It’s frustrating, I know.

The Icon suggests 1 in 3 women experience incontinence. From spring chickens to silver foxes.

Incontinence is a devastating occurrence happening to women all over the world.  Often, you deal with it silently, suffering alone not knowing there is something you can do about it.

Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to deal with this?

Think about this for a moment.

What if this wasn’t a problem for you? What would change in your life?

Let’s see how this works.

Why is incontinence happening?

You may not even realize you have it.  Ask yourself, do you have any of these symptoms?

  1. Leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, run, exercise, step or jump- at any age.
  2. Not being able to hold in urine in for two hours.
  3. The flow of your urine seems different, choppy.
  4. Dribbling
  5. Uncontrollable gas and urges to go
  6. Unable to sleep through the night seven hours without toileting {During pregnancy and after 65 years of age it is normal to get up once or twice a night.}

And, What is ‘normal’ bladder function anyway?²

  • Toileting every 2-4 hrs
  • Awareness of the need to toilet 2-4 hrs
  • A robust and continuous flow of urine for 10-20 seconds in duration
  • Urine is a light yellow color without a strong odor
  • Easy initiation and automatic completion without dribbling
  • The absence of any leakage with physical activities, coughing, sneezing, bending, lifting, exercises, getting up from sitting and reclining.
  • The absence of frequent, uncontrollable urges to go.
  • Sleeping through the night; 7-8 hours without toileting.

But don’t forget, you can have stress or urge incontinence or a mix of both!

What is Stress Incontinence?

Stress Incontinence is leaking caused by increased intra-abdominal pressure, such as while coughing, sneezing, heavy lifting, running or jumping.  The leak is usually a small amount of urine.  (Multiple leaks increase the total loss of urine.)

What can you do for stress incontinence?

#1 Practice breathing techniques and contract your pelvic floor BEFORE you cough, sneeze, or jump {if possible} to instantly train your pelvic floor muscles for the event.

#2 Ask yourself “why is this happening?” Are you yelling at your children? Is it when you hit the hills with your run or mile 2? When does this happen? Then you can train for the event.

Incontinence Urge

Urge Incontinence is leaking in connection with a sudden uncontrollable need to toilet.  A relatively large amount of urine is lost, without control.  Urge incontinence may occur with running water, stepping into a shower or going out into cold weather.

What can you do about urge incontinence?

#1 Practice diaphragmatic breathing.  Deep belly breaths stretch your pelvic floor, making room for the increased size of your bladder.

#2 Seek out a pelvic floor PT to help with “retraining” your bladder.

Also, You can also have a combination of the two.

Incontinence Causes

Pregnancies, surgeries, and menopause affect our pelvic floor with time and with each event that occurs. The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, uterus, and bowel in our body.  When the pelvic floor weakens or tightens, it affects the support of the bladder and therefore leaking.

  • Physical tears or trauma during childbirth
  • Excessive jumping, running or lifting weights with a weak pelvic floor
  • Surgical repairs
  • Excessive constipation or diarrhea
  • Pelvic muscle dysfunction
  • Stress
  • Food irritants like coffee or gluten
  • Imbalance of the autonomic nervous system
  • Special populations; vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, pregnancy and menopause

Therefore if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, know that they can change.  A change of diet, exercise and practicing relaxation techniques can work wonders.

“What surprised me the most about the pelvic pow-HER class is that the exercises were so much more than doing Kegels.  Tara shared her knowledge of how our pelvic floor supports so much in our bodies.   I continued to do some of the exercises at home; to my amazement, it started making a difference.  I felt stronger and was having less leakage.  It wasn’t long after taking pelvic pow-HER I stopped wearing incontinence pads.”

 

So, what’s the secret to ‘fixing’ incontinence?

#1 Add Diaphragmatic breathing

Not only will the diaphragm help stretch the pelvic floor but it also relaxes your nervous system.

As you inhale, release your abdominal area and notice if you are holding any tension.

Exhale, relax your jaw, relax your shoulders.  Practice 4-5 breaths every hour if you have an overactive bladder or pelvic pain.

Practice 3-4x day if you experience stress incontinence or constipation.

#2 Stretch your pelvic floor

Your pelvic floor may be too tight or hypertonic.  By stretching your pelvic floor you release the tension and allow the pelvic floor muscles to hold your bladder up when it is full.

In this audio, I bring you through how to stretch your pelvic floor.  Put on your headphones! (Listen to the audio) You want to practice this 30-40 breaths each hour or at least 3x/day with incontinence.

#3 Engage your pelvic floor.

After you learn how to stretch your pelvic floor, you want to learn how to strengthen it.  More than just kegals, your pelvic floor can contract in many different directions! Please skip this step if your pelvic floor muscles are tight.

Three ways to engage your pelvic floor:

  • draw your vaginal area to your clitoral area and lift up
  • stop incontinencedraw your clitoral area to your urethral opening and lift
  • squeeze around the urethral opening

 

I’d love to know your thoughts.  Leave a note in the comments below.

Conclusion:

Incontinence is common but it doesn’t have to be.  With exercise, diet changes, and homeopathy you can stop the embarrassment of bladder leaking and feel amazing again.

 

Warmest, Tara

P.S. Pin the image and keep for practice.


References:

¹Rempfer-Kuncio, Mandy’ Pelvic Floor: Function, Dysfunction, and Exercise (Postnatal fitness Specialist Academy)

²References: Hulme, Janet A.; Beyond Kegals®; Phoenix core solutions

Do you suffer from bladder leaking? You don\'t have to anymore.  There are exercises, diet, and self-care techniques that can help! Read more.
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