If you answered yes, here’s help…
“The most common type of urinary incontinence in women is stress
incontinence,” explains Kari Ogata, a Physical Therapist with the
Torrance Memorial Physician Network. “Stress incontinence is related
to muscle weakness. You can experience an improvement in quality of life
simply by doing Kegel exercises properly every single day to strengthen
your pelvic floor.”
Strengthening the pelvic floor using Kegels has been shown to improve leakage
in 75% of women, according to the International Urogynecological Association.
A stronger pelvic floor can also reduce risk of prolapse which may decrease
pelvic pain and improve comfort during sex.
“Our pelvic floor rehabilitation program provides a private environment
to educate women and give them the tools to reduce leakage,” says
Kari. “We work with women suffering stress incontinence, urge incontinence
or mixed, a little bit of both. In addition to working on the pelvic floor,
some women benefit from avoiding acidic food and drink which irritates
the bladder, as well as bladder retraining to reduce frequency.”
If you’re interested in Torrance Memorial Physician Network’s
pelvic floor rehabilitation program, call 310-791-7980 for more information
or to schedule a private assessment.
How Do You Kegel?
Find your pelvic floor muscles by attempting to stop flow of urine or the
passing of gas.
Once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles, lie on your back
and close your openings and lift them up and in toward your abdomen. Tighten
your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction, and then relax.
Increase pelvic strength by trying to lift pelvic floor up into abdomen
like an elevator rising.
Consistency is key. Perform 8 reps, 3 times a day working up to a 10 second hold.
With consistent daily exercise, you should see results in 6-8 weeks if
your primary problem is small leakages with exertion.
You may also be interested in the Inner Core Fitness class offered at Torrance
Memorial’s Health Education Center. See page 12 for details.