Urinary Incontinence in Women 101
You are not alone. 1 in 3 women will have issues with urinary incontinence in their lifetime!
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine. There are three main types of urinary incontinence that pelvic floor muscle stimulation can be used to treat. Approximately 20 million American women are affected by urinary incontinence (see footnote #1). This number can be broken down by age: 20%-30% of young women, 30%-40% of middle-aged women, and up to 50% of mature women suffer from urinary incontinence (see footnote #2).
First things first: there are different types of urinary incontinence.
- Stress incontinence – happens when there is an increase in abdominal pressure during movement — such as when you laugh, sneeze or cough, or during exercise. Urine leaks because of weakened pelvic floor muscles and tissues. Causes of stress incontinence include pregnancy and childbirth, which cause stretching and weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. Other factors, such as overweight or obesity, may also increase the risk for stress incontinence or bladder leakage.
- Urge incontinence – also called overactive bladder and occurs when there is a bladder contraction. An urgent need to urinate results in bladder leakage.
- Mixed incontinence – a combination of stress incontinence and urge incontinence.
Second: a strong pelvic floor is a happy pelvic floor!
The pelvic floor is a muscular structure that provides a lot support to a healthy urinary system. It runs from the pubic bone to the base of the spine and holds the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, vagina, small bowel, and rectum) in place. A normal pelvic floor provides elastic load balancing to accommodate downward pressure on the abdomen and then returns the organs back to their original position. The pelvic floor muscle is also responsible for voluntarily closing the external urethral sphincter. This is why Kegels are so crucial to pelvic floor strength.
Third, and last: Kegels work... and they do much, much more than you thought!
Most women know that proper Kegel exercises will decrease or cure urinary incontinence. However, half of the women who try to do Kegel exercises do this exercise incorrectly and have little (or no) effect on their pelvic floor. Kegel exercises tone the pubococcygus muscle, which is the primary controller of the urinary function. Not only do Kegels help with urinary incontinence and maintaining control, they also lead to: improved posture, back and knee pain alleviation, and flattening your stomach. This is why using the Yarlap® is important for properly training pelvic floor muscles. With electro muscle stimulation to contract the pelvic floor muscles, the Yarlap® does the whole workout for you.
Learn More About Pelvic Floor Muscle Stimulation:
- Multicentric prospective randomized study evaluating the interest of intravaginal electro-stimulation at home for urinary incontinence after prior perineal reeducation. Interim analysis
- Long-term results of a clinical trial comparing isolated vaginal stimulation with combined treatment for women with stress incontinence
- Decade in review-urinary incontinence: advances in female urology and voiding dysfunction
- A novel externally applied neuromuscular stimulator for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence in women
- Effects of intravaginal estriol and pelvic floor rehabilitation on urogenital aging in postmenopausal women
- Pelvic floor muscle training for stress urinary incontinence: A randomized, controlled trial comparing different conservative therapies
- Effects of surface and intravaginal electrical stimulation in the treatment of women with stress urinary incontinence: randomized controlled trial
- Center for Disease Control, 2015
- Sandvik H. Bergen, Norway: Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen; 1995. Female urinary incontinence: studies of epidemiology and management in general practice [thesis]