While we’re not big fans of making excuses to skip a workout around here, we are all about tuning in and listening to your body when it tells you it’s time for a rest day, and we take zero issue with opting for some yoga (gentle or not so much) when that kind of movement feels better than going for a run or lifting heavy weights. You do you, darlin’.
However, I was recently hipped to a pretty common reason that women opt to avoid workout classes as a whole — even gentle yoga classes: light bladder leakage (LBL). I mean, jumping rope, doing some deep, weighted squats, or, say, giving your all as you approach the finish line of a 15k that maybe you were a little overly hydrated for (you know, theoretically)? Totally, no surprise — I’d imagine most of us have been there, or at least darn close. But yoga? That surprised me.
It probably shouldn’t, though, because in a Poise Light Bladder Leakage PR Survey in 2018, nearly 25 percent of women admitted being hesitant to participate in yoga classes due to LBL. Twenty! Five! Percent! And when it comes to how many women experience LBL, that ratio increases to more like one in three.
Ladies, that is a lot of us. And we’re clearly not talking about it all that much, because both Jenn and I were taken aback by those findings, so we wanted to shed a little light on the fact that it’s common, as well as offer some insight from Poise partner and OB/GYN, Dr. Jessica Shepherd. Because we overcome too much on a daily basis to let a little LBL keep us from doing the workouts we love.
Now, if you’re trying to reduce your risk of LBL, you might think you should drink less water — after all, 50 percent of women surveyed assumed that was the case, and 35 percent admitted to purposely limiting water intake in an effort to avoid leaks.
However, “It’s actually more important for women who experience LBL to stay hydrated, to promote proper organ function and ensure your kidneys are well flushed,” says Dr. Shepherd. “When you don’t drink enough water, urine can become concentrated and further irritate the bladder lining and urethra.”
Aside from staying hydrated, you might also want to up those Kegels. “Incorporating pelvic floor strengthening exercises into your fitness routine can help reduce your chances of experiencing LBL and help to alleviate LBL for women who already experience it,” says Dr. Shepherd.
And, you know how just a couple of weeks ago we were talking about how shoes made for running aren’t right for strength training? Well, 63 percent of women admitted to using the wrong products to treat LBL, like sanitary napkins and period pads — and the same thing is true here.
“Period products weren’t designed to absorb urine. For the best LBL protection, use products that help you stay dry, comfortable and confident. I always recommend Poise to patients with light bladder leakage,”says Dr. Shepherd, who’s a big fan of Poise’s Active Collection Ultra Thin pads and liners with wings. “They’re super thin so you won’t be able to see them under those new yoga leggings, and are designed to naturally adapt to movement and keep you dry!”
Have you experienced LBL? Did you realize how common it was? “Many women keep their LBL a secret because they’re embarrassed and feel alone, even though 1 in 3 women experience it,” says Dr. Shepherd. “It’s important to keep the conversation flowing by sharing your experiences with others.”
So, share away, FBGs! And thanks to Dr. Shepherd for the tips — and for helping us to keep the conversation, uh, flowing. (We see what she did there.) —Kristen