Lots of women have problems with urine leakage after birth. If you are facing this wee problem, you may have heard that kegels can help with urinary incontinence. Today, I am happy to have Lauren Ohayon, founder of Restore Your Core™ (RYC®), share with us more information on urine leakage in women and how pelvic floor and core strengthening can help stop the problem.
The Causes Of Urine Leakage In Women
By Lauren Ohayon
“I’m Really Embarrassed to Admit This, but I Leak Pee”
Almost every day in my online forum group, I see a post along these lines: “I’m really embarrassed to admit this, but I leak pee when I sneeze. I’ve been doing Kegels constantly, but they don’t seem to help. Does anyone know what I can do?”
Leaking of any form sucks. Sneeze pee, jump pee, run pee. Pee that comes out when you least desire and expect it. But this is more than a pesky nuisance to be ignored; on the contrary, not addressing leak pee can make the issue worse over time. It is always a good idea to see a doctor about any health concerns.
The first potential solution most women think of when they start leaking is Kegel exercises. And this makes some sense—as the squeezing/tightening of the vagina should strengthen a weak pelvic floor. But Kegels aren’t always the answer. Let’s break it down a bit…
Pursuing a Healthy Pelvic Floor: Hypo-tonic vs. Hyper-tonic
When we talk about a “weak” pelvic floor, we usually are referring to a “hypotonic” pelvic floor—one whose musculature lacks the appropriate amount of tone to respond reflexively to actions like sneezing and jumping. And when the primary issue is a weak/lesser-toned pelvic floor, the solution often is, in fact, to treat leak pee with Kegels.
That said, many women who leak pee do not suffer from a hypotonic pelvic floor but rather the flip-side—a hypertonic pelvic floor, which is excessive tightening of the area. Yes, they leak pee, too! And for these women, practicing Kegels is adding tension to an area that is already too tight/restricted. Put another way: Imagine your arm flexed in a sustained biceps curl, exuding the maximum exertion you can manage; if you attempt to add more strain to that curl, it’s not going to go well, right? This is a Kegel exercise performed on a hypertonic pelvic floor—muscles that are too tight suddenly get weak and thus don’t respond well to loads.
Restore Your Core; Stop Leaking Pee
The goal of any pelvic-floor training, therefore, should be to bring balance to the muscles of the pelvic floor, which allows them to respond to increased loads before then returning to a proper resting tone. So if you leak pee, chances are it relates to a grander issue of imbalance with your body as a whole rather than tied solely to your pelvic floor. And thus treating the pelvic floor alone is symptom-targeted rather than root-issued; think macro rather than micro!
That is why I created Restore Your Core™ (RYC®) fitness, which takes a comprehensive approach toward resolving both the micro (pelvic-floor issues) and the macro (overall core strengthening). Since 2015, we have been educating and empowering women to become more familiar with your body as a whole; to restore function to your entire system; to create balance in your muscles and joints, as well as integrity in your movements.
And we explore your posture throughout the entire day—not simply during fitness—for movements you both do and don’t do; the manner in which you breathe; your muscle patterns. Again, any and all imbalances in your body can affect your pelvic floor, so don’t isolate this area from the rest of your “whole body” system!
For more on leak pee myths, perception and solutions, check out my “5 Things about Pee Leaking” video here. And for a comprehensive look at the 13-week program that has become a transformative, game-changer for women around the globe, check out Restore Your Core™ online—see you there!
Do you or did you have a postpartum wellness routine? Do you suffer from urine leakage? I hope these tips help you find the right solution for you. Don’t forget that self care is important and not selfish. After all, you can’t pour from an empty pitcher!