Incontinence. Not a fun word. But did you know that most incontinence can be taken care of without surgery or medication?
Studies have shown the prevalence of incontinence in all women is about 19%. That means that nearly 1 in 5 women will experience incontinence at some point in their life. Prevalence becomes higher with age, with 69% of women over 70 experiencing incontinence, that is almost 7 out of 10. Also, pregnancy increases the prevalence of incontinence; 59% of women during pregnancy, and 31% after delivery report incontinence. Women who have had more than one pregnancy or twins/multiples report an even higher incidence of incontinence. Did you know that the direct annual health care costs of incontinence are $31.2 billion. This includes surgical interventions, medications, and pads/undergarments. I don’t know about you, but I want to spend my money on things other than pads!
Great News! Most types of incontinence are treatable without surgery or medications! Physical therapy with a specialist in women’s health can save you money, and the embarrassment of urinary leakage. And it is more than just the Kegel exercises your doctor tells you to do. The bladder loves habits! And many times issues with leakage and frequency, needing to go often, can be solved with some simple tricks to retrain your bladder. Yes, Kegel’s will help to strengthen the muscles that control being able to hold urine. But beyond strength, the endurance of the muscles, your hormones, and previous injury to the pelvic floor muscles through childbirth, episiotomy scars, and overstretched ligaments that support the organs of the pelvis may all be contributing to the problem of leakage. A trained women’s health physical therapist can identify the underlying causes of the problem and address them all.
Maybe you do not have any problems with urinary leakage, or it only happens rarely if your sneeze with a full bladder. That is great! But, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Visit a women’s health PT to begin a program to save you money, time, and embarrassment from an issue that can only become worse with age if left untreated! Learning what to do now can help prevent you from ever developing problems later.