So. You’re out and about and someone says something funny and next thing you know, you’re laughing and having a grand old time, except then you’re not. Because you feel something dribbling down there. Mortification sets in. You are literally peeing.in.your.pants. It’s not a lot of pee, just a wee tinkle. But then it happens again when you’re twisted up like a pretzel at yoga. Or when you’re in and out of the saddle at spin. And again when you cough. This is unacceptable, people.
Now not much gets by a brazen woman, but how come no one warned us that stress urinary incontinence was a thing especially for those of us over 40, and that it was going to happen so soon? Frankly, we’re pretty pissed (bahaha but no, this is no joke). In fact, now that we think about it, we were misinformed by Oprah about the value of kegels, which, as it turns out, don’t do much to stop the flow.
Now, there must be a solution to this pee problem. With blurry closeup vision, there’s a solution. And chin hair, too. So what can we do about stress urinary incontinence? A lot. Just follow these tips from our experts and go about your day, a lot drier down there.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STOP PEEING IN YOUR PANTS
1. Watch your posture and breathing.
Do not tuck your pelvis under or suck in your stomach because you will compromise your deep core muscle activation.
2. Check your toilet posture.
Do not strain on the toilet. Instead, use a stool for correct elimination. Here’s a How to Pee visual to get you started:
3. Stop the pee activities.
If you are starting to leak with certain activities, cut those out for now.
In their place do some core breath activities: Inhale to expand and exhale to contract your pelvic floor, Imagine pulling your perinium to the crown of your head.
4. See an expert. Visit a doctor or pelvic physiotherapist. Proper, supervised pelvic floor training is what is required. Kegels may not be enough and are often the wrong thing to do.
5. Don’t force a pee. Do not start peeing just in case. The last thing you want in addition to stress urinary incontinence is an overactive bladder, which just makes things worse.
6. Check your weight. Weight loss can alleviate extra pressure placed on the bladder which is what causes leaks to occur.
7. Quit smoking. Smoking causes coughing, which causes leaking. Do the math.
8. Time your pee. Times voiding, aka peeing at regular intervals, and peeing before activities that cause you to leak (like exercising or sex) will reduce leaks.
9. Try a bladder support product. Use Poise Impressa up to 8 hours daily or whenever you want that extra support to prevent leaks from happening.
10. Consider laser treatments. Look into newer technologies that are less invasive such as the Incontilase erbium laser, which may allow you to avoid surgery.
THE PEE EXPERTS:
Sinéad Dufour is a physiotherapist who specializes in treating issues in the back and pelvis. Her training in obstetrics and urogyenecology allow her to practice with advanced standing through the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario as a rostered Pelvic Health Physiotherapist.
Dr. Dean Elterman is a faculty member of the Division of Urology at the University of Toronto and is a Staff Urologist at the University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, Canada.