Four things to do when you are experiencing leaking
Here we recap some common symptoms associated with leaking and outline four steps you can take to help make your life a little bit less stressful.
Common symptoms associated with leaking
If your family is anything like mine, you *might* have a few running jokes. Perhaps even one about how women always have to RUN to the toilet the second they get home. And not *always* making it in time.
This joke extends to other things such as, how women in my family cross their legs when they sneeze. Or how they reflexively reaching for their crotch in the middle of a hilarious story.
It was only recently that I realised the symptoms my mother, grandmother, aunts and sisters demonstrated weren’t a family trait. Or even an inevitable fact of life.
Leaking in these ways is urinary incontinence. It is a curable medical condition. It has to do with engaging or relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. This muscle activity in turn supports and helps control the flow of urine from your bladder.
Here are four tips to make your life less stressful if you find yourself leaking:
Step 1. Go and get treatment
Like any other muscle group, you can retrain your pelvic floor muscles to function normally.
And like other muscle training, you want to make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly in order to prevent injury or unwanted side effects.
However, instead of seeking the help of a personal trainer about your pelvic floor (or even a gynaecologist), the best people to speak with is either your GP or a pelvic health physiotherapist.
Make an appointment, start doing your pelvic floor exercises and put an end to family myths!
Step 2. Put in place some temporary aids
Once you start doing your exercises and have a specialist appointment in the diary, it may take time before you start seeing results.
In the meantime to help reduce the impact leaking has on your everyday life, pelvic health physiotherapists recommend that you put in place some temporary aids.
Here are some temporary aids that can support you while you are undergoing treatment:
Step 3. Download supporting apps
Download the “Just Can’t Wait” app from the Bladder and Bowel Foundation to show in shops and cafes for easier access to toilets when you are out.
Or request a “Just Can’t Wait” card to carry around.
(Warning shameless plug)
You can also download the app that we’ve developed to help people remember to do their pelvic floor muscle exercises. It’s called Squeezy and is available in the Google Play and Apple App stores for £2.99.
Step 4. Learn the technique called “The Knack”
Unfortunately this technique does not involve learning the lyrics to ‘My Sharona’. However, it does come in handy if you feel a cough or sneeze coming on.
Practice performing a strong pelvic floor muscle squeeze just before you cough, sneeze, lift, blow your nose, or undertake any activity that tends to make you leak.
It can prevent the leak from happening!