In other words...leaking
In other words...why me??
Does it mean leaking urine?
Incontinence is absolutely the unwanted leaking of urine. However, it is also the unwelcome leaking of fecal material and even gas. Yes, there is such a thing as gas incontinence. All are fair game for people (men and women) who do not (for whatever reason) have good control over their pelvic floor and core musculature.
Is it normal?
Incontinence is not a 'normal' part of life. Even for women who have given birth multiple times, incontinence should not be a forgone conclusion. With the right therapy, the vast majority of people who are living with incontinence are able to experience significant improvement, if not a complete reversal of symptoms.
I thought it only happened to pregnant women and the elderly?
Incontinence can be experienced by anyone, at any age. It is not just a problem for the elderly; in fact, it is well known to happen to people in their 20's and 30's. It is not only an issue for women, but for men as well. Pregnancy and subsequent delivery may increase the possibility of incontinence; however, many nulliparous (non-pregnant) women can and do experience this too.
I only leak a little when I sneeze; is that still incontinence?
There are many different types of incontinence, but they are all forms of the same thing. Leaking, even a little, with laughing, coughing, sneezing is called Stress Incontinence. It occurs when the pelvic floor is under stress due to a large force (strong exhale - ie: sneezing). This problem also frequently happens with running/jumping activities. These are bodily functions that are under your control and can be recovered with the right help.
I'm fine when I laugh, but when I have to go...I have to GO!
Yes, this too is a form of incontinence, called Urinary Incontinence. You may be just fine with the whole laugh, cough, sneeze thing; but man, when the urge strikes...the challenge to get to the bathroom in time can feel overwhelming. With the right training, you too can overcome this seemingly insurmountable hurdle.
I don't ever leak...I just pee 3 times/hour. Is that incontinence?
Urinating more than once every 3-4 hours does come under the umbrella of incontinence. It's called Urinary Frequency or Frequency of Micturation. This can be caused by a multitude of reasons from habit to pain. But no matter the reasoning behind doing this, the result is that your bladder is running your life! This too, with proper support, education and treatment, can be significantly changed or even reversed.
I like to do my kegels when I'm going to the bathroom...is that OK?
Doing kegels when in the process of urinating is actually quite confusing to the body. Urinating is the process of relaxation whereas kegeling is the process of activation. The two are like oil and water...they don't mix well. Please feel free to reference "The Pee Symphony" for a more extended explanation. If you don't care for more of an explanation: do your kegels separate of using the bathroom. Your body will thank you for it!
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that incontinence, for whatever reason, does not have to become a way of life. You do not have to live with wearing a diaper. Please stop watching those Poise commercials, thinking that's your new normal. Now, this can take some time and it definitely takes an 'all in' attitude, requiring much dedication on your part. However, if you are ready to make the change, it can be done...and Union Yoga & Physical Therapy will be by your side on every step of your journey.