Have you heard of the book, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead?” It’s written by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, and Nell Scovell, TV and magazine writer. The book encourages women in the workplace to challenge the status quo by taking risks, seeking challenges, and leaning in.This book started a movement, and we think it’s amazing.
As women, we’ve come far in demanding equal respect, pay, and rights. Yet, there are still female health issues being cast aside and accepted as a “normal” part of being a woman, or a “side effect” of being a mom. One example? Urinary Incontinence (UI). While it’s not life-threatening, it causes us to Lean Out to accommodate annoying symptoms.
Did you know that 1 in 3 women experience Urinary Incontinence (bladder leakage)?
That’s twice as many as men. Of those women, only 40% will talk with their doctor about this issue. Let’s Lean In to stop bladder leakage.
Becky was a leader in her company. She oversaw more than 20 employees, and she loved her job. But after giving birth to her fourth child, she began leaking a little bit of urine. (Otherwise known as bladder leakage or urinary incontinence).
“It wasn’t too bad at first, and it was something I thought women just dealt with,” Becky said.
After a few years, it became so bad that she called her doctor. The only solution he gave her was to have surgery! She and her husband read about the surgery, but it sounded awful. So, she decided to just continue dealing with it. A few more years passed, and Becky felt hopeless.
“I had a special bag in my van for my ‘supplies’ with a change of clothes and extra pads, just in case,” Becky said. “I got so nervous in company meetings, because I was afraid people could smell me.”
But, one night at a party with her friends, she heard someone talking about a non-surgical treatment for bladder leakage: ApexM. Becky began using the treatment, and after just two weeks, she saw improvement. One month later, she was dry. More than a year later, Becky is still dry.
“To not have to worry anymore has helped my confidence,” Becky said. “I’ve lost weight, bought some new clothes, and my outlook on life has improved! Which in turn, has improved my relationships at home and at work.”
How It Affects Women
Levels of UI range from accidentally peeing yourself a little while laughing, sneezing, coughing, or exercising, to the more extreme: a sudden urge to go pee, and not making it to the bathroom in time. This is the reality 1 in 3 women, like Becky, experience every day.
Some people think incontinence is “part of growing older” and only happens to seniors. Or new moms are told by family or friends that, after giving birth, peeing a little when you are laugh is “to be expected” or “part of having a baby.” But new studies show that ONE in FOUR female college athletes are suffering from urinary incontinence.
This isn’t a minor issue affecting just one group of women—it’s affecting all women. Embarrassment about the topic, shame around not doing Kegels, and lack of awareness of how common UI is and what causes it…any or all of these can keep women from reaching out to their doctor and asking for a solution.
Instead, women will stop going to their Zumba Class, or quickly cross their legs tight when they need to sneeze. Others stuff their purse with Poise Pads. But these are not treatments, just coping measures.
Let’s Treat The Cause, Not The Symptom
You’ve probably seen the advertisements for pills, pads, or even the latest trend: shoes that decrease bladder leakage. But these treat the symptoms of incontinence. They don’t treat the underlying cause of incontinence—weak pelvic floor muscles.
“It’s time to talk about this taboo topic before diapers become the newest accessory in the Nike store. So yes, strengthen your calves and abs, but don’t forget to strengthen your below-the-belt muscles!” said Dr. Lauren Streicher, associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s medical school.
To strengthen a group of muscles, you must work out the muscles. Think of lifting weights—dumbbell curls, barbell bench presses, barbell squats, etc. What do they have in common? Active resistance. Resistance plus consistent reps are what build these skeletal muscles. Your pelvic floor muscles are skeletal muscles too. This is why Kegel exercises don’t work unless they are performed correctly, with active resistance.
Think of it this way: if you want to build stronger leg muscles, you don’t just flex your legs a couple times a day and expect stronger muscles, right? It doesn’t work. Studies show that active resistance, using biofeedback, can cure 90% of urinary incontinence.
Ditch the pads and pills. You don’t have to change your whole life because of incontinence. You just need 10 minutes a day. Learn more about treating incontinence not just the treating the symptoms. Because you deserve dry.
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