One in four women are afraid to laugh, sneeze or cough for fear of leaking urine. This is a condition called stress incontinence and it can severely affect a woman’s quality of life.
The good news is there is no need to live with this condition, much can be done! First stop is a pelvic health physiotherapist like Jodi Boucher. She says this kind of physiotherapist will help women identify their pelvic floor muscles and teach women how to exercise them properly. They’ll also recommend other exercises to strengthen many other muscles in the core. The physio will also do a pelvic exam to see how those pelvic muscles are working. If clients do their exercises properly, for 6 to 8 weeks, most women will see improvement and some will be cured.
Those women not cured, should then see a urogynecologist. I spoke with Dr. Magali Robert. She says there are several non-surgical and surgical options for women with stress incontinence that have relatively high success rates of up to 80 percent.
Dr. Robert also recommends women try to reduce their risk factors for stress incontinence. Women should learn how to do pelvic exercises like Kegels and do them regularly, they should also avoid constipation and straining and if they have to do heavy lifting, they should make sure they lift properly.
Calgary women with stress incontinence have a great resource at their fingertips. Calgary Women’s Health offers 2 classes:
Exercising Your Pelvic Floor – which is a 2 time, 2 hour class for 40 bucks
and specifically for new moms:
Your Body After Baby Physiotherapy – which is similar information to the above class just tailored for this population
For more information visit:
To find a pelvic health physiotherapist go to the Alberta Physiotherapy Association and College website at: http://www.physiotherapyalberta.ca/.