You know if you have urinary incontinence. You are one of the millions of women who are experience a loss of bladder control (UI) when you cough, sneeze or exercise. Or maybe you feel a sudden need to urinate just before you experience a gushing of urine. Some women experience this after childbirth or as they age. Although very treatable, many women never mention their problem to a healthcare professional. UI can be bothersome even debilitating and the fear of embarrassment interferes with enjoying activities with family and friends.
Urinary incontinence is classified as a medical problem but there are behavioral techniques that you can try. Medication or invasive surgical procedures do not treat the cause of functional urinary incontinence. What is needed is a way to increase the strength of weak pelvic floor muscles.
One of the first things you can try to help with your urinary incontinence is to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor that are responsible for shutting off the flow of urine with a kegel exercise device. You may have heard them referred to as kegels, kegel exercises or even exercises for super kegel after Dr. Kegel. Knowing that with appropriate exercises one could improve the tone and strength of atrophic muscles he applied that knowledge to the pubococcygeus, which supports the pelvic floor. He found that if you could strengthen that muscle you could impact urinary incontinence, thereby improving bladder control.
The problem with Kegel exercises is that it can be difficult to know for sure if you are doing them correctly and that you are actually exercising the right muscle. So, women who try kegels without a kegel exercise device and don’t achieve the results they want can often give up too soon. Their practice can be ineffective because they can’t tell whether they are doing kegels correctly and can’t measure their progress.
If you have nerve damage and don’t have the sensations that can let you know you are doing the kegels correctly you can ask your healthcare professional to check while you do them. If you still need help you may be able to learn how to do the exercises by using biofeedback.
Now there are many products on the market to help make doing kegel exercises more effective in treating urinary incontinence. You can choose from simple devices that when inserted into the vagina move to indicate you are doing the exercises correctly or try sophisticated biofeedback kegel exercise devices that can actually measure the amount of muscle activity you are exerting.
And, remember there is no age where functional UI has to be tolerated. You can with practice give up your Depends and feel confident that you are in control again.