Menopause

Yoga for Your Pelvic Floor

This post was written for us by Logan Biggs of Home Care Delivered. Take it away, Logan, and thank you!

Defeating Your Bladder Leakage: Tips for Reducing Accidents

Losing control of your bladder can feel like you’ve also lost control of your life. Instead of you calling the shots, it’s now your bladder in charge, telling you what you can do, when you can do it, and where you can go.

Nobody’s day should be dictated by bladder leakage, especially when there are so many ways to keep it under control. A little understanding of what’s going on, and how you can manage it manage it, can go a long way.

Bladder Leakage – Why It Happens

Bladder leakage is not a disease, but a sign of another medical condition. Many things can cause it: Pregnancy, lower estrogen, and even gynecological surgeries like hysterectomies. Another culprit is the weakening of the sphincter muscle. The sphincter muscle is what keep the bladder closed. As we age, that muscle loses some of its strength, making it harder to hold urine, allowing leaks.

Almost half of women over 50 experience this kind of leakage.

How To Deal With It:

Strengthening the sphincter muscle can help reduce bladder leakage. The stronger it is, the lower the chance there will be an accident. There are a couple ways you can do it:

Yoga

Studies have shown that certain Yoga poses can help reduce bladder leakage. Here’s a few you can easily do at home:

Utkatasana – Chair Pose

Start with your feet parallel to the hips. Slowly bend your knees and lower into a squat. Ideally, the thighs should be parallel to the floor. Extend your arms so they align with the head and upper torso.

 

Viparita Karani Variation – Legs Up the Wall Pose

Lie on your back and place your hands behind your hips. Slowly lift your legs until they are straight and perpendicular to the floor. Arch your back and tuck the chin slightly towards the chest.

 

Salamba Set Bandhasana – Supported Bridge Pose

Lie on your back and clasp your hands together under your hips. Lift your hips off the floor until your upper and lower torso are flat. Keep your feet flat and arch your back.

Kegels & Pelvic Exercises

Kegels and other pelvic exercises can also help strengthen the sphincter and reduce bladder leakage. When doing Kegels for incontinence, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Find the right muscles – Make sure you’re working the muscle group that’s connected to your bladder. To find it, begin urinating and then try to hold it. The muscle group that contracts is the one you want to target.
  2. Do enough repetitions – You’ll need to do at least 60 reps per day in order for the Kegels to have a lasting effect on bladder leakage.
  3. Don’t overdo it – Like all exercise, working the pelvic muscles too hard can cause damage and could weaken the muscles further. Make sure you rest your body and give yourself time to recover.

For more information about Kegel exercises, visit this guide.

Incontinence Products

Yoga and Kegels will only reduce bladder leakage if the it’s being caused by weak muscle strength. For other kinds of incontinence, the best solution may be an absorbent product.

Some women default to using feminine products because that is what they are familiar with, and worry that an incontinence product will add bulk or be uncomfortable. Today’s incontinence products are very thin, discreet, and easy to manage while on the go. The real trick is choosing the right one for you. Here are some tips to help you out:

  1. Pick the right product – There are three basic types of incontinence products: bladder control pads, pull-on underwear, and adult briefs. Each one is made to handle a different level of leakage, so make sure the product you choose can handle your needs.
  2. Make sure it fits – Incontinence products only work as well as they fit. Generally, they should be snug against the skin and cover enough area to prevent urine from escaping.

Note: Medicaid and a few private insurance plans will cover the cost of incontinence supplies. If you have Medicaid, check out this Medicaid guide to incontinence supplies to see what’s available in your state.

Menopause

New Help for Pelvic Floor Weakness After Menopause

Dressing Table

A post with good news from PeriCoach:

At-home pelvic floor muscle exercises just got easier! PeriCoach, the “Kegel” trainer, is now available directly to women without a prescription.

As many of us know, bladder leaking is common beginning perimenopause, but it’s not normal.  Strengthening the pelvic floor is recommended as a first-line treatment. Tightening the pelvic floor also helps with sexual function.

The good news about PeriCoach is that it has been studied and clinically evaluated by women’s health physical therapists, urogynecologists, OBGYNs, and urogynecological nurses, with data and case reports published in peer-reviewed journals

“As a physical therapist, I feel confident recommending to my patients and using myself, vaginal devices that were developed and evaluated first as medical products,” says Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, founder of Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy. “PeriCoach has a well-established profile as an easy-to-use, effective, and affordable home pelvic floor trainer.”

Listen to a testimony by a PeriCoach user:

The PeriCoach app now comes with a new feature for tracking improvement.
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More great news! PeriCoach has just been approved by the FDA for its benefits in improving sexual function. Here’s part of the press release:

“Studies have found that that sexual complaints, from low libido to problems with sexual arousal to inability to achieve orgasm, are common among women with pelvic floor disorders.

‘Unfortunately, many women feel that decreased sexual function is an inevitable part of aging,’ said Leslie Rickey, MPH, MD, Associate Professor of Urology and of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; Fellowship Director, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Yale School of Medicine. ‘But women should know there are self-help strategies, and now home pelvic floor training support with PeriCoach can help improve pelvic floor muscle strength and sexual function at ANY age.'”

Find out more here at www.pericoach.com.  For a limited time, the company is offering $50 off the price of the PeriCoach when purchased over the counter.

PeriCoach USA on Twitter.

PeriCoach USA on Facebook

Both Facebook and Twitter link to some excellent articles on the pelvic floor and its challenges.

Menopause

Kegeling! And a T-shirt Giveaway (The Ultimate Girlfriend Birthday Gift)

The folks at Cystex made this catchy video to remind us all to kegel!

The Mayo Clinic explains the science and technique of kegeling:

Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. You can do Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor muscle training, discreetly just about anytime.

Read more about kegels and their importance on the Mayo Clinic report here.

So come on everyone, get with the program: squeeze and hold!

Squeezing helps the sneezing!  (And lots of others stuff too.)

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GIVEAWAY:  Spice up your fall wardrobe!  You can win an I’m Kegeling. Are you? t-shirt.  For a chance to win, simply enter a comment by October 30 saying you’d like to be the winner.

Don’t want to sport a kegel t-shirt yourself?  This makes a GREAT gift for a girlfriend birthday party!  LOL!

download

Menopause

Wearever Panties: A Giveaway!

Lace Panties

A post by Wearever’s Mandy Harrell:

Urinary incontinence is one of those things many people aren’t comfortable talking about.

The hush-hush issue is rarely discussed publicly despite the estimated 30 million Americans currently living with some level of it. The condition affects large demographic including active seniors, women who have birthed multiple children, and those with various health conditions.

Incontinence can also often be an issue for women going through menopause.

According to WebMD, during and after menopause, levels of the female hormone estrogen drop significantly. This lack of estrogen may cause the pelvic muscles responsible for bladder control to weaken, often resulting in urinary incontinence.

Now is the time to learn about options for dealing with incontinence, especially alternatives that help you maintain your lifestyle and are even eco-friendly. Wearever washable, reusable incontinence panties are actually real underwear made especially for those with light, moderate or heavy urinary incontinence. Say goodbye to disposable diapers and pads once and for all.

Wearever’s reusable incontinence underwear features an innovative sewn-in pad that functions as well as, if not better than, any adult diaper.

Its Unique-driTM absorbent technology works in three layers: the top layer lets liquid in; the middle layer moves liquid out to the edges of the fabric so it doesn’t pool and, therefore, resists bacteria growth and odor; and the urethane bottom layer prevents leak-through so that the moisture is contained within the undergarment.

The Wearever line also eliminates the discomfort and loss of dignity that can come with adult diapers. The women’s panties look and feel just like traditional underwear. There are even stylish solutions like women’s lace panties or comfortable cotton styles.

Even better: Wearever products are also less expensive, saving the average user nearly $500 a year compared to alternatives like adult diapers or pads.

Wearever’s washable, reusable underwear options are better for your wallet, better for the earth and better for your wardrobe. You don’t even need to think about the consistent noise of a diaper crinkling, the rough feel on skin, or the frequent trips to the store for disposable diapers anymore.

With Wearever, incontinence doesn’t have to change your active lifestyle or day to day routine any longer!

Giveway:  Wearever is offering two Friend for the Ride readers a three-pack of their lace panties pictured above. For a chance to win, simply enter a comment by September 5. Winners will be chosen using a random integer generator.  (Consider entering for a friend or relative.)  Read more about the panties here: 

Wearever image

Wearever offers comfortable, quality, affordable and stylish apparel solutions for everyday health and wellness concerns. To learn more, visit  www.WeareverUS.com.   

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/weareverus

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Mandy Harrell is the brand manager for Wearever.

Menopause

Guest Post: Urinary Incontinence Stop Me? No Way!

A guest post by writer and blogger Lisa Winkler.  I asked Lisa to write this post in response to a comment she made on a Friend for the Ride post, Prolapse: Fix It with Duck Tape?  Thanks, Lisa!

About the time I started running—in my mid-40—I started leaking.  The situation gradually got worse. Much more than the slight trickle after a cough or sneeze, I’d return from a run soaked through.  I ran with a group of women, usually early Saturday mornings, about 6-8 miles.   I remember when the leader, a marathon runner, invited everyone for a post-run brunch to celebrate her birthday. I drove to her house, where the run would begin and end, followed by the brunch party. I packed a change of clothes. After the run, I couldn’t wait to get into the bathroom to change. Everyone else stayed in her athletic clothes. The host didn’t care if our sweaty bottoms sat on her dining room chairs. But I knew better.

Soon after, I decided I needed to see my urologist. I couldn’t stand running and leaking. My inner thighs were  chafed from the moisture. And I wasn’t going to stop running.

I had a relationship already with Dr. Yitzhak Berger. A few years before, I’d developed interstitial cystitis, or IC. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001508/)

Teaching at the time, I’m convinced it occurred due to job stress and the lack of free time to go to the restroom. It’s a known fact that teachers contract an unusual amount of urinary tract infections. A colleague and friend of mine, suffered from the same condition. We’d often meet at the doctor’s office.

After about nine months on medication that was supposed to alleviate the symptoms—you don’t ever really recover from IC- I had an in-office procedure, a hyperextension of the bladder. Basically they blow up the bladder like a balloon and that for whatever reason lessons the painful, irritating symptoms. It worked.  Though I sometimes get minor bouts of IC, it’s manageable.

So I want back to Dr. Berger. Getting an appointment can take weeks and then you wait and wait. He takes his time with patients.  An Israeli man who looks like Woody Allen, I always enjoyed seeing him and trusted his expertise. In a practice of 9 other all male urologists, he was the only one dedicated to women’s health and a specialist in Female Urology Urodynamics.

While too many years have passed for me to remember my exact words, I’m quite sure I said to him: “I’m not leaving until you fix this,” referring to the leakage.

He couldn’t do anything that day but suggested I consider an outpatient procedure that he’d been involved with inventing.  I didn’t have to think twice; I took his first available slot to have him place a TVT or trans-vaginal tape that supports the urethra like a hammock and prevents incontinence.

This procedure changed my life. No longer did I worry about wetting my pants during a run and could socialize after without fear of reeking like an unchanged diaper.

Now in my 50’s, and more a cyclist than a runner, I’m finding a bit of urinary incontinence from riding. New reports say that cycling affects women’s sexual health too.  If my conditions get worse, I’ll return to Dr. Berger. As far as cycling and sexual health, I put my trust in my bike shop mechanic who has fitted my bike to my body: if the handlebars and seat are correctly placed, and I’m not riding for 12 hours a day, I’m not worried.

So ladies. Find an urologist you can trust.  There’s no need to endure discomfort or embarrassment due to urinary issues. Thanks to Barbara for encouraging me to write about my experience.

Lisa K. Winkler’s blog: http://cyclingrandma.wordpress.com/ chronicles her opinions and observations. She’s the author of On the Trail of the Ancestors: A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America.  Find out more at her website: www.lisakwinkler.com