LBL? Do your Kegels!While out for lunch with a friend a few weeks ago, she sneezed… once, twice, three times. She told me she hates that third sneeze because it was the third sneeze that got her. When I asked her what she was talking about, she told me she “pees her pants” every time she sneezes more than two times! (Well, her words were a little different than that, but it wouldn’t be polite to put her exact words into my blog! I would have to use @%#&$ a lot). Those of you who know me, know that I'll talk about almost anything; now I'm going to talk about LBL.
What is LBL?
LBL, or light bladder leakage, isn’t something we often talk about. It is something that will affect one in three women at some point in their lives, at any age! For many, it can begin after having children or also as we age. For many, it is a minor inconvenience; for others it means planning their life around the nearest bathroom and avoiding situations for fear that they will leak. If that is the case, it's time for a visit to your doctor as the causes of LBL are varied.
On my way home from lunch, I was in the car doing Kegel exercises for the first time since I was pregnant, hoping keep myself in the other two of the three women who don’t have LBL! There is no shame in having LBL at all, but I figured if this would help me avoid it, I would make an effort to start doing Kegel exercises again. When I got home, a quick search told me that Kegels are the best known non-surgical treatment for LBL!
What are Kegels?
If you have had children, you have likely heard of Kegel exercises. Kegels are designed to maintain the tone of the pelvic floor muscles that can become weakened during pregnancy. Many doctors and nurses will tell you to do them in order to strengthen the muscle and promote better bladder control during pregnancy and after childbirth. I am telling you that you shouldn’t stop these exercises after pregnancy.
How To Do Kegel Exercises
Next time you go to the bathroom, while urinating - try to stop the flow. That's the muscle you are going to exercise! Do not do this exercise while urinating though as it can cause urinary tract infections. Practice contracting and releasing the muscle throughout each day. It is best to begin with 10 repetitions in sets of two or three, and gradually increase as the muscle becomes stronger (just like weight lifting!).
When is a Good Time to Do Kegels?
The beauty of these exercises is you can do it anywhere and anytime. For example do them while you are in your car and waiting for a red light to change. ;)
While it's true that leakage is common, it is not “normal” or inevitable. If you have any concerns about your pelvic health, or if LBL is distressing you, make an appointment with your doctor.
If you have any questions about LBL, please visit Maternity Corner.