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Stress Incontinence

Are you a great multitasker? Here are some ways to stop.

We've endured over 8 hours of labor. And should the passage of time allow us to forget the details of it all, nature has a way of reminding us of our gallant effort every time we sneeze, laugh, or go for a jog. But maybe it’s not fair to pin the blame on our child’s giant head. Maybe it’s just a consequence of aging. Maybe it’s the extra few pounds we’ve put on. Maybe it’s those years we spent smoking. It could have been any of those reasons, or none at all. Afterall, we’ve all heard of the man who’s had occasional accidents after prostatectomy. Whatever the cause, stress incontinence is stressful. With the pelvic floor compromised or with dysfunction of the bladder neck muscle, almost any activity that increases pressure inside our abdomen or pelvis can make us into a leaky mess.

We can try drinking less fluid, especially the alcohol and the coffee. We know that smoking made us cough and irritated our bladder (all things that make stress incontinence worse), so we quit. We’ve heard about the benefits of getting more fiber in our diet to avoid constipation (which again, makes stress incontinence worse), so now we include a salad with every meal. And we’re working on losing weight. All great first steps. 

But sometimes, lifestyle changes are not enough. Sometimes, we have to get a little more proactive to control the leak. Our gynecologist outfitted us with the latest and greatest pessary to provide the urethra a little extra support. We’re kegeling at the board meeting. We’re bladder training for a four hour continence marathon. And if all our efforts fail, we might go in for a little nip and tuck down below to restore the pelvic region to its former glory. 

These are just some of the options available to us. We can be as proactive as we want, or we can do nothing at all. Afterall, we can always pride ourselves for being a great multitasker: we can laugh, jog, and pee all at the same time.

female stress incontinence infographic, treatment options for stress incontinence


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