Start ‘Em Young: High Schoolers Need Pelvic Floor Education, Too

If you think incontinence is only for postpartum moms or menopausal women, think again! In fact, between 10 to 50 percent of nulliparous women (Nulli-what? That’s the medical term for women who haven’t had babies) report leakage issues.

“I recently spoke to a group of high school students about stress urinary incontinence,” says Dr. Ruth Maher, INNOVO founder and pelvic health expert. “It generated a lot of interest, with many of the young girls asking plenty of questions—which leads me to the conclusion that they are suffering in silence.”

Ruth Maher, DPT isn’t alone in her thinking. Over in the United Kingdom, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended that girls between the ages of 12 and 17 be taught how to do pelvic floor exercises in school as a way of preventing incontinence issues from popping up.

Whether you’re a young woman yourself or have a nulliparous daughter, keep reading to learn more about how incontinence may become an issue and, most importantly, what you can do about it!

Why Young Women May Leak

Leaks happen to women of all shapes, sizes and ages. It’s often (falsely!) assumed that pregnancy or old age causes stress urinary incontinence (SUI). While those factors can certainly lead to leakage problems, they aren’t the only ones at fault.

Proof: Over 30% of female athletes deal with bladder leaks. Overweight or obese females are also more likely to deal. Chronic coughing, smoking and nerve injuries to the lower back are other factors that can contribute to SUI.

Here are a few reasons a young woman specifically may experience SUI. First, high impact sports can be a big factor—so many student athletes find themselves dealing with leakage issues. The other idea is that hormonal fluctuations can play a role, which runs rampant in those teen years.

But the hardest notion to wrap your head around is the fact that sometimes, there’s not a direct cause. “One of the most disturbing facts about incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction is that it affects around 30% of girls before their 20’s who are already having pelvic floor symptoms,” says a New York-based physical therapist. “And there’s a significant proportion of girls and women who have these symptoms already regardless of their activity.”

Yes, You Can Do Something About It

Thankfully, young women don’t have to suffer in silence—but they will have to take action to solve the issue.

The first step: Understanding where the pelvic floor is. It’s not like doing a bicep curl, which you can watch in the mirror. Because our pelvic floor muscles are inside our pelvis, we can’t see what they’re doing to help us understand how they function.

Kegel exercises can help you identify where your pelvic floor is located. Do them manually by gently tightening the muscles like you’re sitting on a blueberry and lifting it, until you feel your muscles rise. Hold for 10 seconds and then relax and release. Unfortunately, many women do these incorrectly, which can make matters worse. Some women choose to treat weakened pelvic floor muscles with an invasive vaginal probe, or worse, super intense surgery, neither of which is ideal for a young woman.

That’s where INNOVO comes in. It’s an all-in-one treatment for SUI that offers an easy, at-home solution that’s safe and 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. You may even see results in as little as four weeks. Are you ready to get started?