Learning to use the potty is supposed to be the last time you need to think about how to use the toilet. But guess what? Loads of adults have bad habits that seem like little mistakes but can lead to incontinence and prolapse. Many of the things we think are normal about peeing and pooing actually cause pelvic floor muscles to weaken. Check to see if you're making any of these mistakes before it's too late.
1: Holding Your Wee In
Sometimes it's just not convenient to find a toilet, even if you need to go. We're all guilty of doing this at some point or another - if you have a busy life it can be really difficult to fit a toilet break in. But take care! If you are regularly crossing your legs and holding it then you are putting a lot of unnecessary strain on your bladder. This leads to an atonic bladder that isn't strong enough to hold your urine in. A weak bladder has a knock-on effect on your pelvic floor, eventually leading to incontinence. The average time between toilet breaks should be about 2-4 hours. Keep this in mind next time you're tempted to put it off. Just a few minutes to find a toilet can save you from all sorts of pelvic floor problems!
2: Hovering Over the Toilet Seat
Are you scared of the germs in public toilets? This fear leads a lot of women to hover or squat over the seat while they pee. Squatting activates the muscles in your legs and pelvis, making them really engaged and tense. This applies to your pelvic floor as well, preventing your bladder and bowels from emptying properly. Every time you do this you are damaging your pelvic floor, as well as risking urinary tract infections! Studies have found that toilet seats are actually one of the most germ-free places there are. The average kitchen counter has around 200 times more bacteria on it than a toilet! Next time you go, give your pelvic floor a break and have a nice sit down. If your fear of the toilet seat is still too much then try Wellys Paper Toilet Seat Covers
, they allow you to sit comfortably on the toilet seat whilst protecting you from the germs below.
3: Straining to Poo
Do you often have difficulty urinating or pooing? Or maybe you find yourself rushing to finish in the bathroom so you can get back to work? Straining while you're on the toilet is incredibly bad for your pelvic floor, weakening and overstretching your muscles. It can lead to fecal and urinary incontinence; so you'll go from not being able to go to going all the time! If you're often constipated, try making adjustments to your diet like eating more fibre or taking a supplement like Squatty Potty Good Move!
Another good idea is to use a Go Better Toilet Stool
- it will angle you so that you can poo quickly and easily, without straining.
4: Going 'Just in Case'
You probably think you're being sensible by going to the toilet before you leave for a big journey. But for the convenience of one less service station stop you will be damaging your bladder! Regularly peeing when you don't need to trains your bladder to think that it needs emptying when it's not actually full. A classic cause of urge incontinence! You can retrain your bladder to work properly again by doing pelvic floor exercises. This is because kegels strengthen the muscles that control urination. The Kegel8 Ultra 20 Pelvic Toner
and Kegel8 Tight & Tone Pelvic Toner
both include programmes specifically for bladder weakness. They will help you learn how to do kegels to cure and prevent incontinence.