Exercising and staying active is important, especially after childbirth, but urinary incontinence can make high-impact activities feel unbearable. It’s hard to celebrate your PR with urine soaking through your shorts! For many women, unreliable bladder control is so embarrassing and uncomfortable that it keeps them on the sidelines. Studies show that stress incontinence (urine leakage during an activity like coughing, sneezing, running, jumping, or lifting) is even more common after childbirth and can last for several years.
Don’t believe us? Watch this video posted by NJ born cross-fit goddess Kristen Graham (@kgrahamsfb) confiding with her audience she had lost bladder control during open workout. In her own words – “I just peed everywhere!”.
Urine leakage is very common after childbirth
Kristen is not alone. Study statistics differ, but between 30-69% of women suffer from urine leakage! It’s a very common problem but because the sensitive subject is rarely discussed, it can seem isolating and irreparable. It’s important to talk to your gynecologist or general physician about what you’re experiencing, and they can work with you to create a treatment plan.
Luckily, there are a wide range of strategies and options to help strengthen your muscles while improving pelvic health:
Enhance – Simple Modifications
- Balanced Hydration. If you drink too much and too quickly, your bladder will be overwhelmed. On the other hand, if you’re under-hydrating, it can cause bladder irritation. Sip small amounts of water throughout the day totaling 60% of your body weight in ounces and try to avoid irritating drinks like alcohol, coffee, tea, citrus, and carbonation.
- Stay Active. Studies show that maintaining a healthy weight is important for your pelvic health. Schedule 30 minutes of low-impact activities several days a week, like walking, biking, or swimming. Gradual weight loss and improved fitness may help to relieve pressure on your abdomen and bladder.
Adapt – Specific Solutions
- Kegel Exercises. Strong pelvic floor muscles are the key to reliable bladder control. Simply contract and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for three seconds, relax for three seconds, and repeat. Specially-designed vaginal kegel weights can add resistance to build up more strength over time.
- Absorbent Underwear. It can take time to strengthen muscles and master new lifestyle changes. If you can’t entirely prevent urine leakage, you can discreetly deal with it. Absorbent underwear designs have improved dramatically to be thinner and more dignified, so there are now many options that you can wear under exercise clothes like regular underwear.
Treat – Innovative Technology
- Laser Treatment. The FemiLift CO2 laser is a safe, effective option for mild cases that aren’t improving after kegels. Laser technology is virtually painless and can rejuvenate the vagina to tighten and lift it. By reinforcing weak muscles and promoting cellular repair, you can relieve pressure on your bladder.
- Medical Insert. There is no approved medication for stress urinary incontinence, but there are two medical inventions. A vaginal pessary can be inserted by a doctor to support the base of your bladder, but it’s most common for women with a prolapsed bladder. Or, you can try a disposable urethral insert during high-intensity sport and exercise to prevent leaks or drips from flowing out.
Intervene – Medical Procedures
- Surgery. If you’re condition hasn’t improved after trying other treatments, it may be necessary to go under the knife. Surgical options include artificial implants, semi-permanent bulking injections, and lifting and supporting the urethra with sutures or added tissue.
- Non-surgical treatment. Over 200k woman have already undergone vaginal tightening done by the FemiLift CO2 laser. In a recent study, nearly 80% of the woman who had this treatment have reported significant improvement with bladder leakage and vaginal laxity. This treatment requires 3-4 sessions every 4-6 weeks followed by a yearly maintenance session.
Watch this video of a real FemiLift patient in UK. She loves jogging and had trouble with bladder control until she found the Doctors Laser clinic in Norwich.
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