Can Tampons and Menstrual Cups Stop Stress Incontinence or Bladder Leaks?

Why tampons may stop your bladder leakage, but why we don’t recommend it and why the Uresta pessary is a better alternative.

Have you ever noticed that your bladder leakage is reduced when you’re using a tampon? Some women we’ve worked with have mentioned they’ve seen less incontinence while running or working out when using a tampon. In these scenarios, your tampon is acting like a pessary.

Bladder leaks (aka stress urinary incontinence or SUI) happen when the muscles that support your urethra lose strength or become damaged. As a result, these muscles can give out during moments of extra pressure like sneezing, coughing, and jumping, resulting in bladder leaks.⁠

The use of tampons might stop incontinence due to their shape as they apply subtle pressure to the urethra through your vaginal wall – similar to how the Uresta pessary works (see below for how it works). If you want to learn more about what a pessary is, read our blog here.

However, there are a variety of reasons why we don’t recommend the long-term use of tampons or menstrual cups to stop bladder leakage.

Why not just use a tampon for bladder leakage?

1. Tampons are not made for bladder leakage.

For most women, the pressure (or support) applied by a tampon might make a slight difference to their incontinence, but it will not be significant enough to reduce or stop their bladder leaks meaningfully. Also, only a few women will see improvement in their incontinence when a tampon is in use. Unlike tampons, the Uresta pessary is specifically designed to apply the right amount of pressure to support your pelvic organs to stop bladder leakage.

To learn more, visit our FAQ section – why can’t I just use a tampon?

2. Tampons can cause pain with the removal and drying of vaginal tissues.

Tampons are designed for use during your menstrual cycle. That means tampon use outside your menstrual cycle can cause vaginal dryness and pain when extracting. Have you ever removed a dry tampon towards the end of your cycle – not fun!

Watch Kim Vopni, The Vagina Coach, YouTube video on Using a Tampon for Incontinence.

3. Risk of toxic shock syndrome + other chemicals in tampons.

Improper use of tampons poses the risk of toxic shock syndrome, particularly when used for extended periods. Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare but potentially life-threatening bacterial infection caused by the overgrowth of certain bacteria, such as staphylococcus aureus. Symptoms include a high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, and a rash that looks like a sunburn. If left untreated, TSS can be fatal.

Also, some common chemicals that wind up in menstrual products include chlorine bleaching, pesticides, rayon, fragrances, dyes, etc. There are 100% cotton tampons on the market free of these potentially harmful chemicals with long-term use, however, we still don’t recommend using tampons or menstrual cups outside your menstrual cycle for the above reasons.

To learn more, check out the Well + Good article 5 Things You Need to Know About Common Tampon Ingredients

4. Tampons are wasteful in the long run.

Tampons can be wasteful with long-term use due to their disposable nature. Tampons and pads are often made from single-use materials such as cotton, plastic, and silicone. When discarded, they contribute to the growing problem of plastic pollution in the environment. Since many of these materials are not biodegradable, they remain in the environment for a long time, contributing to the growing problem of landfills.

Why Uresta is a better alternative for incontinence.

1. The Uresta pessary is much more likely to reduce your leaks.

The Uresta pessary is specifically designed to provide direct support to your urethra to stop bladder leaks. In fact, in a recent independent clinical study 97% of women saw a reduction in their leaks when using Uresta. That means if a tampon doesn’t stop or reduce your leaks, that does not mean that Uresta won’t work for you. The Uresta pessary comes in 5 different sizes so you can find the perfect level of support.

When the Uresta pessary goes inside your vagina, it supports your urethra from underneath (see the graphic below) and bladder muscles to keep them braced so that pee doesn’t escape during moments of extra pressure. That way, pee stays in the bladder during everyday activities.⁠

2. The Uresta pessary is much more comfortable as it’s non-drying.

Uresta is made of medical-grade silicone, which is much easier to insert and remove than a tampon. This material is also non-absorbent and, therefore, will not result in any vaginal dryness. If you feel any discomfort, you can always use a water-based lubricant to help with the application process. The support from the Uresta pessary is not enough to prevent you from peeing normally, which means you don’t need to remove Uresta to pee.

3. The Uresta pessary is sustainable and affordable.

Uresta is also sustainable and more cost-effective in the long run since it can be washed and reused.

4. The Uresta pessary comes in a range of sizes – find the one that works best for you.

Uresta comes in 5 different sizes, and each size applies a different level of support and pressure to stop bladder leaks. To make finding your perfect fit easy, our starter kit (just $139) comes with the 3 sizes which work for over 80% of women. You can then experiment to find the one that works best for you, and if you need to try the other two sizes, we’ll send them to you for free.

Get your starter kit.

In our most recent clinical study, 97% of women said they saw reduced bladder leaks when using the Uresta pessary! Not to mention, 94% of those women said they would recommend Uresta to a friend, and 91% felt more confident when using Uresta.

See the full blog post here

Curious if Uresta is right for you? Take our Free Assessment to find out!

How this pelvic floor physiotherapist stopped her leaks when running.

If you’ve followed us for a while, you will know that we are a massive fan of Caroline Packard, a pelvic floor physiotherapist. We first connected with Caroline a few years ago after she started using Uresta herself to manage her stress incontinence.

Today with the help of Uresta and pelvic floor physiotherapy, Caroline is able to run leak-free and no longer requires the support of Uresta. This is a massive achievement, as Caroline was once told by her physician that she would never be able to run leak-free without undergoing a sling surgery. This was crushing for Caroline to hear – at 33 years old, she really did not want to undergo surgery. Caroline is a very active mom, and she began to dread running because of her stress incontinence, something she once loved.

Caroline started her career as a generalist physiotherapist, but her pelvic health issues motivated her to specialize in pelvic health. When we first met Caroline, she was just starting to share her struggles with incontinence through her Instagram channel. Caroline’s content is incredibly informative on pelvic health, while at the same time engaging. Today it is no surprise that she has 130K followers on Instagram. If you don’t follow her, I highly recommend you do!

We are excited to share Caroline’s story with you – one of how she turned a setback into a career opportunity and two how she conquered her leaks.

Here is Caroline’s experience with stress incontinence and her tips for resolving stress incontinence – especially when running or exercising. Caroline recently shared her story with iRun – we thought it was incredibly informative and relatable to so many women, so we wanted to share with you here on the blog.

How I stopped by leaking when running

By Caroline Packard

Something I never told my closest friends, I now share openly on social media—I used to pee my pants when I ran.

A life-long runner, I ran through almost my entire pregnancy until it no longer felt “good” anymore.  So I was more than eager for my first run post-baby without a giant belly, only to be greeted by a leaky bladder that made running at any pace unpleasant.

While postpartum leaking is common, affecting 1 in 3 women, it’s not normal and signals intra-abdominal pressure overloading the muscular system, leading to leaks. This prevalence increases in high impact female athletes, like runners.

At 30-years-old, I found myself ‘incontinent.’  As my bladder function waned so did my joy of running, as the emotional toll of dealing with an ‘embarrassing’ issue made me avoid a sport I had always loved.

At the time, I was practicing as a “generalist” physical therapist and tried interventions on my own without success. I then sought help from pelvic floor physical therapy. I saw minimal improvement initially with therapy and after my third pregnancy a surgeon told me without urethral sling surgery, I would never be able to run without leaking. I was devastated.

Determined I had not exhausted all conservative options, I tried pelvic floor PT again.  Professionally, I switched gears and dove headfirst into Pelvic Floor PT education and training. Applying all I had learned personally and professionally, I was thrilled to finally see improvement. 

I was so blown away at the ability to overcome my struggle through small changes and share this knowledge helping other women do the same. While pelvic floor PT treatment should always be personally tailored, here are eight tips that can be generally helpful to those dealing with stress urinary incontinence:

  1. Don’t empty just in case: Less urine, less leaking, right? WRONG! Like Pavlov’s dog, this teaches the bladder to hold progressively less urine AND the urine becomes more concentrated, irritating the lining of the bladder, causing MORE urge and leaking.
  2. Identify food triggers: MANY foods and drinks can irritate the bladder. For me it was a B12-containing pre-workout supplement.
  3. Better breathing: Pelvic floor health and function is directly correlated to proper (diaphragm) breathing.
  4. Running form change: forward lean, short stride, faster cadence, forefoot strike—all help align the pelvic floor with the diaphragm for improved bladder control with less force on the pelvic floor.
  5. Total body mobility: In particular, loss of mobility in the back and hips affects pelvic floor function.
  6. Strength training: I teach women to incorporate pelvic floor function into total body strength training. It’s way more than Kegels!
  7. Add support: Much like a bra, a Uresta pessary acts as an internal support for the bladder and urethra to stop leaks. This was truly a game changer for me, allowing me to work on running form changes without leaking.
  8. Realistic goals: Changing habits and building strength takes time. There are no end dates, we’re looking for life-long improvement and long-term function.

What was once my source of embarrassment and emotional pain has now become my mission in life. When I first experienced leakage, I would not even tell my closest friends. Now, I share my story with the world to encourage women struggling with pelvic floor issues. I am in the process of formulating workout programs that incorporate expertise from pelvic floor specialists specifically for women who leak or have another pelvic floor dysfunction.

We can absolutely keep moving and doing the activities we love, leak free!

5 Habits for a Healthy Pelvic Floor

We recently sat down with physiotherapist (and friend) Melissa Dessaules to learn what improves and impacts your pelvic floor health.

Melissa has extensive training in managing and treating pelvic floor issues. She’s adopted a proactive approach to improving pelvic health so that men and women can feel empowered as they weather the changes that come with aging, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and living an active lifestyle.

Keep reading for insight from Melissa on 5 habits for a healthy pelvic floor.

1. Whole-body strengthening.

Your pelvic floor is only as strong as its surroundings. Whole-body strengthening is a fantastic way to support a healthy pelvic floor. When you work on strengthening your core, legs, back, and upper body, the benefits will lighten the load on the pelvic floor.

Since most clients come to me with pelvic floor symptoms, we often start with working on pelvic floor strengthening. I ensure to incorporate legs, back, core, and upper body strengthening because they influence your pelvic floor. We then move outside of the pelvis to adopt a whole-body approach.

To learn more, check out The Pelvic Floor Project podcast Episode 59. Strength training to feel confident and capable in your body with Teresa Waser

2. Focus on healthy eating and sleep.

Healthy eating and getting good quality sleep are critical functions for your overall health and well-being. If we don’t eat a healthy balanced diet or get adequate sleep, our whole body is tired — including our nervous system and pelvic floor.

For example, when we’re sleep-deprived and not eating well, we tend to feel sluggish and wouldn’t expect to have as much success at the gym. The same goes for the pelvic floor. A tired pelvic floor will not perform as well as it could. Symptoms of a fatigued pelvic floor include urinary incontinence (even small drops) when you cough, laugh or sneeze, pass unwanted gas, leak unwanted stool, and pelvic prolapse. 

3. Keep your tissues healthy and moisturized.

Our vulvovaginal tissues (vulva/vagina tissues) should be pink, plump, and lubricated. Some stages of a woman’s life, like the postpartum period or perimenopause, can lead to hormone changes that affect our vulvovaginal tissues. Our delicate tissues can appear dry, fragile, sore, or pale in color. You may experience discomfort during your day-to-day activities or pain during sexual intercourse. In this case, your vulvovaginal tissues may benefit from a vaginal moisturizer or topical estrogen.

Keep an eye on your anatomy and consult your healthcare provider if you notice any of these symptoms or changes. They contribute to your overall pelvic health.

To learn more, check out The Pelvic Floor Project podcast Episode 54. Vulvovaginal hormone therapy with urologist Dr. Rachel Rubin.

4. Learn how to manage internal pressure.

Common ways we mismanage internal pressure is excessive straining when we pee or poop, constantly sucking in our tummy, or holding our breath when we exercise or do any heavy lifting. These factors create muscle tension and a lot of downward pressure on your pelvic floor.

Over time, this downward pressure begins to weaken your pelvic floor muscles. The resulting symptoms might be urinary incontinence, leaking unwanted stool, and pelvic prolapse.

Adjusting your habits to minimize the cumulative downward pressure you put on your pelvic floor in a day can be just as beneficial as strengthening your pelvic floor.

To learn more, check out The Pelvic Floor Project podcast Episode 46. Bladder leaks with cough, sneeze, or physical activity with Adrienne Sim.

5. Be mindful of your habits.

To tune into positive and negative pelvic floor habits, I start my client appointments with a simple awareness exercise. I ask my clients to focus on what it feels like when they tighten their pelvic floor vs. when they relax it. I have them practice this exercise a few times a day to recognize the different sensations.

I then ask them to start noticing their subconscious habits throughout the day. Are you squeezing in your tummy all the time? How is your breathing – slow and steady or tight and constricted? Are you experiencing chronic stress? Are you holding your breath when lifting or exercising? Are you standing in a compressed posture or with your knees locked and hips thrust forward?

Awareness is the first step to working toward positive pelvic floor habits. When you recognize the difference in pelvic floor over-tension vs. a more relaxed state, you will likely be able to pick up on which patterns may influence your symptoms.

Your pelvic floor health is a product of its environment. No amount of kegel exercise will change your habits!

To learn more, check out The Pelvic Floor Project podcast Episode 1. How well do you know your pelvic floor?

There are many ways to improve your pelvic floor and its overall function for long-term health. I don’t mean to overwhelm you with a lengthy to-do list. I wish to encourage and empower your understanding of pelvic floor anatomy and function so you can work towards its longevity.

Knowledge is power, and this is the only body you have! Find a pelvic health physiotherapist in your area that you know, like, and trust, and ask them to do an assessment to learn more about your body. Feel free to ask them about any of the points listed above.

To learn more about what improves and what impacts your pelvic floor health, check out 5 Surprising Habits That Could Be Impacting Your Pelvic Health.

About Melissa Dessaules:

Melissa Dessaulles is a registered physiotherapist with extensive postgraduate training in the management and treatment of pelvic floor related symptoms and perinatal health.

She’s the founder of Mommy Berries, a platform to educate and support women throughout pregnancy, birth and recovery with a focus on proactive health care.

She’s also the host of The Pelvic Floor Project Podcast, aimed at providing evidence-based information through conversation with experts in their field.

Melissa lives in Kelowna BC Canada with her husband and 2 kids. Her physiotherapy practice is located at KLWNA Health and Wellness.

Read more from Melissa: 5 Surprising Habits That Could Impact Your Pelvic Health

5 Surprising Habits That Could Impact Your Pelvic Health

5 Surprising Habits That Could Impact Your Pelvic Health

We recently sat down with physiotherapist (and friend) Melissa Dessaules to learn what improves and what impacts your pelvic floor health.

Melissa has extensive training in managing and treating pelvic floor issues. She’s adopted a proactive approach to improving pelvic health so that men and women can feel empowered as they weather the changes that come with aging, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and an active lifestyle.

Keep reading for insight from Melissa on five surprising habits that could impact your pelvic health.

1. Stress.

Managing stress is key to a healthy pelvic floor. When stressed, we tend to tense our muscles as a reflex to our " fight-or-flight response," prepping our body to react to a specific stressful situation. While stress is a normal reaction that happens to everyone, prolonged stress and muscle tension can lead to various issues, including headaches, aches and pains, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and – you guessed it – a troubled pelvic floor.

Clients are never surprised to hear stress causes muscle tension in the neck or jaw, but they’re often surprised to learn their pelvic floor symptoms, such as incontinence, hemorrhoids, pain, or bladder urgency, are associated with stress-related muscle tension.

Recognizing where you hold stress in the body and knowing that prolonged stress can affect the long-term health of your pelvic floor is often enough to help my clients change how they deal with their stress.

Other ways to manage stress on a day-to-day basis:

  • Try guided meditation.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Prioritize healthy eating.
  • Try journaling.
  • Focus on getting good sleep.
  • Seek professional counseling services.

2. How you breathe.

Your diaphragm and pelvic floor work closely together, creating and regulating pressure in the body. When you inhale, your diaphragm moves downward, lengthening your abdominal wall and 2 pelvic floor. When you exhale, your diaphragm rises while your abdominal walls contract and your pelvic floor lifts.

The better your diaphragm moves, the better your pelvic floor moves and functions.

Paying attention to how you breathe and practicing mindful breathing techniques will encourage healthy movement, stretching, lengthening, and relaxation of your diaphragm and pelvic floor.

Here are some ways to tap into your breathe:

  3. Sucking in your tummy.

Similar to how your diaphragm and pelvic floor are connected, your abdomen and pelvic floor are closely related.

Notice what happens in your pelvic floor when you suck in your tummy vs. when you let it relax. Notice how when you flex your abdominal muscles, your pelvic floor tightens? Your pelvic floor responds automatically like a ‘reflexive clamp’ when you squeeze your tummy muscles, ensuring no pee/poop comes out when you flex.

However, prolonged tightness in your abdomen can lead to stomach gripping, pelvic floor fatigue, or a hypertonic pelvic floor. Symptoms include constant tension of your pelvic floor, urinary incontinence, urination issues, constipation, vaginal pressure/heaviness, and pain during sexual intercourse.

To relax your tummy muscles, I often tell clients to focus on letting their tummy muscles ” just be”.Focus on releasing the tension in your tummy, and your pelvic floor will eventually relax.

Other solutions:

  • Try to break the habit – consciously relax with various breathing techniques when you recognize you’re contracting your tummy.
  • Swap tight or restrictive clothing for comfier form fitting solutions.
  • Notice if it’s stress related (see #1).
  • Incorporate core strengthening into your exercise routine. Holding your tummy in all the time isn’t the same as strengthening.

4. How you pee and poop.

Remember that the pelvic floor muscles are reflexive or automatic, so it’s expected that we don’t often think about them. For this reason, many people adopt habits, often at an early age, that negatively influence our pelvic floor function.

For example, some people learn to excessively strain when they pee or poop, which creates muscle tension and a lot of downward pressure on their pelvic floor. Others develop a habit of waiting too long or responding too quickly to any signal needing to go to the bathroom. Even how you sit on the toilet can impact your pelvic floor’s ability to relax.

The key is to relax your pelvic floor when toileting to avoid causing harmful muscle strain and problematic symptoms such as constipation, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, or pelvic organ prolapse.


  • Read up on the proper ways to pee/poop – check out this blog post from Southern Pelvic Health on “How to Poop”.
  • Take your time.
  • Find your optimal toileting position – you should be seated comfortably with no need to strain.
  • Don’t hold your breath when pushing.
  • Place your hands on your abdomen and relax your belly forward – this is a helpful reminder to relax the neighbouring muscle groups.
  • Remember to breathe.

5. Constipation.

Constipation is often a key source of symptoms like hemorrhoids, incontinence, prolapse, pelvic pain, and pelvic weakening. Constantly straining from passing bulky stools puts pressure on the bladder, rectal and vaginal walls and can lead to prolapse over time.

I always tell clients that the best thing they can do to avoid long-term issues with their pelvic health is to be proactive in managing constipation. A healthy balanced diet and adequate water consumption are critical to keeping things regular on the journey through your digestive tract.

In some cases, constipation may be caused by medication, pregnancy, aging, or underlying health issues. Be sure to consult your doctor if constipation symptoms persist longer than a few days.

How to manage constipation:

  • Eat a healthy diet with lots of fiber or take fiber supplements.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Get plenty of exercise.
  • Refer back to #4 on the proper ways to pee and poop.
  • Consult your doctor to see if you need over the counter medication.

To learn more, check out The Pelvic Floor Project podcast episodes: –

About Melissa Dessaules:

Melissa Dessaulles is a registered physiotherapist with postgraduate training in managing and treating pelvic floor-related symptoms and perinatal health.

She’s the founder of Mommy Berries, a platform to educates and supports women throughout pregnancy, birth and recovery with a focus on proactive health care.

She’s also the host of The Pelvic Floor Project Podcast, aimed at providing evidence based information through conversation with experts in their field.

Melissa lives with her husband and two kids in Kelowna, BC, Canada. Her physiotherapy practice is located at KLWNA Health and Wellness.



Should you be going Kegel Exercise?

Kegel Exercises — What are they? How do they work? Who should do them? And when to expect results.

What are Kegel exercises?

Kegel exercises (also known as pelvic floor exercises) were developed in 1948 by American gynecologist, Dr. Arnold Kegel, to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles for optimal long-term function.

Your pelvic floor is a group of involuntary muscles, meaning the work without you having to think about them, located between your tailbone, pubic bone, and sit bones. This muscle group supports your bowels, bladder and sexual organs, aids in sexual function, and plays a major role in pelvic/hip stability. Most importantly, a good functioning pelvic floor ensures we don’t let out pee or poop unexpectedly.

Keeping these pelvic floor muscles fit helps prevent urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and accidentally passing gas or poop, and has even been known to improve your orgasm.

Who should or should not do Kegels?

Many factors are known to weaken your pelvic floor muscles, such as weight gain, pregnancy, childbirth, excessive straining from constipation, chronic coughing, surgery, and aging.

Both men and women can benefit from Kegel exercises, as men can also experience pelvic floor weakening as they age or if they’ve had prostate surgery.

You might benefit from Kegel exercises if you:

  • You experience urine leakage (even small drops) when you cough, laugh or sneeze.
  • You experience urine leakage when you bend down, lift something up, or when you walk, jog, or exercise.
  • You experience a strong and uncomfortable need to urinate before reaching the toilet.
  • Leak unwanted stool.

Keep in mind, Kegels aren’t for everyone. If you’re prone to a hypertonic pelvic floor, a condition where your pelvic muscles are in a state of spasm or continuously contracting, these exercises might do more harm than good. Contracting tired or tense muscles can lead to muscle strain and injury. Common symptoms for a hypertonic pelvic floor include but are not limited to, pain or issues with urination, conspiration, and pain during sexual intercourse. Talk to your doctor to learn if Kegels are right for you.

How to do Kegel exercises — A step-by-step guide:

Step 1 – Practice locating & contracting your pelvic floor muscles.

Kegels are relatively straightforward once you identify where your pelvic muscles are located. The easiest way to locate your pelvic floor muscles is to pretend you’re trying to avoid passing gas, or tightening your vagina around an invisible tampon. Stopping urination mid-stream is another effective way to locate your pelvic floor, but avoid repetitive use of this technique as it can lead to incomplete bladder emptying.

Once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles, you can do Kegel exercises while sitting, standing, or even lying down. The best position for you will be the one where you can really feel your exercises.

If you’re just starting out or your pelvic muscles are weak, we recommend you start with a laying down version.

Step 2 – Perfect your Kegel technique.

To do a Kegel, start by tightening your anus, as if trying to avoid passing gas, while keeping your buttocks relaxed. Contract for three seconds, and then relax for three seconds. Do this a few times. You should feel an isolated squeezing and lifting sensation in your pelvic floor.

Next, try tightening your vagina as if trying to close the entrance shut. Again, contract for three seconds, and then relax for three seconds. Do a few repetitions. You should feel your anus and lower abdomen tighten.

Now, imagine you’re stopping the flow of urine by tightening the area around your urethra. This one can be tricky, especially if you’re just starting out. Contract for 3-2-1, and relax for 3-2-1. Do as many repetitions as feels comfortable. If you feel your anus, vagina, and lower abdomen contracting all at once – you’re on the right track.

Combine all three steps by contracting simultaneously, and you have yourself a Kegel.

Step 3 – Focus on technique, relax, breathe.

For best results, focus on isolating and tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Avoid contracting your legs, upper abdomen, shoulders or any other muscles during the process.

Remember to breathe when you’re doing Kegel exercises. Your diaphragm and pelvic floor work closely together, creating and regulating pressure in the body. Learning to train both these muscle groups in tandem will ensure you’re doing Kegel exercises correctly.

Step 4 – Repeat with gradually increasing reps & frequency.

When just starting out, aim to do at least two sets of 5 repetitions a day, and work your way up from there. A good training standard to aim for is 10 Kegel cycles, 3 to 4 times a day.

Remember to only do enough Kegel exercise reps that feel comfortable for you. Similar to working out at the gym, gradually increase the number of Kegel reps you do so you gain strength and endurance over time and avoid discomfort of injury due to muscle strain.

Extra tips:

  • Set an alarm in the morning and evening for a gentle reminder to do two daily sets of Kegels.
  • Avoid contracting your legs/abs and other muscles during the process.
  • Remember to breathe when you’re doing Kegel exercises. Your diaphragm and pelvic floor work closely together, and learning to train both these muscle groups together will ensure you’re doing Kegel exercises correctly.
  • There’s no equipment required to do Kegel exercises – you can do them anytime, anywhere and as many feels comfortable to you.

When to expect results.

If you do Kegel exercises daily, and gradually increase your repetitions and frequency, you should expect to see results within a few weeks or months. Results can show in a variety of ways, such as less frequent urinary incontinence, less urgency to pee, less fecal incontinence, and more.

Most women say they notice less urine leakage within 12 weeks after starting and sticking with a Kegel exercise routine.

Like training any muscle, making Kegel exercises a permanent part of your daily routine will ensure you see continued benefits.

Try Uresta.

If you need more immediate relief from urinary incontinence, Uresta can be a temporary solution while you work on strengthening your pelvic floor muscles.

You may get to a place with your pelvic floor strengthening where your bladder leakage symptoms are entirely eliminated, and you may no longer need Uresta. Or you may find that your pelvic floor strengthening hasn’t fully eliminated your urinary incontinence, and you still need Uresta for a little extra support.

Uresta is a non-invasive, at-home solution that will not weaken your pelvic floor when in use, and an effective and safe way to immediately manage bladder leakage before it happens, not after. We’ve successfully helped thousands of women around the world, and every day more people make bladder leakage a thing of the past.

Is Uresta right for you? Take our Free Assessment to find out!


Why not just see a pelvic floor physiotherapist?


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Uresta Bladder Support (@myuresta)

I want to address a common question that we receive, which is “Why not see a pelvic floor physiotherapist?”.

We want to make it clear that we are big fans of pelvic floor physiotherapy and we do not believe it’s a decision between one over the other. We also want to make sure women realize that a bladder support such as Uresta will not weaken your pelvic floor muscles or worsen your symptoms over time. Uresta isn’t the “easy way out”, its simply an option that women have to improve their quality of life.

We believe that Uresta is a great complement to pelvic floor physiotherapy and we work with many pelvic floor physios across North America (many of which who use Uresta themselves!). We are huge advocates of learning what is going on in your body and how you can improve your incontinence symptoms or prevent them from getting worse. If there is one thing that I’ve learned at Uresta is that women do not know enough about their pelvic health and daily habits that could be negatively contributing to their overall pelvic health.

Uresta can be a temporary solution that you use to stop leaks while you work on your pelvic floor to improve your symptoms. For some women, they can get to a place where their leaks are fully eliminated with pelvic floor strengthening – if that is the case, that is fantastic! For other women however, they may find that their symptoms have improved but that they still need a little extra support from time to time (especially with exercising). And for some women it is not always a muscle related issue but could be damage to connective tissues that cannot be fixed with physiotherapy.

It is also important to highlight that with pelvic floor physio it takes time, effort and consistency to improve your leaks. We also know you’re busy and you may not have the time to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist and do your exercises. We also know that stress urinary incontinence is a huge quality of life issue for women that can be holding you back at work, socially, or from being physically active.

Uresta can provide immediate relief from leaks and improve your quality of life instantly. While at the same time Uresta does not make your muscles weaker or your incontinence any worse. Our wish at Uresta is that we can empower you to crush any activity you want with confidence and without the worry of leaks.

And let’s be honest some of those kegel exercises and can be a bit mundane. I’ve had women say that using Uresta motivated them to work on their pelvic floor and do all the mundane exercises her physio gave her because Uresta gave her a taste of what life was leak-free – and she loved it!

The reality is, is that there are many solutions from just straight up peeing your pants, to pads, to physio, to Uresta, to expensive electromagnetic treatments that can help address stress incontinence. At Uresta, we want you to be informed of all the available solutions and the pros and cons of each.

The right decision in our minds is that one that works best for you and improves your quality of life. And I certainly would never want any woman to feel that they are taking the easy way out by using Uresta. Life is hard enough – we don’t need to put more pressure on ourselves.

Latest clinical study shows the world that Uresta truly is a gamechanger for women when it comes to bladder leaks.

Uresta has already helped change the lives of thousands of women in Canada and the US who suffer from stress urinary incontinence (“SUI”). Women who aren’t familiar with our gamechanging device often ask us “does that really work?”. Our answer? “Yes! Just try it!”. But the reality is… these women don’t simply need to take our word for it.

According to a new study, Uresta helped improve the lives of an impressive 97% of women. We are also proud to report that 94% of women said they would recommend Uresta to a friend and 91% felt more confident when using Uresta.

Uresta’s safety and efficacy have been validated through several independent clinical studies and reviews over the years – this is just a new feather in our cap. Uresta is even recognized by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada for the conservative treatment of stress urinary incontinence.

This new study, titled “Compliance with Uresta (CURE) study; a 12 month follow‑up of 40 Women”, was completed in May 2022 and is the largest ever clinical study completed on Uresta. It was published in the world renowned International Urogynecology Journal and was completed by an independent research team based in the UK led by urogynecologist Dr. Patrick Campbell.

This CURE study was particularly exciting given that it was focused on women aged 30-57 who were physically active. Although it is estimated that 1 in 3 women suffer from SUI during their lifetime, it is estimated that closer to half of women over the age of 30 experience leaks while exercising. This is caused by the increased pressure placed on the bladder during exertion or while completing certain movements. SUI often leads to reduced levels of physical activity due to discomfort, embarrassment, anxiety and loss of self-confidence.

“Stress urinary incontinence has been shown to affect almost half of women who attend gyms or exercise classes” – CURE Study.

As a company, we truly believe in the benefits of exercise and an active lifestyle for both physical and mental health. We take great pride in hearing stories from women who have been able to return to the gym, re-join their soccer team or conquer a big hike because Uresta has helped them regain control over their unwanted pee leaks. Ultimately, the results of this study confirm what users of Uresta have been saying for years!

“The Uresta bladder support is a safe, effective, user-friendly management option for women who experience SUI during exercise with excellent long-term compliance” – CURE Study.

Got bladder leaks? Learn about the 4 Most Common Types of Urinary Incontinence in Women

Can’t sneeze without peeing? Can’t make it to the bathroom on time? If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.

Urinary incontinence occurs when a person leaks urine by accident. While managing urinary incontinence can be stressful, it is nothing to be embarrassed of! In fact, it is estimated that nearly 50% of adult women experience urinary incontinence. Also, urinary incontinence impacts twice as many women as men. There are four main types of urinary incontinence that impact women:

  1. Stress Urinary Incontinence
  2. Urge Incontinence
  3. Mixed Incontinence
  4. Overflow Incontinence

Not sure what type of urinary incontinence you’re experiencing? Or want to understand what is causing your leaks? No problem, below we walk you through these four types of urinary incontinence so you can be better informed.

If you’re looking for a more interactive tool that will help you identify between the two most common forms of incontinence in women, Uresta has developed a quick, free assessment tool to determine whether you are experiencing stress or urge incontinence – check out our free assessment tool here.

Stress Urinary incontinence (SUI)

Stress Urinary Incontinence is when urine leaks out when there is sudden pressure (coughing, sneezing, jumping, laughing) on the bladder and urethra, causing the sphincter muscles to open briefly and for urine to leak out. Urine leaks from Stress Urinary Incontinence occur due to weakened pelvic floor muscles and tissues. This is often the result of damaged or weakened tissues and muscles from childbirth and why many women refer to their Stress Urinary Incontinence as their “mommy bladder”. Other factors like age (our muscles weaken as we age), hormones changes during menopause and menstrual cycles, and extra weight can contribute to Stress Urinary Incontinence. Heavy exercising may exacerbate Stress Urinary Incontinence due to extra pressure placed on the bladder during these activities (running, jumping, lifting weights). If you’re experiencing more leaks post-pregnancy, this might be what you’re experiencing! Luckily, this is also the kind of incontinence that Uresta helps with. Stress Urinary Incontinence is also one of the most common forms of incontinence experienced by women.

Urge Incontinence

Urge Incontinence, also known as Urgency Incontinence, is when you have a sudden urge to pee that is difficult to control. This is sometimes referred to as “key in lock syndrome” due to the common scenario of suddenly needing to urinate as you unlock the door to your house after being away for sometime. With Urge incontinence, when your bladder fills with urine from the kidneys, the bladder contracts and releases urine before you are ready to. The two main muscles that are involved with preventing urine from being released are the sphincter which prevents urine from leaking into the urethra, and the bladder wall muscles which expand and contract to hold more urine.

Alongside Stress Urinary Incontinence, Urge Incontinence is one of the most common forms of incontinence experienced by women. Uresta has developed a quick, free assessment tool to determine whether you are experiencing stress or urge incontinence – check out our free assessment tool here.

Mixed Incontinence

Mixed incontinence is exactly what it sounds like: pee leaks that result from a combination of other forms of incontinence. About 14% of women experience mixed incontinence. Most often, it is a combination of stress and urge incontinence. If you have mixed incontinence, you may experience leaks when you sneeze, laugh, or cough. You may also get the sudden urge to pee when you sleep, drink a small amount of water, or even hear water run. Similar to stress and urge incontinence, there is often no cure for mixed incontinence. However, exercise such as kegels, medication, and pessaries such as Uresta can vastly improve symptoms.

Overflow Incontinence

Unlike the other forms of incontinence, Overflow Incontinence is more common in men than women. Overflow incontinence occurs when urine leaks involuntarily due to overflow, those who experience overflow incontinence may not feel their bladder filling up. This form of incontinence is typically a result of a blockage in the urinary tract, nerve damage, or certain medications. Unfortunately, this may also lead to frequent urinary tract infections as bacteria is more likely to grow in full bladders.


Two-thirds of women who experience urinary incontinence do not seek help from doctors or other healthcare professionals. If you are experiencing urinary incontinence, don’t be embarrassed to ask for help! While urinary incontinence is common and usually does not indicate a significant health risk, it can greatly impact the quality of your life. With the right combination of pelvic exercises, medical advice, and pessary products like Uresta, urinary incontinence can become very manageable. In fact Uresta user Barb James shared that Uresta has taken the “stress” out of her bladder leaks.

If you want to learn more about urinary incontinence, make sure to check out our blog on historical solutions for urinary incontinence, our blog on what the pelvic floor actually is, and how Uresta is changing the game for people who experience pee leaks.


What is a pessary? And what are the alternatives?

‘Liberating’, ‘life-saver’, ‘gamechanger’ are just a few of the words women use to describe Uresta (just check out our testimonials). However, we also get tons of questions. How is Uresta different from a typical pessary? How does it work? Why can’t I just do kegels or use a tampon? What are the downfalls of existing pessaries and why is Uresta better?

What is a pessary?

Pessaries are soft, removable devices inserted into the vagina that can support both urinary stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. The primary function of a pessary is to support or correct the position of the uterus or other organs after they are weakened by pregnancy, age, or other conditions. The earliest mention of pessaries was in Egyptian papyrus scrolls, and they have been made out of wood, bone, and metal throughout history. However today, pessaries are most often made of rubber and medical-grade silicone.

How does it work?

Pessaries do not act as a plug against pee leaks and it is not inserted into the urethra, where pee comes from. Pessaries are inserted into the vagina and are designed to support the urethra and bladder wall by applying gentle compression of the urethra against the pubic bone. Support pessaries, the most common type of pessaries used for urinary incontinence, provide a supportive shelf for pelvic organs. Thus, pessaries gently press against the pelvic wall to stop pee leaks when a woman coughs, sneezes, or laughs.

See below for an image of Uresta inserted into the vagina. The bell shape of Uresta works to press up against the urethra through the vaginal wall to prevent leaks from occurring during moments of extra pressure (like coughing, sneezing or jumping).

Can’t I just do Kegels? Or use a tampon?

Unfortunately, pelvic floor strengthening exercises such as Kegels are not enough to completely eliminate pee leaks for many women. Kegels may be enough to decrease pee leaks during daily activity but it is often not enough for more intense activity such as workouts or running. Sometimes you just need a little extra support! Pessaries act like a sports bra or ankle brace for your bladder. Pessaries can be a great compliment to pelvic floor strengthening, and many pelvic floor physiotherapists actually recommend doing Kegels in conjunction with Uresta.

While tampons and pessaries are both inserted into the vagina, they serve completely different functions. Some women do experience a reduction in their bladder leaks when they have a tampon inserted. This is because the shape of a tampon applies subtle pressure to the urethra through the vaginal wall. That being said, for most women the pressure applied by a tampon is not significant enough to meaningfully reduce or stop their leaks. Uresta on the other hand is specially designed to provide direct support to the urethra to stop bladder leaks! Note that using a tampon outside your menstrual cycle can be painful on extraction and drying to the tissues. Plus, extensive use of tampons carries a risk of toxic shock syndrome.

Downfalls of existing pessaries

While existing pessaries are a less invasive treatment for urinary incontinence than surgery, they are far from perfect.

Doctor appointments: Traditional pessaries require a physician prescription as they need to be inserted by a medical professional, as it may cause vaginal damage or be ineffective if fitted incorrectly.
Loooong waitlists: Waitlists, especially after the pandemic, can be very long. Average waitlists to see a physician in Canada to get fitted for pessary is 6 to 12 months in most provinces.
Finding the right fit: Many women find that they need to try several different types of pessaries before finding the right one. Which likely requires additional physician visits. And as our bodies change (hormone changes, pregnancy, age, weight, etc.), pessaries that were once effective are no longer effective and you need to be fitted for another.
The difficulty of insertion: Depending on the type of pessary used, many have to be lubricated or moistened before insertion into the vagina, making it difficult to re-insert, especially when not in the comfort of your own home. Pessaries also have to be inserted deep into the vagina, causing discomfort for many users. Many women may need to purchase an additional tool to assist with extracting a pessary.

Why is Uresta better?

  • Self-managed: Unlike traditional pessaries, Uresta is available over the counter. This means you don’t have to go to a doctor to get fitted or for upkeep – we offer 3 sizes that work for over 80% of women. You can try Uresta in the comfort of your home without the pressure of a physician visit.
  • No long waitlists: Uresta ships in 3-5 business days, so you can avoid the long wait lists for physician appointments. Even though we are covered by many insurance programs, you don’t need a prescription!
  • Easy insertion and removal: Uresta comes with a handle that makes it easy to take in and out. Plus, Uresta sits much lower down than a traditional pessary making it easier to insert and remove. This also makes it more comfortable!
  • Flexibility: Many women complain that the pessaries they are prescribed do not work for all activities, as they experience heavier leeks when exercising or other intense activity. With Uresta, women can switch between sizes depending on their day – many women choose to go a size up for exercise – your life isn’t one size fits all, and your pessary shouldn’t either!

Curious to learn more about pessaries? Or perhaps you are a visual learner?

Check out this video from Be Pelvic Health Aware on pessaries.


Survey shows the negative mental impacts of suffering from bladder leakage may outweigh the physical impacts

We recently surveyed 100 women across the US to better understand their experience with stress urinary incontinence, also known as light bladder leakage or “mommy bladder”. We wanted to better understand how women were managing their leaks and how it impacted their daily lives. We originally conducted the survey for our own internal purposes, but after reviewing the results I thought they were worth sharing. While many of our findings were not shocking to me or my team, it illustrates that stress urinary incontinence is not just a physical condition, but also a condition that has a significant negative impact on women’s’ mental health.

Stress urinary incontinence is a quality-of-life issue – it impacts women on a daily basis either through physical leaks or the constant worry of the next unexpected sneeze. In our survey, 76% of women said they experienced leaks at least a few times per week, with 38% experiencing daily. However, women appear to think about their leaks more often than they occur – 50% of women said they think about their leaks daily, despite only 38% actually experiencing leaks on a daily basis.

how often women experience their leaks vs think about their leaks

Despite being top of mind for women – many women are unwilling to speak up or even seek help for the condition. Only half of the women suffering from stress urinary incontinence said they have spoken to their friends or family about their condition. A disappointing revelation given that stress urinary incontinence is common as it impacts 1 in 3 women (source).

who have you spoken to about leaks

Even more disappointing is that women appear to be unlikely to seek professional help. Roughly half of women have spoken to their doctor about their condition and less than a quarter have spoken to a pelvic floor physiotherapist, who can be a game changer for the condition. This is consistent with our many discussions with physicians who have said that women often need to be prompted to discuss whether they suffer from stress urinary incontinence, rather than offering up that on their own.  This speaks to the “taboo” nature of SUI.  Despite being extremely common, women are embarrassed to open up about it, even though it’s as natural as a headache or a runny nose.

Women also admit to being quite bothered by their leaks – 64% women indicated that they were somewhat to highly bothered by their leaks. When asked what bothered them the most about their leaks, the common themes were: odor, feeling unclean, embarrassment or public anxiety, and the unpredictability of when a leak might occur.  The constant overhang of these issues can lead to anxiety, withdrawal from social activities and in more severe cases, depression.

level of acceptance of their bladder leaks

Given that few women seek help for the condition there is little surprise that most women are passively managing their leaks with disposable pads – over 66% of women noted that disposable pads were their most commonly used solution for managing their bladder leaks. Despite it being the most common solution, women are just not truly satisfied with disposable pads. Less than 50% of women are satisfied with pads as a solution and 68% expressed concern around the environmental impact of pads.  Women deserve better solutions for their health and we should not accept living with urine leaks as simply part of “being a woman”.

percentage of women commonly using

Enough is enough – it is 2021 and women need to know there is a better alternative to pads. Pads don’t stop bladder leaks or remove the anxiety around them, and they actually cost you way more than you realize on an annual basis. Pads are like putting out a bucket in your living room to capture a leak in your roof and just emptying the bucket each day and never trying to stop the problem.

Uresta checks all the boxes that disposable pads don’t … Uresta is reusable and environmentally friendly, discreet and comfortable, and most importantly it stops leaks vs. absorbing them. Stopping leaks can free women of the anxiety of odor, feeling unclean or the unpredictability of when the next leak will occur. Uresta is a truly game changing solution that has the impact to improve the quality of life for thousands of women.  Don’t be afraid to open up about your urine leaks, odds are, 1 in 3 women around you at this moment will also experience them.  Just give Uresta a try – risk free.  And importantly, tell your friends and family about it.  They will thank you when they are finally able to live life without leaks.