the condition. Read more>>
Pelvic floor exercises may not be your first fitness priority, but as around one in three Australian women will tell you, ignore them and more than your spirits could be dampened. By Kylie Carberry.
Twelve years ago Cath*, 41, from country Victoria, recalls thinking something wasn't quite right. She was at home, pregnant with her second child and caring for her two-year-old daughter Erin*, who was in a full-body cast to treat a hip problem.
"I remember feeling a heavy sensation in my pelvic floor every time I lifted Erin," says Cath. "But I was so preoccupied with getting through Erin's treatment and the pregnancy that I paid it no heed and didn't follow it up."
It wasn't until a year later, when Cath began to leak while dancing, that she finally sought help. Surgery was necessary as not only did she have stress incontinence, she had prolapse - a condition where the pelvic organs drop down (or sometimes through) the pelvic diaphragm. Cath's symptoms abated, but returned eight years later, requiring further surgery.
Cath says one factor that spawned her condition was weak pelvic floor muscles. When she was younger, nobody told her how important it was to exercise them. Understandably, she now hounds Erin about doing hers. Read more>>
Medical Journal of Australia: Objective: To estimate the economic cost of urinary incontinence in community-dwelling Australian women aged 18 years and over for the year 1998.
Design: Extrapolation of data from studies of women with incontinence to the Australian population of women aged 18 years and over in 1998.
Main outcome measures: Estimated prevalence of urinary incontinence in 1998, and estimated cost in Australian dollars of resource use and personal costs related to management of incontinence.
Results: An estimated 1 835 628 community-dwelling women over the age of 18 years had urinary incontinence in 1998. The total annual cost of this urinary incontinence is estimated at $710.44 million, or $387 per incontinent woman, comprising $338.47 million in treatment costs and $371.97 million in personal costs. An estimated 60% of women with incontinence in 1998 were aged 40 years or over. Assuming the prevalence of incontinence remains constant and, allowing for inflation, we project that the total annual cost in 20 years' time will be $1267.85 million, 93% ($1.18 billion) of which will constitute costs associated with women aged over 40 years.
Conclusions: Urinary incontinence imposes a considerable drain on Australian healthcare resources. More research is needed to understand the magnitude of the problem and potential gains from continence promotion. Read more>>
Keynote speaker, AAG Wollongong: The impact and association between urinary incontinence and chronic disease: April 2, 2008. Read more>>
Strong Where it Counts: With incontinence affecting one in three women its' time to take action. Magazine article. Read more >>
Pauline Chiarelli (2004) Urinary incontinence: the last taboo?
Australian Journal of Rural Health 12 (6) , 277–278 doi:10.1111/j.1440-1854.2004.00616.x Read more >>
British Medical Journal. Promoting urinary continence in women after delivery: randomised controlled trial
Objectives: To test the effectiveness of a physiotherapist delivered intervention designed to prevent urinary incontinence among women three months after giving birth.
Design: Prospective randomised controlled trial with women randomised to receive the intervention (which entailed training in pelvic floor exercises and incorporated strategies to improve adherence) or usual postpartum care. Read more >>
When Pauline Chiarelli introduced Australian physiotherapists to the physiotherapy management of incontinence in women Shirley visited her and became inspired to set up her own women's health practice, “The Toowoomba Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Clinic” in 1982. Read more >>
Researcher Pauline Chiarelli, author of Women’s Waterworks: Curing Incontinence told staff about one million Australians, suffer regularly with urinary incontinence. Read more >>
Dry Outlook. SMH article. Urinary incontinence is often associated with childbirth or old age, especially in older women, who are seven to eight times more likely to suffer than men. Read more >>
What type of exercises will help improve bladder control — how often should I do them?
Pelvic-floor exercises involve tightening the muscles around the anus, vagina and urethra all at once. Try to lift them up inside towards your belly button. Your buttocks and legs should be still. It is usually easiest to feel them working when you're lying down. Now do some really strong squeezes, as strong as you can, then let go. Do as many of these as you can and build up to doing about 12. Do this a few times a day, and make it a habit, like cleaning your teeth. Ninemsn article>>
Many women can be cured by bladder retraining and exercise programs for the pelvic floor -- the "sling" of muscles that support the bladder. The Australian. Link>>