Sometimes I Laugh So Hard, Tears Run Down My Leg

 

 

Have you ever sneezed or laughed and found that you suddenly leaked? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Leaking, or as your physician would call it, urinary incontinence, affects more than half of all women at some point in their lives.

Here is a new word of the day for you: peezing. It’s a verb which means sneezing and peeing at the same time.

Personally, I’ve noticed that as I’ve grown older and my pelvic floor has weakened, whenever my aging bladder says, “I gotta go!” it means business! I know I’m not the only one who remembers the Pavlovian dog theory. A scientist would ring a bell every time a dog was to be given food. After a while, the dog would start to salivate upon hearing that bell because he knew food was coming. Well it’s my theory that we become conditioned to go when we’re in the proximity of a bathroom… and over time, just like the Pavlovian dog, when we get near a restroom that response kicks in, and ahem, sometimes a little too early and it wins the race.

I remember one time at a high-profile black-tie event, I wore this fabulous, long, slinky, black beaded gown. Of course, the look required me to wear a pair of Spanx underneath to smooth any lines and, you know, keep everything where it’s supposed to be. I called it my hundred-dollar torture device. Have you ever tried to pee while wearing Spanx with a gown that extends to the floor? I’ll cut to the chase: That fancy pair of Spanx lost the race. So there I was in the stall with, well, let’s call it my wet scuba suit, and I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t stay in that bathroom stall all night. I had no choice. I pulled off the Spanx and stuffed it into the tiny sanitary box. My little jeweled evening bag barely held my lipstick and blush; it certainly didn’t have the space for a pair of soaked Spanx to fit. I dropped my dress back down, reapplied my lipstick, and sauntered back out into the crowd . . . commando. All I could think for the rest of the night was, OMG, I’m here talking to so and so and I’m so bare assed. Honestly, there were a few times when I couldn’t wipe the Cheshire cat grin off my face.

 

As it turns out, not quite making it to the loo in time is a rather common problem for women as they age. And if you’re like me, you know where every lady’s room is in every store that you frequent, and you make sure you always go to the bathroom more often in hopes of staying ahead of the game. My motto is, “Never pass up an opportunity to pee!”

Occasional leaking is a rather common problem and not only for older women; It happens to new moms as well. They leak when they laugh, when they pick up their baby, and when they start to do sit ups and other core work in their mommy bootcamp class.

Being overweight can also weaken the pelvic floor muscles because of the pressure the fatty tissue puts on the bladder. Sometimes losing weight clears up the problem completely.

Unfortunately, many women stop exercising when they find themselves dealing with leaking which is not a good idea for our weight, or our overall heart health. Be careful though, of high impact exercise which can put a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor muscles, so jogging, jumping jacks and aerobics might not be the right exercise to choose. Lifting can also strain the pelvic floor muscles, so it’s recommended that we use our legs and tighten our pelvic floor muscles before and during lifting.

Other things that can cause us to go to the bathroom more often during the night include drinking alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and consuming products with artificial sweeteners. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages are diuretics, which cause our body to produce more urine. Other common causes are bladder infections and urinary tract infections.

One of the biggest mistakes that many of us make is that we start drinking less water hoping to avoid excessive trips to the bathroom. However, restricting our fluid intake can make the problem worse. I know it seems logical to drink less water; after all, doesn’t less liquid translate to less peeing? But by restricting our water intake, our urine can become more concentrated, which can irritate the bladder and, in turn, cause an increase in the frequency and the urgency to go. Yikes!

But ladies, while this kind of leaking is common for women, we don’t have to live with this.

Every doctor and fitness trainer has likely told you that Kegels are the go-to answer - an exercise to strengthen the muscles supporting the bladder and uterus. If you’re not sure where these muscles are that we’re supposed to be exercising -- simply imagine that you are peeing and picture yourself trying to stop the flow of urine. The muscles you use when attempting to hold back the flow are the muscles we’re looking to strengthen.

I have a confession. I’ve always found Kegels so darn annoying to do that I quite honestly never do them. But do them we must - and that is why I was so glad to hear of a new product from INNOVO. INNOVO’s technology – woven into a pair of bike shorts - can deliver 180 perfect Kegels in one 30-minute session. Worn 30 minutes a day, five days a week, they can help alleviate bladder leakage in about 12 weeks.

Don’t just suffer alone with bladder leakage. Help is here, to a less stressful and more fun-filled life.