11 Nov Don’t Let Stress Urinary Incontinence Stop You From Exercising
Is there anything more frustrating than when you’re trying to do something positive and it comes back to bite you?
Women all over the world have that frustration on a regular basis. You’re working out trying to be healthy and fit, and before long, you notice that you’ve leaked some urine.
As embarrassing as this is, you aren’t alone. 13 million women have some degree of urinary incontinence, and the most common type for young and middle-aged women is stress urinary incontinence. Here’s what you need to know.
What Causes Stress Urinary Incontinence During Exercise?
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is a type of leakage that happens when you have excess pressure on your bladder or other aspects of your urinary system. It’s the type of leakage that happens when you sneeze, cough, and yes, exercise.
There are many factors that can contribute to SUI. In some women, their symptoms come from a combination of factors.
The major issue is weak pelvic muscles or sphincter muscles. These muscles often lose tone due to aging and childbirth. Some women also have naturally less strength in these muscles than others.
Any injuries or damage to your pelvic floor can lead to SUI as well. This includes any surgery that affects this area, including a hysterectomy. Muscle damage and nerve damage can also happen during childbirth.
Menopause and its hormonal shifts have a way of reducing your pelvic floor muscle tone.
In addition, your weight plays a role as well. If you have excess weight, it will put more pressure on your bladder. If you have more bladder pressure without the muscle tone to keep it in check, SUI creeps in.
Ways to Treat Stress Urinary Incontinence
Considering how many factors there are that could be causing your stress urinary incontinence, it should be no surprise that there are many ways to treat the condition.
Vaginal Rejuvenation Treatments
This is one of the most direct ways to treat SUI along with other vaginal concerns. FemiLift vaginal rejuvenation and other similar treatments harness new technology to give you more urinary control.
During this treatment, FemiLift uses lasers to help your body produce more collagen and elastin. These natural proteins make your vaginal tissue more firm and toned. On top of restoring your vagina to a younger form, the treatment reduces stress urinary incontinence.
The tricky part of weight loss as a treatment is that SUI can become present during exercise. The embarrassment holds back women from exercising, yet when you don’t exercise, you could gain weight and make the problem worse.
If you’re overweight, losing weight could help with your SUI. Reaching a lower weight will put less pressure on your bladder and pelvic floor, keeping your SUI in check.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could tone your pelvic floor muscles like you would with your biceps and abs? As it turns out, you can.
Kegel exercises are a discreet exercises that target your pelvic floor muscles. By doing a few sets per day, you can restore more strength to these muscles and reduce your SUI.
The challenge with Kegel exercises is learning which muscles to target. The next time you use the bathroom, try to stop your urine flow. These are the same muscles you should contract to do a Kegel exercise.
Kegels aren’t for everyone, though. Ask your doctor before you start to make sure they’re safe for you. Your doctor may also be able to use a biofeedback machine to monitor your progress.
Cutting Out Smoking
If you have stress urinary incontinence, you’ve probably noticed some leaking when you cough. Coughing doesn’t only bring up your SUI symptoms. It makes the condition worse over time, too.
For this reason, SUI is common among smokers. If you smoke and you have stress urinary incontinence, quitting smoking could relieve or reduce your symptoms.
By doing this and coughing less, you’ll give your muscles time to recover and strengthen.
You may have heard about a procedure called e-stim, which is short for electrical stimulation.
During these treatments, you place stick-on electrical nodes on or near the muscles you want to target. The e-stim machine sends electrical pulses into your muscles, which has the same effect as exercising those muscles.
Over time the muscles get stronger. When you use e-stim for your pelvic floor muscles, it helps you reduce your stress urinary incontinence.
As with Kegel exercises, though, be sure to ask a healthcare provider before you try this for yourself.
Be Discreet in the Meantime
All the treatments above take time. Some of them strengthen your muscles over the course of weeks or months. Others work more quickly, but you may not be able to receive your treatment right away.
In the meantime, you can still work out with confidence by using absorbent protection.
There are different choices depending on your needs. Some can catch a significant amount of leakage while others are smaller and more subtle. Either way, chances are that your protection won’t be as noticeable to others as you expect.
Taking Back Your Power Over Stress Urinary Incontinence
Working out on a regular basis is one of the best things you can do for your health. It keeps your circulation strong and lowers your risk for countless serious illnesses. It also allows you to manage stress in a healthier way.
This is why it’s so frustrating to feel embarrassed by your stress urinary incontinence which makes you stay away from the gym.
The first thing to realize is that you aren’t alone. Stress urinary incontinence affects women of all ages and sizes all around the globe, and it’s nothing you should be ashamed about.
The second thing to know is that there are ways to take back your freedom. To find out more about the treatments above and other ways to fight SUI, call our restorative clinic today.