You’re in class jumping around and then it hits you, the uncontrollable urge to urinate. Sound familiar?
The sudden urge to urinate during exercise and even the occasional issue with bladder leakage can be attributed to a condition known as stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is the result of weakened vaginal and urethral muscles. As muscles become thinner, it becomes harder to stop the flow of urine. While it’s a common and usually harmless problem, it can certainly cause problems when you’re exercising, particularly if you exercise regularly.
Stress incontinence results from movements that put pressure on the bladder and cause urine leakage, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or physical activity. Physical changes from pregnancy and childbirth often cause stress incontinence. Weakening of pelvic floor muscles can cause the bladder to move downward, pushing the bladder slightly out of the bottom of the pelvis and making it difficult for the sphincters to squeeze tightly enough. As a result, urine can leak during moments of physical stress. Stress incontinence can also occur without the bladder moving downward if the urethra wall is weak. This type of incontinence is more common in women.
To remedy this, doctors commonly recommend that you regularly tighten your pelvic floor muscles — the ones that help you control the flow of urine — commonly known as Kegels. Or, if the issue persists, you can look into seeing a pelvic floor dysfunction specialist (https://torontophysiotherapy.ca/services/pelvic-floor-physiotherapy-and-incontinence/ ). If the situation becomes extremely debilitating then surgery may also be a viable option for you. In any event, rest assured that you’re not the only woman that suffers from this issue and that you should never hesitate to speak to your health care professional to help decide which option, is right for you.