- Women’s Health
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- Nurse Barb
Are you like millions of women who leak urine? Do you know where every bathroom is in a 5 mile radius of your house? Or maybe you wear a pantyliner to catch the little leaks that might occur if you cough, sneeze or laugh? Or maybe you’re like my patient Joan who leaks as soon as she puts the key into her front door. What’s up with that?
You are Not Alone
If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because millions of women will experience some leaking, what we call urinary incontinence, at some point during their lives. This isn’t a topic that most women feel comfortable bringing up, even with their health care providers.
Most of my patients are surprised to learn that they’re not the only ones dealing with this. One patient told me she didn’t want to mention it because she was sure she’d be scolded for not doing Kegel exercises 10,000 times/day. As she said, “I don’t even know if I’m doing them right.”
Women who don’t leak urine are usually younger and have not had any pregnancies. As you can see in this illustration, the bladder is a nice oval shape, is high above the vagina and the the valves or urethral sphincters that stay closed so that you can stay dry. The bladder is held up in place by the pelvic floor muscles.
Eventually, over time, as gravity works it’s not so nice magic on the pelvic floor muscles the bladder can slip down into a curved position where some of the urine can stay in a pool that never quite empties, which can lead to leaking.
Should You Exercise Your Pelvic Floor Muscles?
The pelvic floor is like a small trampoline, it has a little bit of bounce and keeps all the organs in their places with bright shiny faces. Exercising your pelvic floor muscles helps strengthen them and can help women regain control leading to less leaking.
To find out if you need to exercise take this quick quiz
If you answered True to any of these questions, practicing pelvic floor exercises can help you regain more control over your bladder.
How to exercise your pelvic floor
It may be difficult to isolate the muscles of your pelvic floor and to learn how not to use your abdominal muscles to squeeze, hold and then relax. Here’s how you might practice in the privacy of your bathroom. I recommend trying while seated on the toilet.
When you buy your ticket on the hormonal roller coaster, affectionately known as menopause, I have some bad news: Sorry, you probably won’t be making a stop at splash mountain. Nope, menopause brings lots of unexpected twists and turns and one big secret, your Va Jay Jay will be a lot dryer.
Ok, using correct terminology, the vagina gets a lot drier and less able to expand and stretch and, well, have fun.
Can You Say Sahara?
Yes, there will be more wrinkles, but you knew that. What many of my patients are surprised by is how dry their skin is, especially in their vaginas. The once healthy, pink, soft and flexible, stretchy accordion-like folds begin to thin out and are less flexible. And, what’s worse, now that you don’t have to worry about pregnancy, all of a sudden, your ability to lubricate recedes like a middle-aged man’s hairline. (more…)
My friend, Katie called yesterday. The night before, she was at her monthly Bunco group, and after enjoying an appletini and was sitting in her chair, laughing at a friend’s hilarious story about their kids. Suddenly Katie was laughing so hard that she literally pee’d her pants. “I couldn’t control it,” she blurted, “Luckily, I was wearing dark pants, and it was just a little bit, but that has happened since after I had my 2nd child. OMG, is this the beginning of the end?
“It hurts when I go to the bathroom”
Ask yourself these questions:
– Very little
– Less than normal
– A normal amount
– More than usual
Have you been treated for a Bladder Infection? In addition to taking the prescribed antibiotics, it’s also been shown that a healthy dose of probiotics can help reduce the risk of having a recurrent infection.
A while back, I wrote about bladder infections. Today, we’ll dive into more detail about a great home remedy that really works to prevent and sometimes treat bladder infections.
Many of my patients have cranberry juice every day or a few times each week to keep the keep their bladders happy and healthy, and I recommend it. Here’s why:
New Evidence Proves What Women Already Know
It doesn’t take a genius to know that cranberry juice works. However, a very smart researcher, who also happens to be a woman, figured out how. (more…)
In midlife there are many factors that can increase the likelihood that a woman will suddenly start having more bladder infections. (more…)
Our Featured Wrtten Article Today is by Eleanor M W Forbes, MSN, RN, WHNP-BC, IBCLC,RLC.
Today I saw Maria* (not her real name), a 57 year old woman who was complaining of frequent urination and other symptoms that are associated with Urinary Tract Infections. And though her Primary Care Provider had found nothing in the frequent urine evaluations she’d had, something just didn’t feel right. Maria had a hysterectomy in her mid 40s and since then it had started to get more painful when having sex, to the point that she was losing all desire to be intimate with her husband.
Help Nurse Barb,
I think I had a yeast infection 2 weeks ago. My doc gave me Diflucan and tested me for STDs. He didn’t say that I had yeast, but I took the meds and still have a white, mucusy discharge. It’s not smelly, not as curdy as yeast, and not itchy. I’m not on the pill and I was wondering why do I have this stuff on my underwear?
We know that women are 6 to 7 times more likely than men to become infected with herpes.
A new report by the WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that worldwide up to 28 % of women will be infected with Herpes by age 50! Here in the US, studies have found that in general between 20 -25% of women are infected, with 90% being unaware that they have this particular infection.