Whether you’re coughing from a cold or sneezing from allergies, leakage isn’t anyone’s idea of a great way to pass the time. Sometimes that incontinence happens because the small muscles around the urethra (where we pee from) were injured or weakened during delivery. Sometimes it’s because the muscles are too tight, and when your bladder is full, those muscles can’t tighten anymore when suddenly loaded from above with a sneeze, cough, or a jump. There are a few other things that could be going on as well, but getting technical (and super anatomical) is just going to get confusing.
So know this: Kegels aren’t always the answer… because strengthening muscles isn’t always the solution. And some women struggle to find these muscles in the first place, so they end up spinning their wheels for months and years thinking the gadget they bought online or that Youtube video gal have all the answers.
Think of it like going to a dermatologist with a rash. You go to show it to him and he says, “Nah, I’ll just give you a cream.” He doesn’t know what he’s treating, and he didn’t check to see what the issue is. That’s the problem I have with everyone “prescribing” Kegels …without actually checking to make sure that’s the right answer for the problem or you know how to do them correctly!
A healthy pelvic floor is, yes, strong, but also non-painful and mobile — meaning the muscles can move both up and down in a coordinated fashion when they are supposed to.
Was that a lot to chew on? A pelvic floor physical therapist can help you have a better, more solid understanding of your personal anatomy and develop a treatment plan tailored to get to your goals. You don’t have to leak when you sneeze. And that Youtube gal is great, but she might not have all the answers you need.