Have you ever found yourself in a situation where a simple sneeze or a burst of laughter leads to an unexpected and embarrassing leak? You're not alone. Many people experience urinary leakage, and it's a particularly common issue among postpartum women. However, it's crucial to understand that while urinary incontinence may be common, it is not an inevitable or acceptable part of life. This blog post walk you through the two types of pelvic floor dysfunction, pinpoint the root cause, and explain what needs to be down in order to prevent and manage pelvic floor dysfunction.
Urinary leakage during sudden movements such as coughing, laughing, sneezing, or engaging in high-intensity exercise is a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction. While it is a common complaint for postpartum women—with approximately one in three experiencing urinary leakage between 6 and 12 months after giving birth—it is important to emphasize that this is not "normal" or natural. In other words, urinary incontinence is not a rite of passage for becoming a mom, nor is it something you should simply accept and live with! Moreover, pelvic floor dysfunction is not an issue exclusive to postpartum women.
Two types of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction:
Pelvic floor dysfunction can manifest in two primary ways, both of which have the same root cause and can largely be addressed with similar strategies.
Stress Incontinence: This involves urinary (or fecal) leakage during sudden impact movements, such as those mentioned above.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP): POP occurs when one or more organs in the pelvic region—specifically the bladder, rectum, or uterus—shift downwards from their normal location. This condition might be experienced as a sensation akin to carrying a heavy "bowling ball" between the legs. POP is categorized into four levels: Grade 0 indicates no prolapse; Grade 4, which is the most critical, occurs when the pelvic organs drop to such an extent that they may bulge through the vaginal or rectal opening. Although this extreme case might necessitate surgical intervention, it is relatively uncommon.
The Root of the Problem
The underlying cause of pelvic floor dysfunction is often excessive intra-abdominal pressure. This pressure can be caused by poor posture, a weak or overwhelmed core, holding your breath during exercise, lifting heavy objects, straining during bowel movements, and/or habitually sucking in your stomach. Your core is composed of three components that resemble a canister—with the diaphragm on top, the pelvic floor on the bottom, and the transverse abdominis wrapping around the sides.
Prevention and Management
To prevent or manage pelvic floor dysfunction, understanding and maintaining neutral alignment is essential. Strengthening the deep core muscles—including the diaphragm, pelvic floor, and transverse abdominis—is also vital. Additionally, it's important to avoid behaviors that exacerbate intra-abdominal pressure.
In conclusion, pelvic floor dysfunction is a treatable condition that you don't have to accept as a part of your life. By educating ourselves on the structure and function of the pelvic floor, adopting correct postural habits, and engaging in targeted exercises, we can significantly reduce or even eliminate the discomfort and inconvenience of urinary leakage. Remember, seeking help from a healthcare professional, especially a pelvic floor therapist, can provide personalized guidance and support. It's time to move beyond embarrassment and discomfort and towards a healthier, more confident you.
Are you tired of peeing your pants?
If you've been seeking a sign, this might just be it! I'm super excited to share that I'm launching a digital core recovery course in March 2024
. Here's a little taste of what's in store:
Decoding & Dodging Pitfalls: We'll explore what might exacerbate incontinence, especially that sneaky Excessive IAP, and chat about ways to steer clear.
Your Blueprint to a Mighty Core: Dive into the heart of core strength with two simple yet transformative techniques: neutral alignment and 360-degree breathing. I promise they're game-changers.
Quick & Effective Workouts: Being a parent is a full-time gig, and time is often in short supply. So, I've crafted an 8-week exercise plan that needs just 10 minutes a day. We'll walk this path together, step by step, ensuring you feel stronger and more confident every day.
Feeling intrigued? If you're nodding your head and thinking, "This is just what I need!", I'd love to have you on board. Pop your details into the contact form below to get on the waitlist. Here's to embracing and celebrating every part of our postpartum journey! 🌟