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Bringing innovation to sufferers…

Adult incontinence is one of the fastest-growing segments in healthcare today.

Our recent experience at the American Urogynecologists Society (AUGS) PFD conference (pelvic floor disorders) in Chicagoconfirmed conditions like SUI are a growing concern and we saw, first hand, how pelvic floor health care professionals are embracing uresta® as an important tool to help women with SUI (stress urinary incontinence).

And the response was overwhelming! We were run off our feet describing how uresta® works and how it helps women get back to doing the things that their SUI prevents them from doing – like exercising, walking, sneezing, laughing, travelling, etc.

Knowing uresta® was invented by a fellow urogynecologist, Dr. Scott Farrell, many of the medical professionals we spoke to were impressed with the innovation of the unique bladder support.

They reacted most positively that uresta® is self-managed by the patient and that, for women aged 30-70+, it was a great option for SUI. For younger women, in their 30’s and 40’s, many urogynecologists feel surgery is not ideal – they prefer to wait until women are finished having children before considering surgery as an option.

They saw uresta® as an easy, affordable and comfortable solution for SUI – something that women would love for maximum flexibility. Women who have used innovative products like diva cups and Caya (diaphragms) over the last 20 years have a high comfort level using uresta® to prevent bladder leaks – it’s a similar experience to using a tampon.

Joining me to help introduce uresta® at the conference was Missy Lavender, a well-known industry advocate for pelvic health education, and CEO of Below Your BeltElizabeth Wood, chief vision officer and COO of Below Your Belt, and Ashley Miller, marketing lead for HPSRx, our US distributor.

We are working to broaden the awareness of uresta® with pelvic floor health care professionals in North America and around the world with the goal of helping all women with SUI to stop leaking and start living!

More about AUGS
The American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS) is the premier non-profit organization representing more than 1900 professionals dedicated to treating female pelvic floor disorders. AUGS is the primary source of clinical and scientific information and education in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS).

Read more about uresta® at www.uresta.com

Women have surpassed men in obesity rates.

Why do some women struggle with weight loss?
By Allie Shah, Tribune News Service

Women have surpassed men in obesity rates, according to a national report released this summer. Photo: Fotolia

MINNEAPOLIS • Frances Traphagan has been battling weight issues her whole life.

For years, the south Minneapolis mom struggled to balance work demands and motherhood. After every pregnancy, her weight problem grew. Her habit of eating on the run also tipped the scales in the wrong direction.

Finally, at 240 pounds, the five-foot-three Traphagan chose to have bariatric surgery at the Hennepin Bariatric Center and Obesity Program at Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis.

“It was my very last effort to try to lose weight,” she said. She’d tried everything before that – from Weight Watchers to the Atkins diet to the grapefruit diet. “I did have some success, but nothing was ever permanent,”she said.
After a national report this summer showed that women have surpassed men in obesity rates, doctors and obesity researchers are searching for answers to why women are struggling more.

For the first time, more than 40 per cent of U.S.women are obese, according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The nation as a whole continues to struggle with obesity, with 35 percent of men considered obese. But while men’s obesity rates appear to have stabilized, women’s are still rising, the CDC report shows.

Dr. Maria Collazo-Clavell, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic who works with overweight and obese patients, has been working in the obesity research field for 20 years. She said the recent findings give her pause about whether public health officials are taking the right approach to tackling obesity. “All of that makes you question: Are you on the right track?” she said. “The data would say no.” That so many women are obese is cause for alarm not only because of the increased health risks for them but also for those around them, Collazo-Clavell said.

“That’s kind of the tip of the iceberg,” she said. Women are often the primary caregivers in a family, and their eating and activity habits can influence their children and others in their family.

An example of that ripple effect: Collazo-Clavell is starting to see some of her previous patients’ children and is working with them to help manage their obesity.

It’s difficult to pinpoint what is causing women to struggle more with obesity than men,but doctors say there likely are many factors at play.

Women typically have two times in their lives when they are at risk of gaining significant amounts of weight: childbearing (during pregnancy and after giving birth) and menopause.

Collazo-Clavell hears from many new mothers that they find meal planning and preparation tough after giving birth. Also of concern,she notes that women as a group are going into pregnancy heavier than they were 20 years ago.

It makes it harder to manage a healthy pregnancy weight if they’re already overweight, she said.

One of the country’s leading health problems, obesity can lead to serious diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.
Body mass index (BMI) is calculated by dividing weight (in kilograms) by height squared (in centimeters). Anyone with a BMI of 25 or more is considered overweight, while those with a BMI of 30 or more are obese.

For example, a woman of average height in the U.S. (five-foot-four) would be classified as obese if she weighs at least 175 pounds. An average height American man (five-foot-nine) who weighs 203 pounds or more would be considered obese.
Dr. Guilford Hartley is medical director of the Hennepin Bariatric Center and Obesity Program,where 100 surgeries for weight management are performed each year.

He sees many more female patients than men. Part of the reason, he said, is that women are more likely to seek medical treatment for a weight issue than men.

“In our culture, when a man’s overweight, nobody pays too much attention,” he said.“But we have such an emphasis on being thin for women that we’re culturally forcing women to be more concerned about their weight than men. The social pressure if you’re overweight and a woman is higher.”

How to get your message across in a space dominated by big players

THE CHALLENGE

Carol Chapman, vice-president of sales and marketing and investor in Resilia Inc., knew she was up for a big challenge as the company’s target market was dominated by big multi-national pharmaceutical companies.

Carol Chapman, vice-president of sales and marketing and investor in Resilia Inc., knew she was up for a big challenge as the company’s target market was dominated by big multi-national pharmaceutical companies.

Resilia’s sole product uresta was the first non-surgical, self managed and self-administered solution for women to stop light bladder leakage (LBL) caused by stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

LBL happens when some women cough, laugh, sneeze or perform simple physical tasks. This condition causes the urethra muscle, which acts as a valve to close the bladder, to drop open. Another major challenge was to change the way women thought about incontinence issues.

These issues are generally not discussed as openly among women who are conditioned to think, through marketing campaigns, that their only choices consisted of pads, diapers or a doctor administered pessary. Her research found that over 90 per cent of incontinence issues were related to childbirth and in extreme cases required surgical intervention.

In 2007, Dr. Scott Farrell, a leading Canadian urogynecologist, launched uresta as an alternative to the current products available for treating female SUI. Ms. Chapman knew that she had a good product which targeted an unmet need for women, the question was how to get the message across to women in a space dominated by big pharmaceutical companies which had deep pockets.

THE BACKGROUND

Ms. Chapman was born in Halifax and graduated from Mount Allison University in 1981. She spent the next two decades in the marketing and communications industry working for a company in Moncton, New Brunswick, whose roster of clients included a number of leading Canadian companies. In 2004 when the business was sold, she set up her own consulting business, C-Volution, which focused on corporate social responsibility and cause marketing strategies.

Her interest in uresta started when a potential investor in the company approached her to consider developing the company’s marketing strategy. The more she researched and looked at the impact the product would have on women’s well being and health, the more she was convinced of the opportunity. This inspired her along with other investors to acquire the Shediac, N.B.-based company from the founders in Jan., 2014.

THE SOLUTION

Ms. Chapman adopted a three-pronged strategy to get the message out to the prospective target market.

  1. First, she leveraged various social media channels to target early adopters who could then provide testimonials and use word-of-mouth to get women to try the product and share their experience with other women.
  2. Second, she targeted the business-to-business (B2B) space by connecting with health care organizations, such as clinics, fitness centres and convincing them of the advantages of partnering with uresta, creating a win-win situation for women’s clients, clinics and the company.
  3. The third prong focused on creating awareness among healthcare professionals such as specialists, general practitionners, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and physiotherapists to showcase the advantages of uresta as compared to the available solutions in the marketplace.

THE RESULT

Although it has been a couple of months since the strategy was launched, Ms. Chapman has been successful in getting the message out to the target market through all three channels. The company is gaining momentum through testimonials, word-of-mouth referrals as well as successfully creating partnerships with health care organizations. Giving consumers a voice will be key long term.

Fundamentally, she and her team believe it’s important for women to know that although urinary incontinence is common, it is not normal and can be treated without surgery. They feel by creating a voice for women in Canada and around the world they can truly provide a solution, not merely a band aid.

Nauman Farooqi is a professor in the department of commerce in the Ron Joyce Centre for Business Studies of Mount Allison University.

This is the latest in a regular series of case studies by a rotating group of business professors from across the country. They appear every Tuesday on the Report on Small Business website.

Heard it from a friend (with a bad cough)

By Carol Chapman

Yes, I heard this story from a friend.

And like so many women who suffer with stress incontinence issues, my friend is not ready to step up and tell this story herself. So I’m going to tell you, because some of you may relate to this and, in time, more women will decide to step up and tell their stories.

My  friend was travelling recently with her husband, staying at a nice hotel on the west coast. She uses her Uresta when she needs to (not every day, like some women),  mainly when she skips rope. Packing her Uresta for this trip didn’t seem necessary.

I’ve been fighting a cough lately, but nothing like the 5 week respiratory bug that hit my friend while out west.  That bug kept her in bed for three days and even when horizontal, uncontrollable coughing fits caused you know what.  (Yes, bladder leakage can be a problem with a really bad cough.)

With her Uresta more than 5,000 kilometers away, my friend knew she needed an interim solution.  Her husband happily offered to pick up a package of the top selling brand of adult diapers for her and headed out to search.

It was embarrassing enough to carry the package through the store to the checkout (even the small package was large). Things only got worse when the store didn’t have a bag big enough to hold the large package. Yes, my friend’s husband had to walk all the way back to the hotel, through the bustling lobby and up the crowed elevator to their room, trying to be nonchalant while carrying what seemed like a truckload of adult diapers.

When my friend saw the size of the package, she couldn’t help but think of the waste this would cause.  They are bulky to store, to pack, to wear and to dispose of – it’s a real diaper! She was totally distressed that this is all going into landfill.

She envisioned mountains of adult diapers in landfill with a half life of who knows how many years to “decompose”.  She couldn’t even imagine having to pack these for a trip. (There goes the baggage allowance!) And she is now totally sold on the convenience, efficacy and environmental benefits of Uresta.

She had to manage a situation she’d never managed before and here she was, wearing diapers. If she had tucked her Uresta into her suitcase, this whole scenario could have been avoided, along with the waste.

Yes, this story is true. And I’m sure there are so many more embarrassing  “oops, I just leaked ” stories out there. Of course, I would love to hear your story, if you’d like to share.

Women need to know there is a solution…

…so they can ask their health care professionals about it.

By Carol Chapman

I just returned from Vancouver where I was run off my feet at this year’s SOGC conference. (the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada). I’m not sure if the conference could have gone any better. (well, maybe it would have been a little better if didn’t have to hobble around on a sprained ankle, but that’s another story!)

There were over 600 attending physicians from across Canada, many of them taking a keen interest in Uresta and making their way to the Aspen exhibit to get a full explanation of our product. This kept Paul, France and Cheryl at Aspen on their toes.

My busiest evening was last Wednesday, when two meetings were setup at two restaurants next door to each other – one meeting for the national obstetrics educational council and the other, a meeting of key urogynecologists. I moved back and forth between these two venues as required, helping with the discussions around Uresta.

It’s clear that there is a lot of excitement among women’s health care professionals about Uresta – it’s accessible and safe.  I’m happy that we are creating a voice for the product so that women who suffer from bladder leakage can find our solution easily and, ultimately, improve their lives. Women need to know there is a solution, so they can ask their health care professionals about it – their physiotherapists, family doctors, gynecologists, etc  – or access Uresta online or at their local pharmacy.

And I also had the pleasure of meeting Maureen McGrath, an RN who is a leading women’s health expert and host of the CKNW Sunday Night Sex Show on talk radio. She educates patients on her blog and is the chair of the BC Chapter of Canadian Nurse Continence Advisers. We’re hoping Maureen can help us spread the word about Uresta to a much wider audience.

Dr. Denise Black, a gynecologist from Winnipeg, was at the conference too, being one our biggest Uresta cheerleaders!

The bottom line? Now even more women’s health care professionals not only know more about Uresta, but they are so excited that this solution exists and is accessible to women who suffer Bladder Leakage (LBL) caused by Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI).

One more thing. I have to tell you about a very moving conversation I had with a Syrian doctor, Dr. Vanig Garabedian,  when I ran into him in Vancouver- he just arrived in Canada with his family from Syria last December and was greeted personally by Prime Minister Trudeau. He told me that Trudeau said, “Welcome home” when they met.

Dr. Garabedian was a gynecologist in Aleppo for 16 years before escaping to Canada. He was treating women and girls, often navigating cultural barriers that can complicate the delicate subject of maternal health and reproductive care.  He was one of the speakers at the SOGC conference. You can read more about his experiences and his message to the obstetricians and gynecologists of Canada as they begin to treat the many thousands of Syrian women now in Canada.

Expert urges women to seek help for SUI condition

Women around the world suffer from SUI (stress urinary incontinence). Here’s a recent article we found in the Gulf News about the very high  number of women in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who suffer with this condition.

We can now add uresta® to the list of solutions – a safe, cost-effective, environmentally friendly, non-surgical solution.

Published: June 4, 2016 in Gulf News: Health

By Suchitra Bajpai Chaudhary, Senior Reporter

Expert urges women to seek help for this condition that can diminish their quality of life and impair their self-confidence

Dubai: Around 42 per cent women in the UAE at the mean age of 38 suffer from urinary incontinence, a study has found.

Urinary incontinence is a medical condition that is marked by accidental or involuntary release of urine triggered by a sudden pressure on the bladder such as laughter, coughing or sneezing.

The study stated that nearly 80 per cent complained of disrupted daily life and activities such as praying, social engagements, physical activities and intimacy. Urinary incontinence affects 400 million women worldwide, and the numbers in the UAE are of concern to gynaecologists and urologists here who are urging women to shed their inhibitions and seek medical help.

A significant aspect of this concern also owes itself to the fact that most urologists in the country are male and this inhibits women from seeking a medical opinion on a condition that is seen as socially embarrassing, and is also viewed as a social stigma and a cultural barrier.

Dr Ahlam Bu Saber, UAE’s only Emirati urologist and specialist urologist at Al Qasimi Hospital, Sharjah, told Gulf News: “With early intervention and advice on nutrition, lifestyle changes and exercises, most middle-aged women can control this problem. However, women hesitate to consult a doctor. Sometimes neglecting the problem for long causes deterioration in their condition until surgery becomes the imminent solution to resolve the issue.”

Common incontinence problems

Stress Incontinence (SI): Also known as light incontinence, this occurs when a woman sneezes, coughs, laughs, jogs, or does other things that put pressure on the bladder, resulting in a slight leakage of urine. This is the most common type of bladder control problem in women. These bladder problems are caused by weak muscles in the lower urinary tract. SI is a dominant type of condition prevalent among women worldwide.

  • Urge Incontinence (UI): This condition happens when a woman has a strong need to urinate but can’t reach the toilet in time. This can happen even when your bladder is holding only a small amount of urine. Some women may have no warning before that may result in an accidental leak. In others, a leak could be triggered by the sound or touch of running water.

Treatment

Dr Bu Saber says women usually develop this condition after multiple deliveries or difficult pregnancies. “When a woman experiences involuntary leakage, she must consult a urologist. The doctor can take her history, examine, evaluate and assess her situation. The first line of treatment is Kegel exercises (see box) which will help tone the lax bladder muscles. We have qualified physiotherapists who can teach a woman the correct technique of this exercise. Besides this, women who are obese and have poor nutrition are advised to make lifestyle changes to bring down their weight which, to some extent, resolves this issue.”

When the problem is severe, a surgery which involves taping the lax muscles, is carried out.

“The success rate of [the surgeries] is very high and after a few weeks, during which the patient is advised not to pick up heavy objects and seek proper rest, she can resume her normal life.”

While neglect of this condition is not life-threatening, the fact is urinary incontinence can destroy a woman’s self-esteem and interfere in her social and family life. “We advise women to seek medical consultation and see whether their problem can be first resolved with non-surgical options and then advise this surgery which can change their quality of life,” said Dr Bu Saber.

Kegel the most effective exercise for SI

  • Squeeze the same muscles you would use to stop your urine. Your belly and thighs should not move.
  • Hold the squeeze for three seconds, then relax for three seconds.
  • Start with three seconds, then add one second each week until you are able to squeeze for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times a session. Do three or more sessions a day.
  • For best results, more than three sets of Kegel exercises should be done every day.
  • Diet advice to avoid SI
  • Cut back on caffeine and fizzy drinks
  • Eat foods high in fibre to help avoid constipation
  • Don’t smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise moderately to keep your muscles toned

Causes of SI

  • Pregnancies’ frequency and post-pregnancy changes
  • Type of childbirth delivery and pelvic surgeries
  • Menopause and other hormonal diseases
  • Obesity and diabetes
  • Illnesses that cause chronic coughing or sneezing
  • Excess consumption of caffeine and smoking
  • High-impact activities over many years

Symptoms:

  • You might experience SI when you:
  • Stand up
  • Get out of a car
  • Exercise and lift heavy weights
  • Have intercourse
  • Laugh, cough or sneeze

Frankie’s Story ~ a urology nurse with solutions

As a nurse specialist working the area of urinary incontinence and a board representative of The Urology Nurses Of Canada, I have seen many women of all ages suffer from the stigmatizing problem of urinary incontinence. There are many different approaches we can suggest for this problem including lifestyle changes, behavioral approaches, dietary modifications and pelvic floor exercises.

When a women suffers from stress incontinence (the type of leaking that occurs when you cough, sneeze , laugh or lift ), it is often beneficial for them to use a self-fitting pessary such as uresta®.

I have seen women change their whole lives around with these devices. Often women will stop activities they enjoy, like dancing, going to the gym, walking and running, as they try to control their bladder symptoms. When they use  uresta®, they are able to return to these activities.

I have seen very young women use uresta® including a woman who was training for a marathon and only needed to use it during training, when she usually leaked.  Other women  use uresta®  at the gym because  they leak during exercise. I have seen women who have jobs that involve lifting and they can wear uresta® comfortably all day long.

It’s very user friendly, easy to self-fit and very comfortable. Some women actually forget to take it out at night as they forget they have it in!

uresta® has made a 100% difference to many women that are now able to have a “normal “ social life and return to all their activities without the stress and embarrassment of leaking!

Frankie Bates
Urology Nurses Of Canada
Vice-president East

Ask a Physiotherapist ~ those distressing, embarrassing leaks are NOT normal

By Christine Haley, BSc., PT

Whether you are 27, 46 or 70, embarrassing leaks are nothing short of distressing!

Urinary incontinence is defined as any involuntary loss of urine. It is a common and distressing problem which may have a profound effect on quality of life of both men and women.

Many people believe urinary incontinence is a normal part of aging when in fact it is not. Others may be embarrassed to talk about incontinence and therefore do not seek medical advice. Many will feel embarrassed due to unpleasant odors or the fear of losing bladder control therefore avoid going out. This can lead to isolation and depression. The good news is urinary incontinence is almost always secondary to an underlying treatable condition.

The most common urinary incontinence called “stress incontinence” is secondary to insufficient strength of the pelvic floor musculature. If you suffer from this condition, you will note involuntary loss of urine with coughing, sneezing or laughing. Sometimes leakage will occur with lifting, jumping, running or even fast walking or bending. This scenario can, but not always, be compounded by another type of incontinence called “urge incontinence”. It is described as episodic and often unusually frequent distressing urges to urinate.

These types of incontinence respond very well to physiotherapy treatment. The physiotherapy program for this commonly seen condition is strengthening of the weakened pelvic floor musculature, behavioral modification, education, muscle stimulation and biofeedback. You may also be given advice regarding general conditioning which has been found to enhance the recovery process. The compliant patient will most often see a complete recovery.

There is currently a new product on the market called “uresta”. Dr. Scott Farrell, urogynecologist from Halifax, has created this device. It is a bladder support that the female client inserts to help control stress incontinence.

Historically, one would have to see a gynecologist or urologist for this but this new innovation, in conjunction with physiotherapy, has eliminated the inconvenience of wait times. You can be symptom free during this time.

If you suffer from any urinary incontinence, seek medical advice to determine the cause and pursue the necessary treatment to alleviate this condition. Be sure to find a physiotherapist specially trained in treating urinary incontinence.

by Christine Haley, BSc., PT
Keystone Physiotherapy
Keays-Thompson-Haley
506-858-8644

Uresta is a Game Changer

“Over the moon” excitement at recent Uresta info sessions

By Carol Chapman

I’m still reeling from the overwhelming response to two Uresta information sessions we held this week in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Dr. Denise Black, a highly respected gynecologist and active educator on women’s health invited women’s health professionals from across Winnipeg to attend information sessions about Uresta.

Dr. Black has organized many of these types of sessions in the past and was surprised to see the enthusiastic uptake on the invitations. Running at full capacity, the attendees of the sessions, sponsored by an International Pharma Company,  were given prep work in advance – to read some of Dr. Farrell’s research – so the attendees would be well prepared after the session to have good Q&As and a meaningful dialogue about Uresta.

The attendees, mostly women, were nurse practitioners, pharmacists, general practitioners and pelvic floor physiotherapists – a real cross-section. They were amazed at the Uresta solution for women with bladder leakage caused by stress urinary incontinence. There seemed to be a lot of interest around Uresta because there just isn’t a real solution to this problem – until now.

The second night, the attendees were mostly gynecologists – and mostly women!  Attendance had to be cut off as the venue was filled to capacity. I have never seen such an engaged audience for a Uresta presentation – and many were there for over three hours! The main topic of discussion among these women’s health professionals was clear;  this issue is so underserved and the Uresta product is such an important solution because of how it affects women.

What I’m hearing from these professionals over and over again…Uresta is a game-changer – it will change women’s lives. They want to be a part of this. And they are very excited about this Canadian solution – invented by a Canadian, manufactured in Canada and owned by Resilia, an Atlantic Canadian Company.

Right now these professionals don’t have anything to offer their patients/clients for bladder leakage caused by stress urinary incontinence. And many of the women in the room straddle being someone suffering with incontinence themselves and being physicians that help other women with incontinence. They totally “get” this product and the incredible solution that it is for women, including themselves!

The attendees left these sessions wanting more information, ready to make this available to women.

Dr. Black said, “I don’t often get to be excited about something.” She’s a surgeon and knows the surgery to correct stress urinary incontinence can have horrific outcomes. She feels it’s insanity that, up until now, we didn’t have a better solution for women.

In a nutshell, these professionals in Winnipeg who have an interest and passion for women’s health are over the moon excited about our product. Not only is there serious interest in Uresta, there is a pent up demand for a product like this.

I actually had two attendees show interest in investing in the company and the samples of Uresta were being grabbed up NOT only for their patients, but for THEMSELVES!! They most definitely want Uresta to be available to women in Manitoba!

And I arrived home to New Brunswick to see that CBC just published a story about Resilia – A Shediac company that markets a rubber stopper-like device to prevent involuntary bladder leakage in women is setting its sights on the global market. Read the full story here.  It’s been a fabulous week for Resilia, Uresta, and women’s health!

Don’t Let Incontinence Run Your Life

by Nelly Faghani, Registered Physiotherapist
Pelvic Health Solutions

It has been proven that exercise—running especially—has health benefits well beyond any pill a doctor could prescribe. Sadly, women often stop exercising as a result of bladder leakage, also called incontinence. They feel embarrassed and suffer in silence, thinking the condition can’t be treated or that it is a “normal” part of aging.

Starting the Conversation

Ladies, let’s break the silence. Incontinence is common, but it is not normal. There are simple, low-cost, real-time, non-surgical solutions that women need to know about. For starters, many don’t understand the meaning of the word “incontinence”. Let’s demystify the medical jargon. Stress incontinence is a small “spurt” of urine that occurs when you cough, laugh, sneeze or do physical activity (such as running). Urge incontinence (also known as overactive bladder syndrome) is the sudden loss of bladder control just after an overwhelming urge to go pee. Mixed incontinence is when women suffer from both.

The Pelvic Floor

American gynecologist Dr. Arnold Kegel brought the world’s attention to the group of muscles called the pelvic floor that are like a hammock or sling, supporting the bladder, uterus, prostate and rectum. Dr. Kegel noted that a woman’s pelvic floor muscles were weakened by childbirth and prescribed his famous “Kegel exercises” to women as a non-surgical treatment. Frustration with doing Kegels, uncertainty of how to do them properly, or not seeing results has left many of us feeling hopeless, so we just keep wearing pads or stop exercising altogether.

Guidelines for Kegels

When the pelvic floor muscles are weak, they need to be strengthened through a structured strengthening program. This doesn’t mean doing a few Kegels at the kitchen sink or at a stoplight and, contrary to what many women are told, you should never do these exercises by stopping your urine mid-stream. An extreme approach that suggests doing 1000 reps a day has no basis in exercise science either. Start by following the same rules you do when doing weight training at the gym: 3 sets of 10 repetitions daily for about 12 weeks. You can do them daily because, unlike weight training at the gym, you don’t add weights to increase the effort. So, daily exercise is safe until those annoying leaks stop.

How do you know that you’re doing them correctly? The best way to know for sure is to see a professional, like a physiotherapist, who has the appropriate training to confirm you are doing the exercises properly. They’ll do an internal exam to assess the state of the muscles and let you know how well you’re doing your Kegels. Research shows that strengthening pelvic floor muscles with the guidance of a pelvic health physiotherapist has an effectiveness rate of 80%.

Other Options

Pessaries are another great tool for managing incontinence. Until now, all pessaries had to be fitted and inserted by a medical professional. A self-fitting pessary, specifically for stress incontinence, was recently launched. The uresta® pessary is designed for comfort, safety and ease of use. It can be used all day or only for the activities that cause leaks, and can be a safe, low-cost solution for women who don’t respond to exercise or who can’t access a pelvic health physiotherapist.

Surgery is for the 20% of women who can’t improve their symptoms with strength training or the use of a pessary alone. Surgery should be approached cautiously based on the latest available evidence.

Female runners may also have the opposite problem of tight pelvic floor muscles. By nature of their sport, runners develop tight hip, low back and pelvic floor muscles. In these cases, doing Kegels may worsen the problem. These women should consult a pelvic floor physiotherapist to assess if they have tension in these muscles before starting Kegels or inserting a self-fitting pessary. Symptoms of this type of tension would be mixed incontinence, overactive bladder, pain with intercourse, or generalized pain in the pelvic region or hips.

Start the conversation with your girlfriends, your doctor, your pelvic health physiotherapist or your nurse practitioner.  You are not alone! Don’t let embarrassment stop you from doing the sport you love.

from: www.therunningroom.com