Keywords: Postpartum, Pelvic Bulge, Pelvic Pain, Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Bulging, Vulvodynia, Vestibulitis, Dyspareunia (painful intercourse), Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Scrotal Pain, Pain with Ejaculation, Coccyx/tailbone Pain, SI jt pain, Piriformis Syndrome, Hip Pain, Endometriosis
Do these sound familiar?
Your kids want you to chase them around the yard and you take off after them, but have to stop because you’ve peed your pants. Or, you’re at your favorite exercise class and have to limit any jumping activity because you’re not confident that you won’t leak like last time. Urinary incontinence (leakage) is unfortunately an embarrassing and common issue postpartum. For some, it goes away on its own. For others, leaking can last years after delivery. There are two types of urinary incontinence, stress and urge, but I’m going to focus on stress incontinence. Any time we exert a force (lifting, exercising, coughing, laughing, sneezing, etc) this creates pressure throughout our trunk/pelvic floor. Our bodies are designed to adjust and maintain/spread that pressure to avoid problems. However, changes in our body from pregnancy/postpartum can affect our ability to do so, and that’s when leakage may occur.
I’m sure you’ve heard the common advice that if you experience leaking, perform a kegel and that will solve it. I don’t know how many patients I’ve seen that have told me they’ve done kegels for years and are still leaking! Yes, kegels can help if your pelvic floor is weak, but it’s been shown that approximately 15-30% of women aren’t performing a kegel correctly!
Tip: Here is a basic guide to help to you correctly perform a kegel
Draw up your pelvic floor towards the top of your head, like you’re pulling up and in
Try to pick up a blueberry with your vagina
Imagine drinking through a straw in your vagina
Starting from your pelvic floor, zip up a zipper towards the top of your head
Sometimes, it’s not just a weak pelvic floor that can cause issues. A tight pelvic floor, poor breathing mechanics, poor coordination of your deep core muscles and pelvic floor, and postural alignment are also issues that can cause leakage.
As a pelvic floor PT, I’m able to assess your entire body, not just your pelvic floor, and figure out why you’re leaking. Leaking may be common, but you don’t have to accept it as your normal!
If you’re still having trouble performing a kegel, or want to stop that annoying leaking, contact me at 785-813-1338 so you can get back to living life leakage free.
We understand your struggle. We want to support your journey to healing by being an understanding and safe place to discuss and repair your body's issues.
Contact us to setup your Free 15 Minute Consultation
About the Author
Hi! I’m Michelle Webb, Doctor of Physical Therapy at Webb Physical Therapy.
Since graduating from PT school in 2011, I have worked in many different areas of physical therapy, but it wasn’t until I started working with pelvic health that I found my true passion. I believe that each patient should be treated with a holistic, whole person approach to healing. Every person is unique, and I love helping my patients develop individualized treatment plans to help them achieve their specific goals. Too often, people are told that the pelvic health issues they are feeling (leaking urine/feces, pelvic pain, pain with intercourse/tampon use/speculums, pelvic heaviness, the list goes on and on) are normal, and something they have to deal with. While those issues may be common, I want to help everyone realize there is life outside of their symptoms! I truly feel joy when I can help someone improve their quality of life and return to the activities they love, without difficulty.