Have you ever been laughing at a colleague’s joke and realize you just leaked and now must run to the restroom or sit in discomfort ’til it dries up?
Have you been out for a jog, and though you just emptied your bladder, you feel leaks occurring with every step? Only to turn home and think well there’s goes my exercise for today.
What about when you had a nagging cough, did incontinence add one more annoying symptom you had to deal with?
Your life’s big or everyday moments- laughter, dance, illness, and exercise shouldn’t be accompanied by incontinence.
Stress incontinence is leaking when you move.
The term stress is not to describe psychological stress, but stress on the bladder. Stress incontinence is urinary leakage caused by:
- and many other fun moving activities women do everyday
What causes stress incontinence?
- overly relaxed pelvic floor muscles, that the urinary sphincter and urethra are unable to control the urine in the bladder
- overly tight pelvic floor muscles that are unable to relax appropriately to relieve the bladder fully when you go to the restroom
According to the National Association for Continence, stress urinary incontinence, the most prevalent form of incontinence among women, affects an estimated 15 million adult women in the U.S.
Common reasons for weakened or overly relaxed pelvic floor muscles or pressure on the bladder:
- vaginal childbirth
- long term high impact activities like sports, dance
- excess weight that puts pressure on the bladder
- chronic cough
If you believe you have stress incontinence don’t live with the discomfort, embarrassing leaks, and don’t skip jumping jacks at the gym.
Below are my go-to recommendations for treating Stress Incontinence:
- Hydrate! Aim to drink half your body weight in water!
- Limit irritants! Spicy food, caffeine, alcohol.
- Practice good bathroom habits! Relieve your bladder every two-to-four hours.
- Pre-contract your Pelvic Floor when moving.
- Strengthen your Pelvic Floor! Check out our post on pelvic floor strengthening for weak muscles: Your Hypotonic Pelvic Floor
As pelvic health physical therapists we teach, guide and desire a functional pelvic floor that doesn’t have limits or annoying side effects to your daily life.