Peeing with exercise, the new norm of women who have had children. The common joke at Crossfit, everyone lines up for the bathroom if they know double-unders or box jumps are on the board for the day. Same at the local boxing gym, when women know jumping jacks are coming, they run to the bathroom before the class starts.
Yoga and pilates, we don't need to worry as much, but if you're running the South Shore Half, mark the porta potties on the route, or make sure you know where your friends live, so you can time your bathroom stops appropriately.
Any of this sound familiar? At six years postpartum, 45 % of women have some type of incontinence.1
Why is this? Why do we as moms assume that peeing when exercising is our new normal since having kids? It is part of our culture now. The joke when groups of women are laughing: "I laughed so hard I peed my pants". We're not afraid to talk about it anymore, Hello Poise commercials, but we're still afraid to do anything about it. Women are willing to live with wet pants. It's why black yoga pants are the standard mom uniform.
But, we don't accept other injuries or dysfunctions to our body as normal. If my knee kept buckling, while I was walking causing me to fall every day, would I just say, "well hey that's part of being a mom, I guess that's my life now". No, I would go to one of my local orthopedic colleagues, like Kellie Bedoni at www.kbedonipt.com/and say, "Hey Kellie, my quads keep giving out can you help me out here?".As that is not a normal finding! Same with leaking urine, it is not normal to leak urine, really at any point in your life. It means you have a pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. And it is unlikely to go away without some type of intervention.2
Good news for anyone who has read this far, there is treatment for urinary incontinence: pelvic floor physical therapy. It is known to be very effective at treating incontinence, it's conservative, no drugs or surgery necessary.3 Sounds good, right? With such a success rate for treating this condition, it's a wonder more moms aren't seeking it out. A marketing failure of our profession, perhaps. Maybe there is too strong of a cultural belief that moms are meant to leak, and its made even stronger by social media. There's also many advertising dollars at work, Poise and Depends anyone? These ads perpetuate the belief that it is common to have incontinence. Who knows? But I'm here to let women know that pelvic floor PT is 70% effective at treating incontinence.3 You won't need to wear your black yoga pants all the time anymore. Call a pelvic floor PT today!
1. Wilson PD, Herbison P, Glazener C, McGee M, MacArthur C, 2002, Obstetric Practice and Urinary Incontinence 5-7 years After Delivery, ICS Proceedings Neurourology and Urodynamics: 21(4):284.
2. Herschorn S, Corcos J, Gajewski J, Schulz J , Ciu E, 2003, Canadian Urinary Bladder Survey: Population-based Study of Symptoms and Incontinence. Neurourology and Urodynamics, 22 (pt5)
3. Price N, Dawood R, Jackson SR, 2010, Pelvic Floor Exercise For Urinary Incontinence: A Systematic Literature Review. Maturitas, 67 (4): 309-315.