Many times during an initial evaluation, a patient has told me that they have been doing kegels every day but they are still having leakage. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to feel that something so simple as contracting your pelvic floor like a bicep curl every day wouldn’t be able to ‘fix’ a very sensitive problem. Sometimes it is just as simple as doing kegels, however, in our experience, there is much more going on than weakness in the pelvic floor that is causing urinary incontinence. This is part 1 of 6 discussing other reasons you could be having urinary leakage (for both men and women).
The first topic to discuss is toileting behaviors. During an initial eval, we ask very personal questions about your bowel and bladder habits but it gives us a very unique picture into your lifestyle. This allows us to give suggestions to improve your toileting behaviors to be more successful.
Here are a few suggestions to improve your toileting experience:
- Proper positions to empty urine and stool. Using a squatty potty is a great way to help relax the pelvic floor to have a bowel movement and to urinate. For urination specifically, you may need to lean forward and press on your bladder to empty completely.
- DO NOT KEGEL WHILE URINATING!!! I know that is aggressive when typing in all caps but it is horrible advice and unfortunately that is still suggested on blogs online. Urinating is about letting go and relaxing and kegels are the opposite of that.
- Drinking enough water and avoiding certain foods or drinks that may irritate your bladder or bowels.
- Limit just in case bathroom trips.