What Causes Bladder Leakage?
Over 18 million women in the U.S. alone struggle with bladder leakage every year.
And that statistic only takes into account the women who've seen a doctor, so you can only imagine what the real numbers are.
Many women are either too busy raising kids, too busy at work, or (most often) too embarrassed to admit to anyone, yes even their doctor, that they are peeing themselves 😳.
Or, even more commonly, you tell yourself "it's not that bad, I mean, I only leak a little when I jump on the trampoline, or if I sneeze 3 times, so it's OK, I mean, I have had 2 kids..."
Whatever excuse you've told yourself or your friends, bladder leakage is not normal, even if you've had kids.
So, what are the most common causes of bladder leakage?
1. Pelvic "events" (pregnancy/childbirth/surgery)
Yes, pregnancy and childbirth could increase the likelihood of bladder leakage, but it's still not normal. Pregnancy, giving birth, and/or abdominal/pelvic surgery can cause muscle spasms, nerve irritation and scar tissue that can impact the way your bladder works and cause leakage.
I highly recommend seeing a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist who can assess your body and give you exercises, stretches and/or breathing techniques to address the physical components to your bladder leakage. If you are in San Diego, reach out to me by responding to this email!
Constipation (as you read in last week's email, and if you didn't here's a link to that post), creates a lot of pressure inside of your body that can put extra pressure on your bladder, causing it to leak.
The most common causes of constipation are not drinking enough water, not moving your body enough, and not eating enough ruffage (raw fruits and veggies).
3. Pelvic floor dysfunction
Pelvic floor dysfunction is when your pelvic muscles, aka "kegel muscles", aren't functioning properly, either not strong enough to tighten, or more commonly, too tight at rest which creates less ability for them to work. (If you haven't already downloaded your free copy of The Truth About Kegels, you can access it by clicking HERE, which talks all about pelvic floor tightness and why it's a huge contributor to bladder leakage!)
One of the best things you can do for your pelvic floor is to RELAX YOUR BELLY! This will help your pelvic floor muscles relax so they are ready and able to work for you when you sneeze!
And then there's menopause, which alters the hormones in your body, namely estrogen, which causes dryness in the vagina (and everywhere really), which can irritate your bladder and contribute to pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.
If this is you, consider talking to your doctor about the possibility of using a vaginal estrogen cream which could help create more "hydration" in your vagina which could help your pelvic floor muscles work better and decrease the dryness around your urethra (pee hole 🤓).
It's no secret that stress affects EVERYTHING including your bladder! The correlation of anxiety and bladder frequency and urinary urgency is quite high. In my clinical experience, I'd say it's close to 80%!
Though it's easier said than done, allow yourself to stop throughout the day to simply BE. A great mindfulness meditation is to pay 100% of your attention to your breath, feeling it enter and exit your body for 1 minute. Do this hourly if you can, and you'll likely notice a huge difference!
What you eat/drink could be irritating your bladder, causing more leakage without you knowing it! Some of the most common culprits are citrus, caffeine, carbonation, sugar and alcohol (sorry, don't shoot the messenger!)
Decreasing or eliminating some of these items from your diet can make a huge difference in your bladder leakage.
If you're looking for more assistance with bladder leakage, urinary frequency, rushing to the bathroom with strong urges to pee, then Bladder Essentials is perfect for you.
Bladder Essentials is an online program that walks you through the main causes of bladder problems and shows you what you can do to effectively resolve your bladder issues once and for all!
At the end of the day, life is too short, too precious and YOU ARE TOO IMPORTANT to be dealing with bladder issues.
Please don't stay silent!
Get the help you deserve whether it's eating more salad, taking a daily walk, contacting a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist or your doctor, or enrolling in Bladder Essentials, so you can stop being embarrassed and limited in your life.