Peeing While Laughing? A Physical Therapist’s Guide To Helping

Pelvic Floor Health | | INTIMINA
3 min read

Pelvic floor exercise, otherwise known as Kegel exercise, is a trending topic. But while many women have heard about it, not many of us fully understand the pelvic floor and the impact it can have on intimate health. We’re answering popular question about the pelvic floor and Kegel exercise with the help of Rachel Gelman, a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist.

In a recent survey with 5,083 women aged 18-45 across the UK, USA, France, Spain and Italy, INTIMINA discovered that 58% of women experience stress incontinence, meaning they release a little bit of urine when they laugh, cough, sneeze or lift something heavy. 43% said they experienced painful sex, and most are unaware that this is a symptom of pelvic floor dysfunction that can be cured, or improved at best.

Doing Kegels

One of the cures are Kegel exercises, which, when performed correctly, can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. With smart devices such as the recently launched KegelSmart 2, women can incorporate Kegels into their daily routine without hassle. KegelSmart contains sensors that register pelvic strength and automatically set your tailored exercise levels. The simple 5-minute vibration-guided program improves the strength of pelvic floor muscles. The KegelSmart clinical trial found that average pelvic floor strength doubled after 12 weeks, with 90% of women reporting improved bladder control, and 94% reporting improved vaginal tightness and tone.

Pelvic floor physical therapist Rachel Gelman confirms that much education is needed regarding the pelvic floor muscles:

“Most people don’t know about these muscles until there is something “wrong” and they are experiencing symptoms. So, I spend a lot of time educating people about their pelvic floor and how it functions” and adds: “My patients often come with symptoms of urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, constipation, urinary urgency/frequency, pain with sex or sexual dysfunction.”

Making the Correct Diagnosis

Every body is different, so it’s always advised for women to consult with a pelvic floor therapist regarding their symptoms and treatment. Rachel Gelman explains why this is important:

“Many patients I work with experiencing pain with intercourse have tense or guarded muscles. When muscles are tense or overactive, they can also present as lacking strength or weakness. If the muscles are in a tense state they are at their end range of motion which means they cannot contract any further, and this can lead to bladder leaks.”

“I always recommend people get a physical examination to assess the physical state of their muscles in addition to how well coordinated these muscles are. Strength is just one component of pelvic floor activation; we want to see the endurance and coordination of these muscles.” 

Using Devices as Treatment Options

According to research, vibratory stimulation can improve pelvic floor muscle strength and help conditions such as vulvodynia and incontinence. Rachel Gelman comments:

“I recommend always getting an in-person examination before starting any pelvic floor exercise. Devices like KegelSmart can be helpful for people that don’t have access to a provider in their area, especially if they know that their pelvic floor muscles are not in a guarded state. Sex toys and masturbation are also great options for helping with pelvic floor dysfunction.”

Whatever symptoms you are experiencing, seeking advice about pelvic floor dysfunction and treatment options from a medical professional is crucial. Most women experience pelvic floor conditions, and there is a cure. So, talking about peeing while sneezing or laughing should not be taboo. Dysfunctions like these should not deter anyone from living a healthy and fulfilled life.

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