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Wee, Wee, Wee, All the Way Home

Thirty-six-year-old mother of two has been having bladder issues. Feeling a sudden need to go, she sometimes doesn’t make it in time. What is happening to her and what can be done?

Case #: 655


I'm a mother of two. Age 36. Been having trouble lately with a sudden need to urinate. It comes on so fast and often I don't have time to get to the bathroom. I wet myself much of the time this happens. It's really embarrassing. I don't know what to do.


You are not alone! Overactive bladder syndrome is rated at occurring in 12.8% of women worldwide. Usually, bladder issues worsen with age, and women who have had a vaginal delivery are much more predisposed to urge urinary incontinence, which is what I think you’re exhibiting.

Urge urinary incontinence is classified as a “sudden, intense need to urinate, followed by an involuntary loss of urine”. There are many potential reasons for urge urinary incontinence, but medical experts stress that generally no specific cause is found.

Why Is This Happening To Me?

Incontinence is generally a side effect of menopause, or potentially, perimenopause. Perimenopause is the time in which your body begins to prepare for menopause. It can begin as early as your mid-thirties, and lasts until your body stops ovulating—that is, until you finish menopause.

The same symptoms that occur in menopause can be experienced during this time: hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, but most importantly for you: issues with vaginal and bladder functions.

The reason women begin experiencing incontinence, or in extreme cases events such as prolapsed bladders or uteruses, is that during menopause, hormone production drops off. Levels of the hormone that keeps the muscles of your pelvic floor toned, estrogen, begin to decrease, resulting in an inability to hold urine in, and sometimes the sensation of your vagina not being as tight as it once was. Weakened muscles prevent you from adequately controlling your bladder functions, and can result in you feeling completely out-of-control as to your own urinations.

The Kegel Spiel

While muscles may have begun to atrophy, due to lower estrogen levels, it’s easy enough to retone them! By practicing Kegel exercises daily, many women experience much greater bladder control and a feeling of reinvigoration as regards their vaginas.

Kegels rely on isometrics to rebuild muscles, by clenching, holding, and releasing to increase muscle stamina. Ready to try? You can begin by stopping the flow of urine the next time you go. This helps you identify what it feels like to clench and release those specific muscles.

Once you recognize the sensation you’re aiming for, try practicing when you’re not going to the bathroom. The great thing about Kegels is that you can do them anywhere: on the bus, at work, watching TV…Clench those muscles you discovered (known as PC muscles for the pubococcygeus muscle) for ten seconds, then release. It’s recommended that you perfom a Kegel exercise every time you do something routine, such as stopping at a stop sign, or changing the channel.

Intake Effects Your Output

Some studies suggest that what you eat can also irritate your bladder to the point of urge urinary incontinence, or that eating some foods in conjunction with symptoms of incontinence can exacerbate the issue.

Experts recommend avoiding excess caffeine, highly acidic foods, and very spicy foods. These are common factors for bladder irritation at any stage, and may also be adversely affecting you at this time. To flush your body of potential irritants, and contribute to strengthening your muscles, consider a cleansing and restoring tonic (SEE: Herbal Tincture For Urinary Incontinence).

Choose one formulated to reduce inflammation and irritation. I’m sure you will soon overcome this difficulty!

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