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Urinary incontinence

Urinary Incontinence (Accidental Leakage): Myths & Reality

Urinary Incontinence (Accidental Leakage): Myths & Reality 2046 1364 ResilientRx

According to recent statistics from the National Association for Continence, over 25 million adult Americans experience temporary or chronic urinary incontinence. This is a common, widespread, but oftentimes very overlooked and misunderstood issue. What most people don’t know is that there are different therapeutic solutions to help reduce daily leakage, or even eliminate it altogether. 

If this sounds like you, wouldn’t you want to know how to overcome urinary incontinence? 

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the accidental leakage or increased urgency to urinate often. It can be felt by anyone of all ages.  It can range drastically from person to person – and can be managed or treated by exercise, lifestyle changes, or dietary changes. 

What causes urinary incontinence?

There is a lot of misinformation surrounding the causes of urinary incontinence, or UI. In a broad sense, the types of UI can be put into two different categories: urge and stress urinary incontinence.

Urge urinary incontinence

Urge urinary incontinence can be caused by certain drinks, foods, and even medications and stimulants. Included in this list are things such as: 

  • Alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages
  • Artificial sweeteners, chocolate, overly spicy and sweet foods, citrus fruits 
  • Heart and blood pressure medications

Here are common examples of urge incontinence

  • Feeling the urge to pee as soon as you put your key in the door to your house
  • Worried about prolonged walking because you won’t find a bathroom
  • Feeling the need to pee after you just peed

Stress urinary incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence is accidental leakage when there is extra stress placed on the pelvic floor. Below are some common reasons that it can occur

  • Pregnancy and childbirth (ie tearing during child birth)
  • Poor breathing form (not using your diaphragm so your pelvic floor muscles are not as active throughout the day)
  • Pelvic surgery
  • Poor exercise or running form

Here are some examples of SUI (stress urinary incontinence)

  • Peeing when you cough, sneeze or laugh
  • Peeing when you jump, lift or exercise

Myths about urinary incontinence

Because urinary incontinence can be an embarrassing condition, those who suffer from it may do so in silence. This is what prevents so many people from getting the care they need — and we want that to end.

Myth #1: Only elderly people, or people who have been pregnant, suffer from urinary incontinence

While it is true that many people who have been pregnant do face increased likelihood of UI, it also can affect those who are pre/post menopause.  Either way, you are not alone. Bladder dysfunctions can start in people regardless of gender, as young as 18 years old. And if people with penises have any type of prostate gland issue,  whether it be serious or minor, they are at a risk of incontinence.

Myth #2: If you suffer from urinary incontinence you should drink as little fluid as possible to improve your symptoms 

The only thing that limiting fluids does is further concentrate your urine, which then leads to a higher chance of bladder irritation — making the symptoms of UI worse. Always drink adequate fluids, you may have to temporarily stay away from any that you have found cause symptoms to worsen, in order to keep urine diluted.

Myth #3: Nothing can be done about urinary incontinence OR surgery is the only option to treat urinary incontinence

In most cases, urinary incontinence can be managed or treated successfully. Surgery is only ONE of the options for treatment — and that’s to be used only after all other avenues have been exhausted. Urinary incontinence treatments include behavioral and physical therapies, lifestyle modifications, and medications. Treatment plans depend on many different factors, including age and gender of the patient.

Find relief from urinary incontinence with ResilientRx

At ResilientRx, we offer modern physical therapy to target pelvic floor pain and dysfunction, which provides much-needed treatment for people who suffer from urinary incontinence. 

We go beyond just the pelvic floor with this therapy. We target your mobility and movement patterns that may help explain why these problems are occurring. By hitting the root cause of your urinary incontinence, we have a better chance of reducing your incidents — and possibly relieving them entirely! Our urinary incontinence and pelvic therapy treatments can be performed internally (intra-vaginally) and/or externally to reduce pain/dysfunction and ensure long-term results. 

If you’re someone who is struggling with UI and has been told that constantly doing kegels is the only way to fix the problem, reach out to us today. We’ll begin a therapy regimen designed to not only to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles but also target the root cause of the bigger issue. 


Postpartum Urinary Incontinence

Postpartum Urinary Incontinence 1200 799 ResilientRx

Will I ever get back to working out without leaking?

“Why did I just pee all over myself after exercising?”

”I want to get back in shape after just delivering my baby!”

”Will I ever get back to working out without peeing myself?

These questions are all too common when we speak to our postpartum patients and their sentiments are completely valid! We’ve some exciting news- YES! You can get back to working out without peeing yourself!

It is critical to know that pregnancy and delivery may affect pelvic floor function, including urinary incontinence.

Particularly, the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles are stretching throughout pregnancy and during labor, which can lead to weakness and incoordination of the muscles. Due to these changes, returning to certain activities and getting around in your new postpartum body may lead to urinary leakage. Overall, the pelvic floor and core musculature may not be functional enough to support activities that increase pressure on the bladder, like running or jumping.

Types of Urinary Incontinence:


This is the involuntary loss of urine due to increased pressure on the bladder. This pressure can come from coughing, sneezing, jumping, running, etc. With stress incontinence, the pelvic floor muscles have to be strong enough to withstand increases in pressure.

In the clinic, I notice some clients who may think they have strong pelvic floor muscles, however they are actually over-activating or tightening their muscles and in return, the muscles become weak. It is important to note that your pelvic floor muscles need to be able to fully relax in order to fully contract. Additionally, holding your breath during physical activity also increases pressure on the abdominopelvic system which is another cause of leaking urine- don’t forget to breathe!


This is a sudden urge to urinate and involuntary loss of urine. These urges can be associated with exposure to the cold, running water, walking by a bathroom or putting a key in a lock. Often, the muscles of the bladder contract and relax and result in urinary leakage. Urge incontinence can also be associated with frequent bad bladder habits such as going to the bathroom “just in case”. Doing this a lot can lead to mixed signals with the brain and the bladder thinking that you have to pee even when your bladder isn’t full with urine. Urge incontinence can be associated with urinary frequency or urinary urgency.


This is a combination of stress and urge incontinence mentioned above.

Urinary incontinence after delivering a baby is common, but that doesn’t mean you have to continue to endure this for the rest of your life.

Whatever your activity level was, is or could be, pelvic floor physical therapy can support you in getting to where you want to be. It’s all about baby steps!

If you continue to have persistent incontinence after 6 weeks from delivery, it may be a good idea to get evaluated by a pelvic floor physical therapist in order to educate yourself on your pelvic floor and learn what you can do to exercise without leaking again.

Written by: Dr. Michelle Andoy, PT, DPT,