Did you know that up to 80% of women experience urinary incontinence over the course of their lifetime? Although many people think incontinence only strikes women over 50, that’s actually a misconception! In fact, one in four high school girls also experiences some degree of loss of bladder control.
Despite its prevalence, the link between women and incontinence is seldom discussed. There’s an inherent sense of taboo and a shyness that accompany the condition. Treatment is actually quite simple in most cases, but many people are too shy to address it with a doctor.
Our goal in this article is to break the taboo surrounding urinary incontinence, so more people can recognize that help is available and treatment is possible. We’ll be discussing the causes of incontinence and how to treat it using Emsella. Read on to get the complete picture!
An Overview of the Pelvic Floor
When you think of a strong core, what comes to mind? Most people think of washboard abs and a tight six-pack. Instead, think of your core as a cube.
Your rectus abdominis, your six-pack muscle, is only the front of the cube. The sides of the cube are formed by your obliques, and your back muscles form the back face of the cube. The top of the cube is your diaphragm muscle, which sits under your lungs, spanning the area beneath your rib cage.
The bottom of the cube is your pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor is made up of a few muscles and ligaments. They stretch across the top of your pelvis and support the organs in your abdominal cavity.
These muscles all work together to make up your core. A strong core means that every side of the cube is strong.
Pelvic Floor Weakness
Your pelvic floor has three openings, one for the rectum, one for the urinary tract, and one for the birth canal. The surrounding muscles expand and contract to allow things to pass through the openings. If the pelvic floor is weak, the openings don’t close as effectively and the result is either fecal or urinary incontinence.
Causes of Women Incontinence
Your pelvic floor weakens with age, although a few factors can exacerbate it. Obesity puts more strain on the pelvic floor, as does constipation. However, the main causes of incontinence are childbirth and exercise.
When pregnant, the pelvic floor has to stretch and bend to support the weight of the child. Then, to allow the baby to leave the body, the openings stretch and the pelvic floor as a whole weakens. Pelvic floor weakness and damage can last for a long time after childbirth.
However, even if you haven’t given birth, your pelvic floor can weaken. One of the main contributors is an athletic activity. Because the pelvic floor supports the organs in the abdominal cavity, running and jumping activity causes the organs to bounce on the muscles, weakening them over time.
In fact, a quarter of teen athletes experience urinary leakage! It’s especially common among cross country runners and trampoline athletes.
Everyone from amateur to elite sports is vulnerable to urinary incontinence. French gymnast Émilie Le Pennec experienced urinary incontinence during the Gymnastics world Championships, and a photo of the incident made waves on the internet. The photographer captured her mid vault, with a leak of urine suspended in the air.
Many people made jokes about Émilie, but it highlights the gritty and less-than-glamorous side of elite female athletes. Performing at a high level isn’t always about awards and accolades. Even the best can experience urinary leakage on the biggest stages in the world.
Consequences of a Weak Pelvic Floor
The most common result of a weak pelvic floor is stress incontinence. Stress incontinence refers to leaking when you exercise, sneeze, laugh, or cough. If you find yourself crossing your legs when you sneeze or wearing pads every day “just in case”, stress incontinence might be impacting your life.
A weak pelvic floor or weakened bladder muscles can also cause a feeling of urgency. You’ll notice this if you need to go to the bathroom often or have sudden feelings of needing to rush to the bathroom. In some cases, this urgency can come on so suddenly and be so extreme that it can lead to leaking.
Studies have shown that women are more susceptible to injuries like ACL tears. A weak pelvic floor and the resulting lack of deep core stability is thought to be a contributing factor to this increased rates of injury for female athletes.
A weak pelvic floor can also lead to reduced sexual sensation and low libido. In turn, this can cause depression and a feeling of disconnection from your partner. The weaker your pelvic muscles are, the less satisfying your sexual experiences will be.
Many women with weak pelvic floors report reduced arousal, pain during intercourse, and difficult or infrequent orgasms.
Pelvic Floor Prolapse
In addition, a weak pelvic floor can lead to prolapse. After birth or multiple pregnancies, your pelvic floor can become extremely weak. Your pelvic floor supports your organs, so when the openings are weak your organs can begin to slip through them and prolapse.
Pelvic prolapse has several degrees. First-degree prolapse is the mildest kind, where the organs slip down a bit. Second-degree prolapse is where the organs slip to the level of the vaginal opening.
Third and fourth-degree prolapse occurs when the organs slip down to the level of, or out of the vaginal opening.
Although pelvic prolapse sounds very frightening, it’s important to remember that it only occurs in severe cases of weakness, and is very treatable. First and second-degree prolapse can be treated with pelvic floor exercises and modern treatments like Emsella, while more severe prolapse can be treated with surgery.
The Pelvic Floor and UTIs
Urinary tract infections can also cause you to clench your pelvic floor muscles. A UTI results in pain, discomfort, or an urge to go to the bathroom. This can cause you to tense your pelvic floor and bladder muscles to the point where they can’t relax or contract on their own.
This is a different kind of pelvic floor dysfunction, where your pelvic floor muscles are taken out of conscious control and can lead to urgency and stress incontinence.
Likewise, pelvic floor issues can make you more vulnerable to infection. If your pelvic floor doesn’t contract or release properly, it can trap UTI causing bacteria in your urethra. In addition, your bladder won’t be fully emptied, which can also lead to a UTI.
In other words, pelvic floor dysfunction and UTIs can create a self-sustaining cycle of discomfort and pain.
Treating a Weak Pelvic Floor
More than 90% of women who experience incontinence don’t tell anyone about what they’re experiencing, although surveys suggest that they would treat it if they knew how. Incontinence is treatable, especially if you arm yourself with a bit of knowledge.
The most common (and one of the most effective) treatments for a weak pelvic floor and incontinence is Kegels. Your pelvic floor is just a muscle, and like any muscle, it can be strengthened. Kegels are a simple exercise that strengthens the pelvic floor and its openings.
You can also use Kegels to check if your pelvic floor is weak, and see if you need regenerative medicine to restore your urinary function.
First, you have to identify the pelvic floor. You can do this by stopping the stream of your urine mid-flow. This is the same muscle you want to use to perform your Kegels.
To perform a Kegel, squeeze your muscles in the same way as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine. You can perform Kegels anywhere, but for your first few times, it’s easiest to do them while lying down. It can help to imagine pulling your vaginal muscles up and in.
Because you can’t see the pelvic floor, it can be difficult to tell if you’re doing it correctly. Many people perform Kegels incorrectly by squeezing the buttocks, thighs, or stomach instead of the pelvic floor. Likewise, some people push their pelvic floor out instead of pulling it in.
The gold standard for pelvic floor strength is ten Kegels, holding each contraction for ten seconds. Between each repetition, you can rest for ten seconds. If you can’t achieve this, or if you want a quicker and easier solution to leaking or pelvic prolapse, it’s time to check in with a health provider for a more modern treatment.
Treat Incontinence With Emsella
If you’re suffering from urinary incontinence, and you’re looking for effective, non-invasive treatment, look no further than Emsella. Emsella is a revolutionary treatment that is FDA approved for incontinence.
Emsella is easier than Kegels, impossible to do incorrectly, and boasts an incredibly high efficacy rate. In fact, 95% of women treated with Emsella report a much higher quality of life and far fewer symptoms.
How to Use Emsella
Emsella is used in the same way as you’d use any chair. You simply sit on it, fully clothed, for 30 minutes. It stimulates your deep core, your bladder, and your pelvic floor muscles.
In fact, one treatment is as effective as 10,000 Kegels! This is possible through electromagnetic technology, which stimulates the muscles to contract.
It can also help restore function to pelvic floor muscles that are too tight and hold too much tension. If you struggle performing Kegels and activating your pelvic floor, Emsella can return the pelvic floor to conscious control, and help re-educate your muscles.
It can be effective in treating an overactive bladder and strong urges to urinate which lead to leaking. In addition, it can treat stress incontinence, leaking during sports, and post-childbirth pelvic floor weakness.
One of the main benefits of Emsella is a better sex life! A stronger pelvic floor will also help improve your sexual sensations and increase your sex drive. In addition, it can make you more confident, and happier, which can also make you more willing to be intimate with your partner.
Most patients will need about six treatments, conducted twice a week. After three weeks, you’ll notice a marked improvement. Many patients notice improvement after one session!
However, your personal treatment schedule will be decided by your health consultant.
Will It Hurt?
Emsella doesn’t hurt and it isn’t uncomfortable at all. Most patients report that they do feel the contractions as a small tugging or tingling sensation, but they don’t hurt and don’t cause any discomfort. There are no side effects and no downtime after treatment.
It’s non-invasive, non-surgical, and doesn’t involve any medication. It’s as simple and painless as sitting down and taking a breather for 30 minutes!
Take Control of Your Pelvic Floor With Emsella
Pelvic floor dysfunction and the incontinence it leads to can affect anyone at any age. If you experience any of the symptoms we discussed in this article, it’s important for you to know that there’s hope. You don’t have to suffer silently with incontinence or a loss of bladder control.
Instead, you can use Emsella to take control of your symptoms and enjoy a leak-free life. At Rejuvenate Health, Emsella is just one of the cutting-edge treatments for women incontinence that we offer. We can help diagnose your condition and find the right treatment for you.
Within a few sessions, you’ll notice the difference. Schedule an appointment with us today, and experience a new lease on life!