You may not recollect the first time you were told that you were becoming a "big girl" for your success using the big girl potty, but your probably heaped the same praise upon your own children.
With good reason.
Depending upon diapers is a sign of dependence, and the only thing worse than being dependent is losing independence.
The distress and quality of life concerns surrounding incontinence are easy to understand.
Perhaps the reluctance to talk about it is understandable as well.
Even mentioning it can feel like you are stepping back away from adulthood.
What makes this even sadder is the fact that in many cases, unreported incontinence often has a treatable underlying cause.
Stress Incontinence Stress incontinence is an involuntary loss of urine during an increase in abdominal pressure.
This may occur when coughing, laughing, lifting or sneezing.
Stress incontinence is very common in women.
It is usually the result of a loss of support to the urethra.
This usually the result of damage to the muscles of the pelvic floor during childbirth, although it may be the result of other conditions, including obesity, diabetes or infection.
Normally, the pressure of the muscle which holds the urethra closed exceeds the pressure on the bladder, and urine is held within the bladder.
Since the bladder and the urethra are both within the pelvis, when intra-abdominal pressure increases, such as what happens during a cough of sneeze, pressure increase on both equally, and control is maintained with no loss of differential pressure.
Normal bladder voiding occurs when the muscle holding the urethra relaxes, causing the pressure from the bladder to exceed that of the urethra.
If the muscles of the pelvic floor loose the strength to hold the urethra closed, the involuntary loss of urine is nearly inevitable.
Exercise To The Rescue Fortunately, in many cases these muscles can be strengthened through an exercise training program designed for them.
Arnold Kegel was the gynecologist who did pioneering work in developing strengthening exercises for these muscles.
In fact, in common speech, these muscles are referred to as Kegels.
A method of learning which muscles need to be strengthened with Kegel exercises is to use your muscles to stop the flow of urine.
WARNING: it is not a healthy practice to stop the flow of urine on a regular basis, as it may cause the retention of urinary waste.
In order to exercise the Kegel muscles correctly, Kegelmaster called for a device which provided resistance to the muscles.
The resistance would need to be increased as the muscle strengthened, and there would need to be feed back to determine that the muscle was indeed getting stronger.
It is a perfect exercise device to stop incontinence.
Kegel created a device using balloons, tubes and pressure gauges which he called the perimeter, an unwieldy device that could only be used in the doctor's office.
The Kegelmaster is the only exercise device on the market which meets all of Dr.
Kegel's requirements, but best of all, it is portable enough to be used in the privacy of your own home.