As kids, we all had to sit through one form or another of “The Talk”.
I remember that day in school when they split up the boys and girls (we won’t talk about the ineffectiveness of this tactic..) and spent the whole class talking about changes that will be happening in our bodies. -Gasp!- My body is going to do WHAT every month?? Shocking as that was, I was glad to know it. Certainly better than getting surprised and confused one unexpected day!
But, I have to ask this…
Where was “The Talk” for what happens to our female bodies when we get older? I mean, really! Where was the person telling me things like our sweat glands decrease or that we lose nearly half of our taste buds by the time we are in our 60’s? But, what really got my goat is that no one told me about the likelihood of experiencing Urinary Incontinence. You can snicker all you want, it’s fine but, nearly 50% of women experience some form of UI. And up to 75% of women above the age of 65 report urine leakage. But we don’t really talk about it?? Absurd.
OK, first things first. What is Urinary Incontinence?
Simply put, it is the involuntary leakage of urine. Basic enough. But, why does it happen? Well, there can be multiple contributing factors. Pregnancy and vaginal childbirth is a big one, as it can cause shifting and weakening of the pelvic floor. Also menopause can lead to UI. After menopause, women produce less estrogen, a hormone that helps keep the lining of the bladder and urethra healthy. Deterioration of these tissues can aggravate incontinence. Or just as a matter of getting older. As we age, our pelvic floor or urethral sphincter muscles start to weaken. I, myself, have to cross my legs (and fingers) every time I sneeze.
Diapers are for babies.
I know it seems like I’m being flippant about this, but I really do understand that it can be an uncomfortable conversation to have. It can be a (more than) slightly embarrassing thing to talk about but, with so many of us experiencing this, it NEEDS to be brought out from under the “taboo shadow”.
Let me tell you, every time I’ve tried having this conversation with a friend, or even my DOCTOR, it was waved off with a shrug and a “yeah, that’s just something that happens as you get older”. Well, I call Bull.
We have options!
I’m not talking about “throw on a pad before you workout” kind of options. I mean, real and effective therapies that are available right now that can greatly reduce the amount of laundry you do in a week. Such as…
Pelvic floor physical therapy.
Yep. A physical therapist that works specifically with your pelvic floor and surrounding muscles. They use techniques such as manual therapy, guided exercises, biofeedback, and electrical stimulation to treat a variety of conditions, including vaginismus, endometriosis, and (you guessed it!) incontinence. Granted, this takes time and consistency but, it could very well be worth it.
But I have to tell you my favorite.
Why is it my favorite? Great question! It is ONE treatment that has results that last up to a full year. AND it’s completely comfortable and effortless. It’s the Viveve by Rise Medical™! In fancy-medical-terms it is a cryogen-cooled monopolar radiofrequency device. All that means is that a small wand (about the size of your thumb) is inserted into the vaginal canal and heats up the underlying tissue to rebuild natural collagen to improve the structural integrity of the vagina. Don’t worry, it doesn’t actually feel hot. That’s where the “cryogen” part comes in. It keeps you and your sensitive parts at a very comfortable temperature. This reawaked tissue really does “come alive” again. Your body starts producing its own collagen again, and rehabilitates the muscles to restore function and sensitivity. I’m sure you can imagine the pleasant side effects of a more sensitive vaginal canal…
You know what else I appreciate about Rise Medical?
It is a completely safe space to talk about all your intimacy issues and concerns. Hormone imbalance, low sex drive, lubrication or lack of sensitivity, there is NO need to feel embarrassed about what you are going through. These professionals have heard it all and they are here to help. Bonus points; their offices are absolutely gorgeous. Oh! And they have services and treatments for men too. Just sayin’. Click Here to see everything they have to offer. You won’t regret it.
It’s your time to jump for joy!