Imagine for a moment, you are in the middle of a friendly conversation and start to let out a true belly laugh only to abruptly stop due to the sensation between your legs. Whats that sensation? Bladder leakage!
If you’re pregnant, have been pregnant, or given birth, you fully understand this situation happening. Bladder leakage might sneak up on you from a belly laugh, common everyday sneeze, a fitful cough, lifting a box or rigorous physical activity.
The misconception out in the world is that bladder leakage only happens during pregnancy. A baby is sitting on top of your bladder so it’s understandable this could happen. The actual technical term is stress incontinence. Fancy lingo to say, you may pee yourself during common activities.
WebMD poetically describes stress incontinence this way;”The bladder sphincter is a muscular valve that lies at the bottom of the bladder. It works to control the flow of urine. In pregnancy, the expanding uterus puts pressure on the bladder. The muscles in the bladder sphincter and in the pelvic floor can be overwhelmed by the extra stress or pressure on the bladder. Urine may leak out of the bladder when there is additional pressure exerted — for example, when a pregnant woman coughs or sneezes.”
We are talking ALL kinds of sphincter pressure to disrupt our ability to control the urine flow. What we don’t realize is that after birthing a child we can still be in trouble with this situation. The technical term after birth is urinary incontinence.
There are many medical reasons someone can have urinary incontinence. It is common after pregnancy, in the postpartum phase of life. This is due to the pelvic floor muscles possibly being weakened or even due to the bladder and urethra being moved around during pregnancy. Whatever the reason could be, women can be unprepared the first time after pregnancy to yet again experiencing that sensation between the legs and having to abruptly stop whats going on to focus on stopping the flow.
The way to help prevent this issue is quite easy and I’m sure you’ve heard of this little exercise.
I’m talking about the good ole’ KEGEL!! The simple yet taboo exercise that needs to be taken much more seriously. Easiest way to describe how to perform the Kegel exercise is to tighten your pelvic muscles as if you are stopping the flow of urine. Even taking part in some Kegel practice while urinating is recommended. WebMD states to hold the exercise for 10 seconds and to release for 10 seconds. Doing 10 Kegel exercises in the morning, afternoon, and at night should show improvement in the leakage issue in about four to six weeks.
The wonderful thing about this exercise is that anyone and everyone can take part in it, including the significant other! Thats right, it’s a household workout! Sitting around the kitchen table in the evening discussing the daily events is the perfect time to ask if everyone has done their Kegel exercises. Best part is that this valuable, simple exercise can be done right then and there. No stopping or disrupting life to complete this. Eating dinner, chatting on the phone, watching your favorite show and just about every other daily task can be done while working on the Kegels.
Take it from someone who has had to stop mid run to cross her legs quickly, squeeze them tight, before letting out a sneeze. Kegel exercises are less disruptive to your daily life then peeing your pants. You’ll thank me someday!
source: WebMD http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/america-asks-11/pregnancy?page=1
originally published May 24, 2016