Life can get crazy, side-tracked, and off-schedule. But I guarantee that no matter what happens in your day or life, there is one thing that you will do without a doubt.
You ready? The answer is that you will urinate!
Urinating seems like a simple thing. After all, we naturally do this right out of the womb. However, there are several things that can intrude on this simple bodily function. Things like pregnancy and giving birth (even if it’s via c-section), both of which can have dramatic effects on the pelvic floor muscles.
The pelvic floor is the group of muscles that run from the front of the pubic bone all the way to the tailbone and acts like a sling supporting all the organs “down there.” The pelvic floor is responsible for allowing a woman to be able to urinate. As a medical provider, we used to be taught that the pelvic floor was only affected if a woman had several deliveries and if they were vaginal deliveries. However, we now know that pregnancy alone can affect these muscles, and it only takes 1 delivery to cause some women trouble.
This group of muscles is what allows a woman to be able to urinate when she needs to, and, just like any other group of muscles in your body, the more in shape they are, the better functioning they are.
In this conversation I had with Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas, we discuss all things bladder including overactive bladder, urinary incontinence, interstitial cystitis and more!
Here are some conversation highlights:
4:00- Why a pregnancy (even just 1) can affect the pelvic floor
9:20- Managing symptoms and feelings of having a urinary tract infection (UTI) when it isn’t actually a UTI
11:25- Why kegels don’t cure everything
12:38- Pelvic bladder prolapse
15:28- Repairing a woman’s muscles, especially if she isn’t done having children
18:30- How lifestyle like certain beverages contribute to overactive bladder
22:45- Helping those who have urinary incontinence
27:45- Interstitial cystitis and how bowel movements can affect bladder health
31:08- Ways to improve bowel health and function
One of the interesting things we chat about at about minute 31:08 is how you can improve your bowel health as a way to improve your bladder function. One of the items Dr. Alicia recommends is a step stool to use at the toilet. I couldn’t agree more! My favorite is the squatty potty. Go to my Amazon Store to look at other recommended products! (This is an affiliate link. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
You can learn more and connect with Dr. Alicia on Instagram: @thepelvichealthladies!
Bladder health is vital, and if you feel like you’re having difficulties like those in our discussion, don’t be afraid to speak with your doctor about it. It is not something to be embarrassed about. Your healthcare provider is there to provide you with the care and resources you need!
Shannon M. Clark, MD, MMS is a double board certified ObGyn and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, and founder of Babies After 35. In her roles as a clinician, educator and researcher at UTMB-Galveston, she focuses on the care of people with maternal and/or fetal complications of pregnancy. Dr. Clark has taken a special interest in pregnancy after the age of 35, which according to age alone, is considered a high-risk pregnancy. In her role as a physician caring for high-risk pregnancies, she has counseled and treated hundreds of women over the years in her very own situation, and has found a whole new respect for the challenges and complications a woman may experience when trying to have a baby later in life.
Check out the products for TTC through parenthood in the Babies After 35 Amazon shop, online courses and other services that come "Dr. Clark-approved"!Check out my favorite things