Towie star Ferne McCann has urged women to be more aware of their own bodies after research revealed one in six do not know where their pelvic floor muscle is.

A study of 1,000 women showed nearly a quarter had no idea what purpose the pelvic floor muscle served - with some even thinking it was in the inner thigh.

It also highlighted that 50 per cent were unaware that the uterus, or womb, were the same thing and its main role was to develop and grow babies.

And ten per cent of women did not know that a weak pelvic floor is linked to bladder leakage.

The Only Way is Essex star, who has partnered with Always Discreet, said: "Women are conscious of their health, but can be unclear about the what vital parts of the body are actually there for - and how this affects them.

The Only Way is Essex star says has suffered from bladder weakness

"Having experienced bladder leaks myself, I know how it can impact your life.

"At times, I was worried to leave the house and I avoided any kind of cardio exercise for so long.

"Understanding what's going on in your own body is so important to improving your health and happiness.

"We need to put more of a spotlight on women's health, we shouldn't be embarrassed about these topics.

"Many women claim they know that exercising their pelvic floor muscles can prevent and improve leaks - but they still don't prioritise these in their daily routine.

McCann said she avoided strenuous exercise

"Squeezing these muscles for a few minutes a day can make a big difference for many women.

"It's definitely improved things for me and I've now got the confidence to get back on the treadmill."

Most women take regular exercise, 'me time' and a daily skincare routine, yet only eight per cent do their pelvic floor exercises once a day.

And more than a third fail to these exercises all leaving them susceptible to being affected by bladder weakness.

When asked what they do in order to strengthen their pelvic floor muscle, 44 per cent of women say they have attempted pelvic floor exercises, with three quarters believing it's possible to prevent or decrease bladder leakage through exercises.

She has urged other women to get help

Of those who do their pelvic floor exercises regularly, the most likely locations they'll take place are whilst watching TV on the sofa and in bed - and one in 10 will even do them on the bus.

More than half of the women polled, via OnePoll, also thought that being fit and exercising regularly means you're less likely to suffer with bladder leaks.

Always Discreet has enlisted gynaecologist Dr Anita Mitra - AKA The Gynae Geek - to encourage women to make pelvic floor exercises part of their daily routine.

McCann says the condition really impacted her life

She said: "Bladder leaks are common in women of all ages. It doesn't mean they should accept it as normal. Many do not realise that there are often simple things that can be done to help their situation.

"Talking to a GP or nurse is the first step, even if just to put your mind at ease.

Read More

Top news stories from Mirror Online

"They will be able to talk you through a treatment plan which doesn't necessarily mean medication or surgery. Many can improve their symptoms with regular pelvic floor exercises alone."

A previous study by Always Discreet found that 64 per cent of 18-to 24-year-olds women were unclear about how to take care of their pelvic floor, despite two thirds experiencing bladder leaks at some stage.

Always Discreet is donating to Bladder Health UK to fund a confidential advice line, which can be reached on 0800 4334 600.