What’s an overactive bladder?
Overactive bladder occurs when abnormal nerves send signals to the bladder at the wrong time, causing its muscles to squeeze without warning. Voiding up to seven times a day is normal for many women, but women with overactive bladder may find that they must urinate even more frequently.
Specifically, the symptoms of overactive bladder include
- urinary frequency – bothersome urination eight or more times a day or two or more times at night
- urinary urgency – the sudden, strong need to urinate immediately
- urge incontinence – leakage or gushing of urine that follows a sudden, strong urge
- nocturia – awaking at night to urinate
What is stress incontinence?
If coughing, laughing, sneezing, or other movements that put pressure on the bladder cause you to leak urine, you may have stress incontinence. Physical changes resulting from pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause often cause stress incontinence. This type of incontinence is common in women and, in many cases, can be treated.
Childbirth and other events can injure the scaffolding that helps support the bladder in women. Pelvic floor muscles, the vagina, and ligaments support your bladder. If these structures weaken, your bladder can move downward, pushing slightly out of the bottom of the pelvis toward the vagina. This prevents muscles that ordinarily force the urethra shut from squeezing as tightly as they should. As a result, urine can leak into the urethra during moments of physical stress. Stress incontinence also occurs if the squeezing muscles weaken.
Stress incontinence can worsen during the week before your menstrual period. At that time, lowered estrogen levels might lead to lower muscular pressure around the urethra, increasing chances of leakage. The incidence of stress incontinence increases following menopause.
What is urge incontinence?
If you lose urine for no apparent reason after suddenly feeling the need or urge to urinate, you may have urge incontinence. A common cause of urge incontinence is inappropriate bladder contractions. Abnormal nerve signals might be the cause of these bladder spasms.
Urge incontinence can mean that your bladder empties during sleep, after drinking a small amount of water, or when you touch water or hear it running (as when washing dishes or hearing someone else taking a shower). Certain fluids and medications such as diuretics or emotional states such as anxiety can worsen this condition. Some medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism and uncontrolled diabetes, can also lead to or worsen urge incontinence.
Involuntary actions of bladder muscles can occur because of damage to the nerves of the bladder, to the nervous system (spinal cord and brain), or to the muscles themselves. Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and injury-including injury that occurs during surgery-all can harm bladder nerves or muscles.
If I’m doing kegels, is this not enough to strengthen my pelvic floor?
Kegels often only work one set of muscles in the pelvic floor. We know that the health of your pelvic floor is dependent on four sets of muscles: perineal, Transversus abdominis, lower extremity adductors, and gluteals. Kegels also work the pelvic floor without connecting it to breath or any of the muscles around it; furthermore, the release phase (which is so important in training those muscles) is often skipped.
I have physical limitations preventing me from being very active, what can I do?
Lead Pelvic Floor Health exercises get you moving with safe, effective movements that are taught and monitored in a clinical setting. You are not expected to be an athlete to do these exercises and they are often variations that we can provide you with to accommodate for any limitations. The exercises taught in the Lead Pelvic Floor Health program are simple yet effective in treating the pelvic floor issue. The exercises also mimic everyday movements such as going up the stairs, getting out of a car or sitting in a chair. The instruction in the Lead Pelvic Floor Health program helps retrain your body to activate the pelvic floor through daily activity and not just during times of specific exercise. This subconscious “exercise” builds the pelvic floor strength and changes the client’s ability to function in daily activity.
Should I contact my doctor to make sure that this is safe for me?
Absolutely – although it is not imperative, feel free to discuss with your doctor. We are committed to working with healthcare professionals and adding this to their repertoire for helping their patients. We have engaged various groups in the medical and health care fields to make them aware of Lead Pelvic Floor Health.
Can I expect results after only 30 days?
Yes. The hard work starts after your analysis and it is important that you keep up with your Top 3 exercises as they were prescribed to you. We want to make this as easy as possible for you and have offered Mat Foundations Classes to ensure you stay on top of your rehabilitation and so that you can truly see those results at the end of 30 days.
I am out of town, are there options available for me?
We understand that travelling from out of town may make it hard to attend all of the Mat Foundation Classes at the studio. We do offer packages for our out of town clients. Please contact the studio for more information.
I am currently expecting, is the program safe for me?
Yes! Our Mat Foundations class is a gentle Pilates class that can be modified to your changing body. The Pelvic Floor Analysis is highly recommended to help you learn to relax your pelvic floor muscles which will aid in a more successful birth. It will also teach you to engage your pelvic floor which will help with your postpartum recovery.
Is this just for women?
This is not just for women. Men can also benefit from a strong pelvic floor. This can help men who have had prostate issues as well as men with incontinence issues. It has also been shown that pelvic floor health is related to erectile dysfunction, analyzing those muscles can help us to determine where you may have weak or in some cases overactive muscles in your pelvic floor, limiting your sexual health.
I suffer from a prolapsed bladder, will this help me?
The Lead Pelvic Floor Health program is designed to help clients with prolapsed bladders. Restoring and strengthening your pelvic floor can help to improve the symptoms related to this issue.
Is this covered by my health insurance?
The Lead Pelvic Floor Health program is currently not covered by health insurance, however this is something that we are pursuing.
How can I prepare for my appointment?
As we will be placing a sensor on your perineum (the space between your vagina and anus) we ask that you come clean-shaven in that area. We also ask that you do not put lotion on the area’s the sensors will be placed (the abdomen, inner thighs, and glutes).