You laugh. You sneeze. You cough. You do 13,791 burpees at the gym. And sometimes when you do those things, you wet your pants. Just a little. Listen, it happens.
Stress incontinence is not uncommon. In fact, it regularly happens to one in three women. As pelvic health expert Lindsey Vestal explains, every single time you breathe, your diaphragm expands and pushes everything beneath it down toward your pelvic floor. When it’s optimally healthy, your pelvic floor can take the pressure, but when pelvic floor muscles aren’t strong enough to always withstand the pressure, sudden intensity of breath can cause a lapse. That’s when leakage occurs, and there are a few ways to deal with it.
Solution #1: Icon undies
You could go around with a stash of pantyliners in your purse, or you could invest in pee-proof panties. Icon undies were designed for women who experience occasional light to moderate bladder leaks. Icon looks and feels like regular underwear, but they are constructed with moisture-wicking and anti-odor technology, so they absorb leaks and deodorize without feeling damp or bulking up. And they launder just like the rest of your clothes (a bonus for the environment). Plus, the undies come in five styles — high waist, French cut, hip hugger, bikini, and thong — so your undergarment game isn’t compromised.
Solution #2: Pelvic floor strengthening
Pregnancy and childbirth can stretch the muscles around the bladder. So can weight gain. The hormonal changes of menopause can weaken those muscles. It’s all totally normal. As with other muscles, you can strengthen them with the right kinds of exercise.
If your problem is more than a teensy leak, a pelvic health physical therapist may be your answer, but there are plenty of exercises you can do on your own. Some experts suggest Kegels; others say they are a waste of time. Everyone agrees that when done correctly deep squats are very effective at toning and tightening the pelvic floor. Glute bridges are another way to go. And as one Pilates instructor we know likes to say: “Regular attendance of Pilates classes will zip you up.”
Until then, there’s Icon.
Shop Icon between now and December 31, 2018, and save $10 with code FINELINE.