For Stress Urinary Incontinence, a Kegel May be Your New BFF!
- Posted on: Dec 15 2017
Women of a certain age are well-acquainted with Kegel exercises. Maybe you’ve done them yourself. Maybe you watched the concentration on your mother’s face as she tried to maintain vaginal wellness via the performance of this pelvic floor exercise. Here, we want to revisit Kegels because they hold a lot of value for women of all ages.
First, About That Incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence is a pretty relevant topic of discussion. It used to be associated with the older woman, the woman whose hormones were changing. Stress urinary incontinence, the involuntary, unexpected, downright alarming loss of a small amount of urine during some exertion, can affect women of any age. When a woman has genuine stress urinary incontinence, she may feel that unpleasant leaking sensation when she sneezes or laughs, when she works out or runs to catch her Uber, pretty much anytime abdominal pressure increases.
Urine leakage is embarrassing, but we need to talk about it. If you find yourself relying on pantyliners for an “off-label” use like catching drops of urine, you need to talk about it with your gynecologist. Grace Obstetrics & Gynecology has offices in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to assist you in discovering why you may have SUI and what you can do about it.
Some of the leading factors in stress urinary incontinence include:
- Hello! A lot of pushing is needed during this event!
- Caffeine consumption.
- Frequent heavy lifting or exercise that exerts intra-abdominal force.
Treating Urinary Incontinence
The diagnosis and treatment of stress urinary incontinence are straightforward. At most, your doctor may order a urinalysis and perform a basic exam. On occasion, we suggest urodynamics or another testing. However, a large number of SUI cases are uncomplicated and simple to treat.
Kegels are an excellent form of treatment for SUI because they are easy to do and do not cost a thing. What is neccesary for success is consistency. Make no bones about it, Kegels make you work! For improvement in the pelvic floor strength, you should perform about 50 contractions of the pelvic floor muscle every day. Initially, you may need to set the alarm to remind yourself to do 5 or more sets of 10 squeezes. Over time, this habit becomes so commonplace that you can do it while waiting at a traffic light or while working at your desk.
Additional treatment options for more advanced stress urinary incontinence include:
- Lifestyle changes such as limiting caffeine consumption and losing weight.
- Injectables to reduce symptoms of overactive bladder or urgency incontinence.
- Pessary to support the neck of the bladder.