It's not unusual

Lately, I was having issues trying to run a bit faster at parkrun - just a little leaking … especially when I ran on the treadmill .
It made me want to cry too.

Even just coughing, sneezing, jumping at the gym and laughing (once it ended badly when my husband and two boys and all our suitcases toppled at the bottom of the escalator). Lucky it was a short shuffle to the ladies with my suitcase.

Was it my age, multiple birth pregnancy or hormones or stress incontinence or ALL of the above ?
Chemo put me in early menopause at 46 and I had a hysterectomy 2 years ago.

The trampoline ? well it’s been as issue since the twins had their first bounce … on my bladder.

They got their trampoline at 22 months and I’ve never had a dry jump.

I wasn’t sure about doing Pelvic floor aka Kegel's exercises correctly. I didn’t get it. I had been putting off seeing a professional about my incontinence for months – since I saw a sign in the gym.

Surreptitiously, I kept noticing I wasn’t alone, just glancing in trolleys at the supermarket and a few comments in groups.

Incontinence is more common than we think, affecting 1 in 3 women (of all ages) - a little bit of wee will escape and we feel mortified.

So in early August I made an appointment. After seeing a women's physio I now feel more confident about addressing my issues in the correct way. Every day.

I actually 'knew' the women’s physio recommended to me by a lady from our running group. She was a mum from our Church – awkward - but no topic seems to be taboo anymore after cancer ,nor baring my all to all and sundry when I had infertility treatment.

The appointment started with questions about my births (stillbirth and twins), toileting habits, sex-life, urgency (like when I put the key in the door) and the frequency of incontinence itself.

The internal examination followed –consisting of the physio looking at the opening of my vagina, me practising pelvic floor exercises (pathetically) around her fingers, her feeling the walls of my vagina and a silicon probe attached to a device that measured strength.

All of which I’d experienced before during pap smears, IVF fertility treatment, pregnancy – nowhere near as unpleasant as a pap though.

Basically, because I’ve been slack, I have a weak pelvic floor and a bit of scarring which I wasn’t aware of from the hysterectomy.

The solution is to build up the strength in my 'muscles' with consistent pelvic floor exercises … lots of controlled contractions and releases . Your glutes should not be doing all the work.

It’s a work in progress and will take 3-6 months. A had a followup appopintment (with some improvement) 2 weeks ago.

My next appointment is in December.

I found this infographic very helpful.

Don't wait to get it sorted!

It's less embarrassing than actually peeing your pants in public.

Are you doing your pelvic floor exercises while reading this?

In collaboration with TENA because it's such an important message.
I'm donating my fee to my fundraising for the Great Cycle Challenge.

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