<<<WARNING>>>

<<<Not intended for those too immature to talk about normal bodily functions!>>>

Now that that’s out of the way…

When was the last time you exerted yourself? Many women have an issue with GOING when physically pushed to the extreme. Yes, you read that right. I’m talking about when a lift or movement is substantial to the point where the control we have over our bladders is sometimes less then we have over the barbell! Don’t worry, you’re not the only one this has happened to, as you can see in the picture to the left. I wouldn’t be writing this post if I didn’t consider it a REAL ISSUE.

Not only is it completely involuntary, but it is down right EMBARRASSING, especially on the platform, gymnastics floor, or wherever it is that you do what you do! I have spoken with many women who have had this happen to them. So if you are one of them, know this; IT HAPPENS. For lifters, the belt is on the bladder anatomically, so when pushing HARD against the belt and “bearing down” it is the same movement as going to the bathroom, therefore it shouldn’t be a surprise if you piss yourself, but it usually always is.

<<<Refer back to the  MATURITY WARNING now.>>>

It’s Called Urinary Incontinence.

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*The following information is from the Weill Cornell Medical College, James Buchanan Brady Foundation, Department of Urology

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DEFINITION 

Urinary incontinence is any involuntary leakage of urine, whether it’s a large amount or just a few drops. More than 38% of women in the US experience urinary incontinence in their lifetime. The four most common types of urinary incontinence are stress urinary incontinence, urge incontinence, mixed urinary incontinence and overflow incontinence.

Stress urinary incontinence is leakage with physical activity. Urge urinary incontinence is leakage preceded by a sudden urge to urinate. Mixed urinary incontinence is a mix of both stress and urge incontinence. Overflow incontinence is leakage due to a bladder that is always too full.

SYMPTOMS

Women with stress urinary incontinence experience leakage of a small to moderate amount of urine with activity. This includes coughing, sneezing, laughing, running, walking, bending over, lifting or just changing positions.

CAUSES

While the likelihood of experiencing urinary incontinence increases with age, it is not considered normal by any means and can interfere with work, socializing, exercise and sexual functioning. Urinary incontinence can be caused by a urethra that does not compress tightly enough (stress urinary incontinence).

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Both non-surgical and surgical treatment options are available for urinary incontinence, depending on which form the patient is diagnosed with. Just as in vaginal prolapsed, patients are given non-surgical and surgical options to choose from depending on the severity of their condition or wishes. With today’s minimally invasive surgeries, many more women are choosing to proceed with surgery since there is typically a one week period for recovery, 6 weeks postoperative restricted activities and the results are excellent.

Non-Surgical Treatments

Kegel exercises

Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These exercises can help control stress urinary continence. Kegel exercises must be done correctly and regularly to work.

“I have been fortunate enough not to have this happen. The first movement of a deadlift is a kegel!” – Jen PrettySTRONG Proulx

Pelvic floor therapy

Pelvic floor therapy consists of a series of visits to a physical therapist with specialized training in the treatment of pelvic floor problems. The physical therapist uses a combination of the techniques listed below depending on the type of urogynecological condition present.

  • Behavioral modification: education on diet, fluid intake and other lifestyle changes to manage various bothersome symptoms
  • Bladder training: learning to use the pelvic floor muscles to suppress overactive bladder symptoms (urinary urgency, frequency, noturia and urge urinary incontinence)
  • Biofeedback: an intravaginal device is used to train the pelvic floor muscles to contract or relax correctly
  • Functional electrical stimulation: a device that can be used intravaginally or externally that delivers a gentle electrical current to activate or relax the nerves and muscles in the pelvis
  • Manual therapy: pressure applied to and released from muscles in spasm to relax them and increase blood flow to the area for healing
  • Joint and tissue mobilization: gentle manipulation to help calm the muscles and nerves of the Pelvis

Low-dose vaginal estrogen

Low-dose vaginal estrogen replaces declining estrogen in vaginal and urethral tissues easing symptoms of vaginal dryness, itching, and irritation as well as urinary urgency, frequency and incontinence. Low-dose vaginal estrogen comes in a cream (estradiol [Estrace™] or conjugated estrogens [Premarin™]), suppository (estradiol – vaginal tablets [Vagifme™]) or a ring ( estradiol – vaginal ring [Estring™]).

Vaginal pessary

A vaginal pessary is a removable, diaphragm-like device worn in the vagina to support vaginal prolapsed and/or decrease stress urinary incontinence. There are a variety of types and sizes of pessaries available. A pessary fitting includes two or more office visits to find a type and size of pessary that will work for you.

Urethral insert

A urethral insert is a small disposable device work in the urethra to temporarily block leakage of urine due to stress incontinence. The device is removed for urination.

Various overactive bladder medications

There are several brands of overactive bladder medications on the market to treat urge urinary incontinence. These medications work by relaxing the bladder muscle. Side effects are usually mild and include dry mouth, dry eyes, blurred vision, urinary retention, constipation, dizziness or drowsiness. Changing the brand or dose of medication can decrease side effects. The different brands of overactive bladder medications include:

  • (tolterodine tartrate) Detrol™
  • (oxybutynin) Ditropan™
  • (darifenacin) Enablex™
  • (oxybutynin) Oxytrol™
  • (trospium) Sanctura™
  • (solifenacin) Vesicare™

Surgical Treatments

Suburethral sling

A suburethral sling is a small strip of material that is inserted through an incision in the vagina and placed beneath the urethra. It provides a firm surface against which the urethra can be compressed during physical activity to prevent stress urinary incontinence. There are a variety of types of suburethral slings.

Tension-free Vaginal Tape™ (TVT)

The TVT is a brand of suburethral sling made of synthetic material that can be placed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia.

Urethral injections

A transurethral or periurethral injection is a simple outpatient procedure in which a substance is injected to narrow the urethra and prevent leakage.

InterStim™ Therapy

InterStim™ Therapy is an FDA-approved treatment for urinary urgency, frequency, urge incontinence and retention. The InterStim™ is a small device that is implanted under the skin of one of the upper buttocks. It works by gently stimulating the sacral nerves to help the bladder function more normally.

BOTOX® (botulinum toxin type A)

Currently Botox® is considered investigational in the management of urge urinary incontinence. It can be very effective in patients with neurogenic bladder or with urge incontinence not responsive to anticholinergic medications.

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<<<Congratulations if you made it this far!>>>

<<<But you may need to refer back to the MATURITY WARNING again at this time.>>>

I was DONE after “Kegel Exercises”! Can you believe they have pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures for this? Botox for my bladder; I don’t think so!!!!  Maybe I’d consider a vaginal pessary or a urethral insert, but that just sounds like a fancy tampon-like device to me. What got me thinking about this was how I feel when I’m training on my period; PLUGGED UP and secure, I have less of an urge to pee on my period because I’ve got a tampon in. Maybe it’s as simple of a fix as this. Personally I don’t want to become one with DEPENDS! Thats just NOT flattering under a singlet, and yes I care. I’m PrettySTRONG! I do NOT care enough to have surgery or take drugs for this little problem, and as a student studying chiropractic, I advise you against any type of drug or invasive procedure as well!

With the little research I did on this subject, I decided to try out my theory at competition, where peeing on the platform in front of about 200 people was highly likely. I was not on my period for this meet, but I was attempting max effort lifts on this day. So I used my own version of a “vaginal pessary.” In my mind, a tampon in the vag would hold tight against the urethra, and reduce the risk of golden showers for the judges. Needless to say, IT WORKED! I wish I would have shared this with a few of the other ladies before this meet because there was definitely some drizzle on the platform that weekend, but I waited to test my max effort lifts before publishing this article to test my theory and report my findings.

This was something that gave me competition/platform anxiety for a very long time, but it happens. Men don’t seem to have this problem with the belt. Different anatomy. But I have heard about men squatting out a number 2!!!!! I guess peeing a little isn’t the WORST thing that can happen! hahahahaha! Since we are getting really into it here, let’s not forget to mention even regurgitation! Yes, I’ve seen it. The weight was so heavy it made the athlete throw up! Needless to say, if you are ever in any of these situations, YOU MUST FINISH THE LIFT!

This girl should have read this article! 

 

Article by Vanessa Gale, D.C. of Pretty STRONG Powerlifting

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