Alas, just standing on two legs puts pressure on your pelvic floor muscles. When you increase that pressure, through activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, and lifting, then it puts even more stress on the bladder and urethra, resulting in – you guessed it – bladder leakage!
Did you know?
That your pelvic floor muscles support a trifecta of goodness!
Yes indeedy! They support your bladder, bowel and uterus.
Experiencing bladder leakage while coughing is often related to having stress urinary incontinence. This is different to having an overactive bladder, where you get a sudden urge to pee and can’t control it before you get to a bathroom. This is caused by an abnormal contraction in the bladder, and it’s called urge incontinence.
One in three women who have given birth experience bladder leakage, as the stress of pregnancy and childbirth can weaken your pelvic floor muscles. But women are not alone. One in ten men also don’t have full control of their bladder for a variety of reasons.
It’s not just childbirth that can increase the risk of urinary incontinence. There are a number of other elements that put extra pressure on your pelvic floor muscles, which in turn increases the risk of bladder leaks. Including:
- constant straining with number two’s –a big No No!
- going to the toilet just in case (or too frequently), can weaken your pelvic floor muscles, because you are not letting your body use these muscles. Use them or lose them!
- having a pelvic prolapse
- carrying extra weight, which strains your pelvic floor muscles
- smoking, which can lead to frequent coughing
- lower back pain.
In addition to straining your pelvic muscles, there is the added joy of aging, which brings other issues into the equation that increase your likelihood of having bladder leaks, such as:
- hormone changes
- diabetes etc.
And let’s not even get started on how consuming bladder irritants (such as caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks, and spicy/acidic foods) can irritate your bladder! What a minefield!
Another tricky element is that bladder leakage is rather unpredictable. Which is very unhelpful.
But there are some things that you can do to minimise bladder leakage. Check out last week’s article to find out more. Just tap HERE.
Should you need a little back up protection while strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, then try Vivo Bodywear! Hands down - the best bladder control underwear you will find!