Top 5 Myths About Those 'Leaks'

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You’ve probably heard one or more of these so-called truths about bladder control and other pelvic health matters. Now learn the real skinny …

Myth 1: My Little “Accidents” Are Normal.

Think that urinary incontinence (UI), the clinical term for those inconvenient leaks, is a normal part of aging? Not so!

Certainly, many women, especially those who have given birth, do experience UI. Some estimates are as high as one in three women over age 18 has occasional leaking, especially when coughing, laughing, or other activity. But bladder leakage is not a normal part of aging. It’s a medical problem that should be addressed.

Myth 2: Just Wear a Pad.

With time, incontinent women generally report their UI is getting worse. In fact, incontinence is one of the leading reasons why women end up in nursing homes. The evidence is clear that UI doesn’t just go away, and wearing a pad is not a solution.

Incontinence – even occasional episodes – is a subject you should talk about with your primary care doctor or your OB/GYN.

Myth 3: Surgery Is the Only Help For Incontinence.Top 5 Myths About Those Leaks - In Content

Surgery is needed in some cases. But other solutions such as pelvic muscle training called Kegel exercises, reducing caffeine intake, weight loss, and other non-surgical help have been used by millions of women to reduce or eliminate UI. Some medications can help with bladder muscle control.

Myth 4: Stopping the Flow Of Urine Is a Good Idea.

You may have heard that interrupting your flow of urine while on the toilet will strengthen your pelvic “floor” (the muscles involved with bladder control). Not true! Stopping urine flow does help you identify where your pelvic muscles are, but that’s all it does.

But bladder leakage is not a normal part of aging. It’s a medical problem that should be addressed.

Myth 5: Kegel Exercises (Pelvic Floor Exercises) Don’t Work.

Yes, they do. Kegel exercises are terrific for many types of incontinence, as millions of women have discovered. No matter your age, Kegels can prevent many types of UI. But it’s important to learn to do them the right way and to do them every day.

When To Talk To Your Doctor

If you’re not sure whether you should talk to your doctor about your incontinence, here’s advice from Elyse Weber, PA-C:

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It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.