If you’re dealing with stress urinary incontinence, it can be embarrassing and overwhelming. In fact, many women are so mortified, they keep it a secret—even from their doctor. Instead, it can be tempting to rely on info you think you know or turn to the internet for answers. The only problem with this strategy? There’s a ton of misinformation out there.
To help clear up some common misconceptions that can get in your way to finally solving your pee problems, we’re debunking some of the biggest SUI myths out there.
Myth #1: Young Women Don’t Leak
Sure, women who are menopausal often experience SUI, but that doesn’t mean younger women don’t experience leakage, too. Between 10 percent and 50 percent of nulliparous women experience stress urinary incontinence. That’s just a fancy way of saying women who have never given birth.
Some things that may lead to a younger woman leaking: High impact sports can be a big factor—in fact, over 30% of female athletes deal with bladder leaks. Hormone fluctuations can also lead to SUI (and we all remember how hormonal those teen years can be!). Being overweight or obese (regardless of age) can also impact continence.
To better understand why young women may experience SUI, you should know that it is caused by an increase of pressure pushing on the bladder. The above can cause that pressure, which ultimately leads to a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder.
As those pelvic floor muscles become weakened, simple activities like coughing, sneezing and laughing or light exercise can lead to leaks.
Myth #2: Only Women Who Give Birth Vaginally Deal With Leakage
Not true. Women who’ve had C-sections can also deal with incontinence. See, childbirth alone doesn’t weaken the pelvic floor—pregnancy itself can do a number on those muscles. In addition to that, hormonal changes that occur with pregnancy and postpartum also factor in.
After you give birth (however you do it), your uterus shrinks back to normal size. While it does this, it sits on the bladder, which adds to your chances of experiencing leakage. Some women experience postpartum SUI for just a few weeks, while others notice it goes on for months—or even longer.
Myth #3: Lifestyle Choices Don’t Matter
Think again. If you suffer from SUI, certain choices you make in day-to-day life can make things even worse. For example, sipping that glass of wine may be relaxing, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing for your bladder. Alcohol is a diuretic—and will make you have to pee more.
Coffee is another beverage you may want to watch. See, caffeine irritates your bladder. And if you’re already dealing with SUI, bladder irritation can make leaks worse. Better options include seltzer, decaf coffee and water. Speaking of water, you may be tempted to drink less so you have to pee less. Bad move. Taking in less water can reduce your bladder’s capacity, making incontinence worse.
Myth #4: Kegels Will Solve Your Leakage Issues
Well, this one kind of true—with a few caveats. The key to treating leakage is to find a way to strengthen your pelvic floor—those are the muscles that help you hold in urine. And Kegel exercises do just that. It is possible to do them manually by slowly tightening the muscles—as if you were sitting on a blueberry and lifting it—until you feel your muscles rise. You’ll want to hold it for 10 seconds and then relax and release. However, here’s the problem: Many women do these incorrectly and that can make SUI even worse.
INNOVO was created by Dr. Ruth Maher as a safe, convenient, all-in-one treatment for SUI that offers an easy, at-home solution clinically-proven to treat urinary incontinence. In just 30 minutes you’ll get 180 kegels delivered right to your pelvic floor muscles with every session. Use INNOVO for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, for 12 weeks as a proven way to treat bladder weakness.