Nearly 18 million women leak when they laugh, sneeze, run or jump. Are you one of them?
Childbirth, menopause, and other life events, can thin out your vaginal tissue and weaken your pelvic floor muscles, as well as the ligaments which help support the bladder.
These weakened structures can cause the bladder to shift downward, and prevent the urethra from closing properly, resulting in urine leakage during moments of physical stress like coughing, laughing, jumping, lifting or running.
Although the American College of Physicians recommends pelvic floor muscle training (Kegel exercises) as a first-line treatment for bladder leakage, 50 percent of women who try these exercises do not contract their muscles correctly, and give up. Instead, they’ll often turn to pads to “fix” the problem.
Now, there’s good news: The FDA has recently approved a discreet, pelvic floor training system, called PeriCoach. The device is inserted into the vagina for your Kegel exercise sessions and features three sensors to monitor the strength of your contractions. The device is synced with a smartphone app, which analyzes the data and sends it to your doctor, who can help guide you. Even more, the app will send you reminders to make sure you’re staying on track with your exercise sessions!
“Non-invasive pelvic floor muscle exercises are great for treating urinary incontinence. However, many women find Kegels difficult to do on their own, and they become frustrated with the lack of progress,” said Dr. Leslie M. Rickey, associate professor of urology and obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale University. “PeriCoach offers reassuring, visual feedback and allows clinicians to monitor progress between visits.”