I just gave a talk to a group of about 75 women at midlife. When I asked for a show of hands for how many women experience urine leaking with a cough, sneeze or laugh, about 1/2 raised their hands.
Yes, about a third to a half of us are having a little pee pee problem. Fear not! There’s an App for that now too!
Strengthening the pelvic floor means you’ll be less like to deal with this possibility.
When I ask my patients to do a Kegel or to try to squeeze their pelvic floor muscles during an exam, it’s clear that only about 1/2 are able to isolate and squeeze the right muscles. Many use their abdominal muscles, many push out and many simply don’t have the sensation. Once we work on how to do the exercises and get women started practicing, most report that their lives have changed, for the better because they aren’t leaking at all or nearly as much.
We’re all busy, so here’s some options to help you stay dry and a surprising option at the end.
At home Kegels! There’s an App for that
For women who want to work on their pelvic floor muscles in the privacy of their own home, here’s a few new options:
Discreet vaginal inserts
Lightweight, small, discreet vaginal inserts that use Bluetooth technology connected to your smartphone so you can see if you’re doing your Kegels correctly. Really! And they work to improve the pelvic floor muscle tone, help reduce leaking and yes, all of this can help with sexual satisfaction. I’ve used both of these, like them both and recommend them to patients.
Elvie – This small, discreet probe also uses Bluetooth connectivity to provide direct feedback via your smartphone. It provides you with exercises you can do in the privacy of your own home. I love the color and the shape.
PeriCoach – This small probe has 3 sensors that provide immediate feedback via your smartphone on the strength of your vaginal muscles. Then the app sets up a series of exercises tailored for you. Right now, they’re even offering a discount for my readers, just use the coupon code Nurse Barb
From the App Store
Bwom – This is an actual app that you can download for less than a Caramel Macchiato: $ 0.99 to $3.99. Bwom provides a 12 week guided course with instructional videos, prompts and fun rewards. I love this app and so do my patients, because it’s a great way to get started on the path to less leaking.
Tinkle proof Underwear from Icon
If you’re like many women, using a pantyliner every day can become expensive and a hassle. Now, there’s really sexy, yes sexy undies that are designed to be highly absorpent, washable and discreet (no odor).
Icon – These were designed by women for women and they’re fabulous for light leaking. I love the way they engage with women on line, not to mention that these are really nice, sexy undies and the colors are flattering for everyone.
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
If you try all of the above and still need more help, then do find a hospital or clinic with the Total Control Program, which has been proven to help women regain their pelvic floor strength, have less leaking and many become completely dry.
I send my patients to the group classes at El Camino Hospital, where they have a comprehensive Pelvic Floor Program for women of all ages. This is the only place in the Bay Area to offer the Total Control Program .
You can also search for a Pelvic Floor Physical therapist for 1 on 1 exercises and training. You can use this excellent resource from the American Physical Therapy Association’s Section on Women’s Health, a handy locator that will search based on your zip code.
Disclosure: I do not work with or for any of the products mentioned here.