Dr. Ruth Maher On Why Incontinence Can Happen To Anyone

August 9, 2021 in Ask Dr. Ruth

Dear Dr. Ruth,

I have quite a few friends who’ve given birth, and they all complain that they can no longer hold in their pee. I’ve always listened to them with compassion, but lately with a secret sense of relief as well! Recently, I’ve noticed that I’m also leaking - particularly when I take a cardio dance class or laugh at a funny movie. Since I don’t have kids, I figured this wouldn’t be something I’d have to deal with. What gives? I thought urinary incontinence only happened to women who’ve had kids. I’m feeling pretty frustrated!

Sincerely,

Child-free and Leaking


Dear Child-free and Leaking,

Stress Urinary incontinence is frustrating and it doesn’t always discriminate. It’s widely assumed that having a baby can cause incontinence, which is true, but women from the ages of 18 to 80 can experience leakage, regardless of whether or not they’ve given birth.

Here’s an interesting fact: Over 30 percent of female athletes have bladder leaks, too. See, SUI is caused by the exertion of stress. I’m not talking about emotional stress, but rather stress resulting from an increase in pressure pushing on the bladder.

Sure, that intra-abdominal pressure occurs during pregnancy and childbirth, but it also occurs during sneezing, coughing, laughing and exercise—especially high impact activities like your cardio dance class, as well as running or jumping rope. Not to mention the fact that hormonal changes during perimenopause and menopause can actually weaken the pelvic floor muscles as well, which can lead to SUI (hello estrogen depletion!).

This issue is precisely what inspired me to create INNOVO, a non-invasive device that delivers 180 perfect Kegels per session and strengthens your pelvic floor all from the comfort of your own home. It’s also super simple to use—what’s easier than putting on a pair of shorts? Try Innovo for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, and I promise you’ll notice a change within 12 weeks. (And 80% of women see results in just 4 weeks).

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