Might be worth trying the Mooncup. www.mooncup.co.uk. I have found it has worked really well for my (admittedly quite short) runs and before it was really bad every time I went out. Doesn't solve the coughing sneezing issue but so much better to be able to run without worrying too much.
First Triathlon on Saturday so that should put it through it's paces!
I'd be interested to know if it makes any difference for you when you try it. I think we should start some research here! If anyone tries it please post and let everyone else know if it works for you or am I the only one?
I suffer from stress incontinence when I run too. I had a baby 4 months ago. At my six week check I mentioned this to my GP who referred me to the maternity physio dept that specialises in post birth incontinence.
I had my appointment a couple of weeks ago and she examined me and said that my pelvic floor was 3 out of 5 (5 being good). She said I was doing my pelvic floor exercises correctly, but gave me a specific pelvic floor exercise plan.
10 (increasing to 20) quick squeezes, followed by 5 (increasing to 10) 5 second squeezes (increasing to 10 seconds). This must be done 4-6 times a day whilst standing, walking, up and down stairs, and eventually when jogging on the spot.
i don't know about anyone else, but I am rubbish at remembering to do my pelvic floor exercises, so physio suggest sticking post-it notes around the house (it doesn't have to say 'clench!') just as reminder. I have them in 6 places I frequently go to such as the fridge and bathroom mirror! It does help. I haven't been doing them long enough to notice an improvement just yet, but will let you know!
The physio said that pelvic floor muscles become fatigued in the same way that other muscles do after exertion. I usually find that my pelvic floor can hold up until about 20 mins into a run, and then it gives up. With more exercises, apparently this should improve.
The physio also said that women suffering stress or urge incontinence DO NOT have to suffer, it can be remedied and it is not something that post birth women should have to suffer from, so get yourselved referred!
I have found that wearing a tampon helps (only when on a period though), but I have a mooncup, which I imagine would do the same thing but I haven't tried it yet. I also use Always Envive, available at Boots.
I was also told about this http://www.win-health.com/incostress-controls-stress-incontinence.html which looks like it would work well too, similar to the mooncup I guess.
I'm glad I found this forum, because no one talks much about this problem, and so many women suffer and just accept that it's something that you have to put up with being female or having had a baby.
That's interesting Lillls. I think there's obviously something in this whole tampon/mooncup/incostress thing in that it changes the position of the bladder or applies some pressure or support in the right place that helps.
I used the mooncup for my first triathlon 4 weeks ago and it was brilliant. Admittedly the weather was very wet all day but I'm sure that leakage was minimal or non existent. Certainly felt confident which is so much better than before.
All my practice runs were dry too and I'm even considering giving up the pad when I've got the mooncup in. Brave!
I think all women should be given support and advice for pelvic floor problems after birth and as they get older. It happens in France apparently. It makes me mad when I think of how it must stop so many women from exercising and normal activities.
I recently had a session of Emmet technique. There is a little muscle manipulation move that they do on the lower part of your abdomen that is supposed to help reposition a bladder tha my be out of position. It hasnt cured my problem but it certainly has helped.
I did find some tena products here , recently stocked and I find them much better than the usual menstrual pads. Still havent tried the mooncup. Will next long run ( 20 on saturday)
Hey Lills - that incostress thing looks interesting, I might get one. It's odd that tampons help - my daughter is 1 next wk and I still haven't had a period so haven't used tampons since having her. I have had some specialist physio and was told my pelvic floor was a grade 2/5. Some runs I'm fine, others it's a disaster. It depends on how tired I am, and I have started doing a speed session at the track with a running club every wk, and that is esp bad.
I guess I could ask for a gynae referral, I'm not sure how keen I am on surgery, mostly because I'd have to stop running to have it! Also I'm only 31 and plan on having at least 1 more baby at some point.
I went for a run last night.......my period is just finishing..... and it was a disaster after 45 minutes I was totally soaked. I have black tights but I could clearly see the evidence myself and felt ashamed when I got to the car park afterwards which was full of other runners or people out walking. Anyway, I've just ordered the incostress as tampons have not helped (only tried it once though). I've had some physio and it did help with my pelvic floor. Sometimes I can run and not have any problems.
I love running but have been so emotional over the whole not being dry thing that I find it hard. I've found the advice on this site to be a great help. Thank you all for being so frank. I live in Sweden and unfortunately have not found anyone who even admits to having this problem after childbirth or at all for that matter!!
I haven't been doing my exercises quite as often as I should but I have noticed some improvement. It definately depends on how much I drink during a run, and if I stop drinking a couple of hours before I run. if I drink alot during a run, then my PF gives up earlier than if I don't drink.
Squirrel - glad the mooncup worked for you, I have got one and I really should give it a go, because after a while a pad is just not enough.
Fizziofinn - it's interesting that you said about manupulation of muscles of the lower abdomen. Since I started running again, these lower muscles really ache after a run (I've never ached in these very low abdominal muscles before), I guess these must be connected to the pelvic floor.
Carovet - I think anything like a tampon, incostress or mooncup just holds everything up and stops it from sagging! Really should give it a go - the VPL from wearing big pants and cycling shorts is not good! I have session that are worse too, speed sessions especially. i think because I haven't regained my fitness yet, I just get worn out by the end of the run and I can't think about my pelvic floor as well as breathing, aching legs etc.
julie - I would be interested to hear how you get on with incostress. I had to sit on a towel in the car on the way home from running club. I feel embarrassed too, it makes me feel very reluctant to go out on social runs with other people. I can't imagine being able to run long distances again, my pelvic floor gives up after about 40 mins (it was after 20 mins, so slowly improving).
I am SO SO SO GLAD I FOUND THIS topic !!
I have just started running, and have had pelvic problems after childbirth, and if I'm honest, beforehand - I didn't use tampons because there was a feeling that they fell out.
Anyway, I love running but it's become clear that my floor isn't up to it. Am on wait list to see specialist.
But don't want to stop running and am interested in the posting above which says it won't adversely affect the pelvic floor. Are you sure? Because when I saw a specialist after childbirth last time, she definitely said "Stop running right away".
Let me know if you think it's definitely OK to carry on. I really want to....
I am so glad I am not alone. I was feeling mortified, and miserable, especially since I am running to be fitter and nicer looking, and the last thing I was feeling was more attractive, in that state !
Incontinence is a bit of a sensitive topic which many people try to avoid, but did you know that it affects the everyday life for 1 out of 4 women!? I have read recently that over 40% of women suffer from a weak bladder either whilst doing sports or during/after pregnancy... I think that it is important that we speak about this, because it is not something that only happens to old people, and it is nothing to be ashamed about.
I find that wearing Tena Lady really helps, and makes me feel much more confident. They are carrying out a study at the moment together with Netdoctor. If you answer a few questions about your experiences you can get free samples from Tena, or even win a £200 voucher at M&S! The link is: http://tena.netdoctor.co.uk/
I've always had a weak bladder, but controlable. Ever since I had a baby 2 years ago it has been a disaster. I love running but it is simply just too embarrassing as I wet myself in the first few minutes. I moved to the US and have no health insurance so going to a specialist is not an option. I have tried doing PF but doesn't seem to help. I will take the extra hints from this thread and hopefully something will help. I go to the gym and do other stuff but really really miss running. Hopefully something will work. Sorry for moan but am fed up with this.
Good luck Vbspara. Let us know how it goes.
I think we should start a campaign for more research into what works for women and then better information and training for Gps. This is a whole anecdotal research project going on here because people are brave enough to talk about it.
Can anyone feed back about mooncup or incostress too? I am going to try my Pelvitone again too and see how well that works. I think it really helped last time I used it but it takes a few weeks to firm everything up too.
Wow! This is quite a big thread. I ventured in here as I was curious to find out what parallels there may be to my sister's experiences with stress incontinence after childbirth.
A year later and she was beginning to give up on pelvic floor exercises and settling on ways to manage leakage. Things had improved a great deal but she was not confident enough to ditch the pads, which she thought she would have to live with: fearing surgery was the next step.
This seems to be echoed in many of the posts here and many of the NHS web pages I read at the time also suggested surgery was the next option if PF exercise fails (and probably rightly so in some cases). What baffles me is that there seems to be little advice given by GPs about trying EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) to help with PF exercises. A midwife friend mentioned it by chance to my sister and I think within just a month she was brimming with confidence again. She'd felt her own exercises had been weak and untargetted by comparison.
It seems a shame so little is mentioned about it via the NHS. Maybe it's a cost thing and they don't want to invest in the machines, but it's got to be cheaper than referring people to a consultant, or surgery. As JJ2 said in an earlier post, it takes 8 weeks for a referral appointment anyway, so they might as well give you one of these to try while you're waiting!
The unit sis' used was an iTouch Sure like this one http://www.tens2u.co.uk/index.php?action=products&product=78
Oh dear! All of the anxiety my sister went through is coming back to me whilst I've been writing this, so I just had to go check and, infuriatingly, found the NHS site is still very much pushing the message: live-with-it or surgery. http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/incontinence/Pages/Incontinencehome.aspx even in the videos.
But I saw some atlernatives do get a brief billing here: http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Stress-Incontinence.htm
Many of the posts here look quite old, but some contributors are of long-standing. I hope this helps someone but Debra, as you posted just yesterday, I guess I bothered to write this for you. Fingers crossed for you too VBSPARA.
This thread has given me immense hope. Thanks. I decided to get some pads and just go running and it was great although this isn't a long term solution it does help.
I noticed a thread mentioned Magnesium. I did a bit of research and am planning to start taking calcium/ magnesium and Cranberry capsules, anybody have any success with these or other alternatives?
I plan on looking into the EMS if this doesn't work.
Good Luck VBSPARA and thanks Ken.
I agree with Ken that the advice seems woefully inadequate. I got the same advice (ie, do more pelvic floor exercises) from my GP when I went about it and have had to try and find out what I could. It's frustrating that all the info about EMS or pelvic toners seems to be from the people who sell them. Can't anyone do some proper research and then publish it? Even a collection of reviews from those who have tried EMS and other things would be good but I haven't found anything better than what's on this site.
Debra, I used a combination of a Pelvitone (EMS) and something called a mooncup which is an eco alternative to tampons (very good) and somehow seems to provide extra support like a tampon does so leakage is reduced or eliminated when running. From what has been mentioned on these pages an Incostress does the same sort of thing.
The Mooncup definitely kept me dryer for my triathlon training last year. I even got to the point of running without pads! I was doing short runs though so haven't tested it thoroughly. Only costs £20 from Boots though and if you use it for periods you're quids in. Mine's already paid for itself.
I think the Pelvitone also did help but took ages (4 months or so) so I nearly gave up. The one I got was a very medically presented one and offered very little in the way of practical advice for self help so maybe it would have been quicker if someone in the know had guided me. I then stopped using it and got worse (you're supposed to keep using it onceor twice a week after it's better) so I'm beginning all over again! Pretty expensive though (mine cost about £80 - £90). The one Ken shows looks like the same sort of thing but cheaper.
Now though it's my knees that are keeping me from running - arghhhh!
I hope that helps some. Good luck.
I went to my GP a couple of wks ago to see what could be done, beause like many on here I seem to have reached a plateau - it's alot better than immediately post birth (18m ago) but that's it. I still mostly have probs when I'm racing or doing a track session - normal slowish runs are fine. I have BUPA so could pick my own consultant to go and see, and a friend who works for a gynae pharmaceutical company recommended someone. The GP was lovely, but basically said the NHS wouldn't touch me with a barge pole at the moment because I want another baby, and therefore wasn't looking for a surgical option anytime soon.
Saw the consultant last wk who thought maybe my bladder is contracting when I'm tired. So rather than it being soley a weak pelvic floor (beause if it was then surely it would happen everytime I jump up and down, carry heavy things, cough, sneeze etc - and it doesn't) it could actually be something triggers my bladder to contract when I'm running and very tired. So I'm going to have the urodynamic tests done (anyone had these? Sounds rather unpleasant.......) and then depending on tyhe results poss start on medication.
I don't use pads beause they feel uncomfortable and rub, but I always wear black leggings or shorts!!
And I always have to change immediately after a race which is a pain.
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