Stress Incontinence and Bladder Issues as we Age: Life in our 40’s
Talking about stress incontinence and bladder issues as we age, as part 5 of our series on “Life in our 40’s.”
Well my friends, I hope you’ve enjoyed this series so far. Today we come to the awkward, but important topic of Urinary Incontinence. Leakage. Bladder issues. With a focus on the most common issue of Stress incontinence. If you’ve ever had the humiliating experience of thinking you can bounce on a trampoline as a mid-40 year old Mom, I’m guessing you know what I’m talking about… 🙂
Dave is not with me for this, mostly he is back to work for the next few weeks and I didn’t want to wait for him. But also because, well — I’ve got this one. I’ve done the research, talked to the specialists, and well, let’s just say I have a bit of personal experience as well…
(Scuze me while I go hide in the corner…)
Here’s the video, then I’ll share a few links and notes below.
A few notes:
1. Need a little help with the anatomy? Here’s a graphic of the involved region…
2. Want more info? Of course I only scratched the surface on this topic. Here’s a simple WebMD article with a little more information.
3. How to do proper kegels? This post from the Mayo Clinic is helpful, and this one has pictures! 🙂
What I have found is that you really need to set time aside like any other part of your fitness routine. If you just tell yourself you’ll do it when you can, you’ll likely be like me, and remember just about the time you lie down in bed. Which means you’ll make it to about the 3rd rep and Zzzz… So, take a 5-10 minute chunk of your day and set it aside to do the kegels. You won’t regret it!
4. Why am I still running? Since I mention a number of times in the video that my problems are isolated to running, I know a few of you are thinking, “Then why are you still running!?” Haha, I know… Between my back issues and this one, I have considered perhaps God is suggesting I slow down a little…haha. But if you happen to be a runner, you know it’s hard to give up something that is so much a part of you. Truth is, I am walking more these days, it just takes longer, and life is busy! (I also love running!)
For the non-runners: I think running is a good test for anyone to check how strong your pelvic floor is! For those of you who are not runners, you might try a few jumping jacks, a bounce on the trampoline, or a jog down the street and back and see how you do. Personally? I’m just not ready to lose the option of doing active things quite yet, so I’m fighting these things as long as I can!
5. That part about the birth story? Can we all just forget about that now?… I really wanted to edit that out, but Dave said it’s part of the story and to leave it. (It’s really embarrassing.)
6. Shi-Shi? “make shi-shi.” “Go shi-shi.” Pronounced “She She”. You’re welcome. 🙂
7. Your turn? Share in comments! Have you dealt with these things…had surgery? Become a kegel expert? Any treatment options I missed? Anyone…anyone?…. 🙂 Please share!
I adore you all, and thank you so much for letting me be so real here. I also super-appreciate it when you share this stuff with your people.
Monica, I love that you were so honest for this story. I am very close to your age, I think— 46. While I’ve only had two kids, I have definitely noticed some age
-related changes. It’s like whack-a-mole, I’ll tell you! As soon as I fix one issue, there’s another that shows up, and I get to play the guessing game.. is it age-related, stress- related, unique to me or a more serious problem that needs looked at? As for this incontinence thing, it’s definitely happening when I cough or sneeze. My husband brought home influenza earlier this year, and despite me having a flu shot, I did end up with a mild case of the flu! This issue made me downright miserable. I think it was my worst “symptom” ! Thanks again for this series.
I recently discussed Icon underwear (made by Thinx) is specifically made for this. I’ve been trying them out the last 2 weeks and I’m pleasantly surprised how well they work. Besides that and patterned leggings, I’m determined to not let it stop me from running:). I know mine starting after my 2nd childbirth which was slightly traumatic. Ty for taking on a not so fun, but very common topic!
If your leaking your pelvic floor needs help. And bouncing on it only makes it worse not stronger. You need to repair your muscles and engage your core to properly return to the lifestyle you want without leaking. Exercises that find the tiny muscles and the big muscles you haven’t used since childhood. Welcome what I have found. Fit2b Studio! Absolutely amazing workouts that strbgthen your body and mind. I am not a muddled leaky mess anymore cause I don’t have to be. That is not the life I want to live.
Well done on an excellent post. I think this was the best one in the series, maybe because you have personal experience and were really confident talking about it, but you did great, very down to earth and you didn’t come across at all embarrassed. The video flowed really well.
Oh thank you Fiona! So glad it came across that way because I was defnitely embarrassed, haha. 🙂 But maybe it felt good too, after all those years of going through the steps to figure things out, to finally just share it somewhere! I appreciate the encouragement for sure! aloha to you–
Thank you so much for doing this video on this subject. It was on point for me and so very helpful. It was exactly an answer to prayer. You filled in where other information had been omitted, creating stress and a feeling of being blind sided. I have a game plan now. Your exactly the breath of fresh air sent from Heaven I needed. So grateful and thankful!
Oh bless you!! That makes it all worth while!! Seriously, I so appreciate you letting me know and I wish you ALL the best as you make decisions and go forward! xo
I’ve almost always had this problem when running too, although it’s been worse since kids. I definitely need to be more consistent about kegels and other pelvic floor exercises. I also find running first thing in the morning and not drinking a ton right before helps. If I know I’m going to run later, I try to be careful about when I’m hydrating so I’m not downing 20 oz of water an hour before I run. I think it just helps my bladder be fully empty. Anyway…just my experience! Always good to get more information, and to not feel alone!
Thank you for commenting Amanda!! Yes, the empty bladder is a great idea. The worst for me was I did the NYC Marathon a few years back and was so afraid of being dehydrated I drank a ton before the race began. I literally had squishy shoes by the end b/c of all the leakage!! haha. Disgusting!! 🙂 I need to cut back on coffee on run days and I am positive it will make a difference! Much aloha to you–
I’ve had this problem for years and I’ve recently discovered the miracle cure. Tampons. Even the smallest size regular absorbency works miracles. It just presses on something or aligns something and voila! Problem solved! Try it, it does work and it’s not as uncomfortable or expensive as those Impressa support things.
Thanks Adrian. Yep, I mentioned that in the video, I think tampons as good as the special ones too!…I am also surprised by how much wearing a pad can help–something about the bit of pressure seems to help resist the drips…(Kind of like when little kids “hold” their pee pee by holding themselves..haha.) Thanks for commenting and much aloha to you!!
This is kind of a silly question, but do you have to worry about toxic shock syndrome when you use them, like for periods? Been wondering about that.
Thank you Monica for openly talking about a topic many women face. I’m 51, and just stopped having periods a few months ago, so your recent series has been very interesting to me. I also had some damage done when my second child was born, and I did go through PT to try to help with the incontinence problem about 5 years ago. It was doing better, but since I’ve stopped having periods, I’ve noticed more issues. I think mine is more severe than yours as a cough, sneeze, or even an unexpected laugh causes leakage. I’ve done the Kegels, but I do think I’m getting ready to take that next step and look into surgical options as I need to wear a pad constantly and don’t think I should have to do that at my age.
oh wow, Kim….thank you so much for commenting. Yes, sounds like you’ve done your part and are at a good time to go for it. I bet surgery would make you feel like a new person! I hope you’ll tell me about it as I’m likely just shortly behind you! 🙂 Much aloha to you and thank you again for joining the conversation. XO
I actually wrote my own blog post about incontinence and I think it might add a lot to what you shared. Something as simple as the way we stand and the shoes we wear can make a HUGE difference! I hope you and others will check it out
I guess I should specify it’s called
“This one’s for all the mamas out there”
So timely for me! I just had this urodynamic testing, though mine was done by a super young nurse😳
Considering uterine ablation and a sling, or maybe hysterectomy and sling. Urologist told me that if you do it while you’re younger (I’m 48, ha) the tissue is healthier and surgery is more successful.
Oh so interesting…I do have a friend who had an ablation and it was super helpful. Thank you for sharing your experience–Hope you have great success. 😉
I had my bladder fixed when I had my hysterectomy at 34. My bladder neck was the issue so it is now in a sling. Takes a lot longer to empty my bladder but it sure was nice to be able to walk and sneeze at the same time! I’m 45 now and it’s been starting to fail for a few years now. No where near as bad as it was 12 years ago though.
I’m glad you addressed this topic and shared your experience. I really appreciate that!
Thank you so much Sandy! Interesting to hear different stories. If yours gets worse, do you imagine having the same procedure done again, or do you have a plan at this point? Keep me posted. 😉 Much aloha-
Yes, my story very similar to yours. Try to do kegels but never consistently. I am officially reminded. 😉 Also, I know a few women who had bladder sling surgery and though they were very happy with it, it didn’t last long, so I’ve never wanted to go that route. Truly appreciate you sharing these videos. SO nice to know we’re not alone!
Thank you so much for sharing your story! I’ve totally had leakage and have been in denial….haha. I am now inspired to get serious about the kegels! Fun video and I’ll be sharing with friends for sure.
Did you know that a physical therapist can help you with this? Maybe you’ve never been a kegel person. Maybe you have done amazing kegels your whole life and still have this issue. There are actually physical therapists out there who go and do extra training in Women’s Health PT. Just don’t feel like once it’s started your doomed.
Yes! I talked about my experience with this in the video 😉. It’s a great option!
Sometimes I start videos and then walk into another room. My bad.
haha…Sometimes I watch videos and still miss entire sections. 🙂 No worries!!