Aging, Wellness

New News About Bladder Control

          Hogwart’s fear of saying Voldemort’s name  out loud has nothing in comparison to our fear of saying bladder incontinence.  We woman may admit to peeing a little when we sneeze but never more than that.  However, just a glance at grocery store shelves tell a different story.  The shelves that used to house sanitary napkins and tampons are being replaced with urinary liners and lacy adult diapers.  Let’s admit it – we aging boomers aren’t occasionally leaking, we are just plain wetting our pants.  Recent studies suggest that 80% of us are having significant problems but less than 2/3 will consider mentioning it to our doctors (it’s only a suggestion  that’s based on sales numbers because we aren’t talking about it).  And we sure aren’t talking about bladder control with our friends either.

         But we sure are buying.

In February 2016, Bloomberg’s reported that adult diaper products are out growing every other kind of paper product on the market. “And in only a decade, sales of diapers for poiseadults could surpass those for babies at Kimberly-Clark and rival Procter & Gamble. As birthrates fall and life spans lengthen, the companies figure there’s plenty of room for expansion, because babies grow out of diapers, but incontinent adults usually don’t.”

         We won’t outgrow the diapers until and unless we actually say the problem. Have we learned nothing from Harry Potter?

        According to the National Association For Continence (the NAFC- an organisation meant to take bladder incontinence out of the dark ages) if a woman mentions it to her doctor at all, she’ll usually wait 6.5 years of wet panties before she does!

Because we’re not talking about it, we’re not getting the most up-to-date information.  Many Doctors are still suggesting Kegels (which is only partially correct) and pills (which may only be good for pharmaceutical companies).

        So here is some current practical information:

  1. Losing control of our bladder’s is not a natural occurrence of age.  During the menopausal hormone shift, we may experience a period of incontinence as our body adjusts to reduced estrogen, but our bodies’ are structured to recover.   Urinary incontinence has NOT  been a problem historically, it’s a new thing.
  2.  Bladder Incontinence has to do with a weakened pelvic floor. Until recent generations, the weakening was caused by childbirth and was minor, but now we are being affected by our years of sitting; at the computer, in front of TV, eating, etc.   Our pelvic floor is not only weak towards our vaginal area but also, now toward our anus.  That’s why Kegels only address part of the solution.
  3. Bladder control can be regained without using medications by rebuilding the pelvic muscles. While doing the following suggested exercises bear down as though you had the flu and needed to stop urinating and diarrhea  at the same time— hold for a count of 10 and repeat 10 times.   If you can’t hold for 10 hold for 1 count or two or three, and repeat 10 times.  It doesn’t matter where you start, what matters is that you do.  And you must clench the whole are.
  4. Warning!!! Talk to your doctor anyway in order to rule out any medical reasons other than pelvic floor weakness or perhaps you’ll need medication until you build up strength.
  5. Just stop giving up hope and giving your well -earned retirement savings money to Proctor and Gamble and Kimberly Clark!!!!!

The exercises  presented here have been taken and edited from Shapefit.com.

The Bridge:  Exercise Advice: Begin by lying down on a mat or comfortable area on the floor. Place your hands at your sides, preferably palms up. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the ground at about shoulder width. Press your heels into the ground and squeeze your butt as you lift up your hips. At the same time, slightly arch your back so your chest slightly reaches towards your chin. Come all the way up until your spine and hips form a straight line or even slightly higher. Hold for a few seconds while tightening your vagina, bladder and gluteus, and breathing naturally.  Hold for the count of 10.  Lower yourself back down to the floor and repeat 5 to 10 times.

exercise-the-bridge

Kickbacks: Exercise Advice: Get on your hands and knees on a mat on the floor with your back parallel to the ground. In a controlled motion, thrust one of your feet backwards as though you are kicking like a horse, tighten your lower abdomen. Be sure to really flex your butt for a one-count when your leg is fully extended back behind you. Return to the start position and repeat with the opposite leg.

exercise-kickbacks

Cat Stretch: 

Exercise Advice: Kneel on your hands and knees on a mat on the floor. Slowly arch your back up to the ceiling as high as you possibly can go. Hold in that position for a 3 to 4 second count while clenching your vagina and rectum, return to the start position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

exercise-cat-camel

 Plie’ Squat: Exercise Advice: Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width apart, with your feet turned out and grab a dumbbell holding it perpenticular to the floor. Squat to 90 degrees, at the bottom clench both your vagina and rectum. Return to the start position and repeat. Be sure to keep your back firmly upright and straight throughout this exercise (one way to help do this is to focus your eyes on a spot high on the wall in front of you throughout the entire exercise).

Image result for woman plie squat

Superman (or woman):Muscles Targeted: The execution of lying back presses (also called “Supermans”) involves the contraction and direct movement from the quadratus lumborum or more commonly known as the lower back muscles of the lumbar spine. More importantly the erector spinae, which is the main muscle group responsible for keeping the spine erect also contributes into keeping the movement controlled. The latissimus dorsi or upper back muscles are also a key muscle group that keeps the movement of the lying back press more stable and it additionally helps the entire back throughout the movement. Helping in further stability and control are the gluteus medius and hamstring muscles which improves movement execution as the lower extremities keep the exercise in better balance.

Image result for woman's superman exercise

There you have it, five simple ways and five exercises to help you stop leaking, feel younger, be able to wear sexy stuff and feel more in control of your life again. Pretty good for one little post.

Oh, and while I’m only minimally sorry that I’m here to tell you that yet another age myth can be destroyed my exercise, I’m also here to tell you that preliminary research indicates that these exercises may help with Vaginal dryness — but that’s for another post.

From  the dressing rooms of Victoria’s Secret,

Beth

9 Comments

  1. I took a pill one time (as in one pill). That was it. And yes, I’ve been told to do Kegels and take pills. That’s the extent of the advice. I have never read this information before, and it sounds like me – years and years of office work, sitting down first in front of a typewriter and later, in front of a computer. I am printing this out. The squat may not be right for me between scoliosis and arthritis in my knees, but the other exercises should be doable.

    Reply

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