1 in 4 women suffers from urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine when you cough, sneeze, or laugh. Others suffer from urge incontinence, which is when you feel the urge to urinate so strongly you’re not sure if you’ll make it to the bathroom.
While laughing may bring on leaking of urine, it’s actually not a laughing matter. It can feel embarrassing or shameful. In fact, I recently read it can take a woman up to 7 years before mentioning it to their healthcare provider.
You can have urinary incontinence if you’re a teenager, pregnant, postpartum, or in menopause. It can literally happen to anyone.
How is it treated?
Most providers prescribe a medication or kegel exercises without diving deeper. If you have urinary incontinence, were prescribed either a medication or exercise and haven’t found it to be helpful…find a new provider! Specifically someone who specializes in women’s health pelvic floor therapy.
Why Kegels aren’t enough:
The Kegels strengthen the PC (pubococcygeous) muscle, which closes the sphincters of the pelvic floor and stops the flow of urine. Kugels are helpful, but they don’t work the entire pelvic floor. You need to strengthen more than one muscle.
What to do!
Squat!! When you squat you automatically engage your glutei and hamstrings. Your pelvic floor will naturally stretch and tone in this position.
How to squat correctly:
Stand with feet slightly wider than your hips, toes pointed slightly outward.
Keep your spine in a neutral position – don’t round your back, and don’t over accentuate the natural arch of your back.
Extend your arms out straight so they are parallel with the ground, palms facing down.
Balance your weight on the heels and the balls of your feet.
Taking a deep breath, begin sending your hips backwards as your knees begin to bend.
Keep your back straight, and your chest and shoulders up.
Be sure to keep your knees directly in line with your feet as you squat.
Continue lowering your hips until they are slightly lower than your knees to perform a deep squat.
Use your core to push yourself back up, keeping your bodyweight in your heels.
And, if you need something to get you through in the meantime, check out Panty Prop.