For real, can we talk about pee? Not like when your newborn pees on you or your son pees all over the toilet seat, but mom pee. Can we talk about why moms pee when they laugh (or cough, sneeze or exercise)?
Sit tight and buckle up buttercup, because I’m going to go there. If almost every mom has peed herself at one point or another, then why is it such a taboo topic? Maybe if we were more open to having adult discussions about why moms pee themselves, we could find solutions and help each other.
I’ve had several conversations with friends lately where they shamefully revealed that they have peed themselves to varying degrees. One friend did it while running, another while doing jumping jacks and a third during yoga. Side note: exercise seems to make you pee yourself, which will be my excuse for avoiding it this week.
Why are all the moms peeing themselves?
Ok, so why is everyone having issues with bladder control? The most common reason is weakened pelvic floor muscles. You know the muscles you squeeze to do kegels? Yup, same ones! When these muscles are not as strong as they should be, your bladder lacks proper support and can leak urine.
Speaking of your bladder, when little humans use it as a trampoline for nine months and then punch and kick it a few times for good measure on the way out, there are sometimes lasting effects. So if you are in the small percentage of moms who can sneeze or cough without crossing your legs to avoid peeing yourself, then give yourself a pat on the back and consider yourself lucky. Because for most women, there is a complicated ritual that goes into every sneeze to avoid an embarrassing situation.
There are definitely other factors that can affect your ability to hold your urine, including aging and genetics. As you age, your pelvic floor muscles lose elasticity and muscle tone. And genetics, well unfortunately, some people are just unlucky in that respect.
Some other things to consider are your weight and your diet. A study from The Journal of Urology showed that a higher BMI could increase your risk of urinary incontinence by up to 70%. In layman’s terms, shedding a few pounds could help, possibly because there would be less pressure on your bladder and other internal organs.
How can we help moms stop peeing themselves?
An easy thing to try is to adjust your diet. You could cut back on carbonated drinks and caffeine, which make you have to use the bathroom more often. Alcohol and artificial sweeteners have also been shown to increase urinary incontinence.
But for most women, the best way to fix the problem is to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. So how do you work out these muscles? Personal trainer for your vagina? Maybe Planet Fitness has a special machine for this? Nope, but I promise there is an easy solution . . . kegel exercises!
Every time you are stopped at a red light – squeeze! When you are standing in line at the grocery store, do a set of ten. Every time you are sitting through a boring meeting, make it your dirty secret and work those vaginal muscles! When you are having sex . . . you get the idea, right?
For an in depth kegel tutorial, go here.
Coincidentally, when your pelvic floor muscles are tight and toned, you will have also have longer, stronger orgasms. Basically, you’ll stop peeing yourself AND have better orgasms.
Of course, I’m not a doctor and if you are having pain or continued issues, you should consult with a physician. But in the meantime, kegel, baby, kegel.
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