I Went To Pelvic Floor Therapy

What good is the internet if we can’t use it to help each other, right? Buckle up, kids.  Here’s your TMI post of the day. 

As a heads up, if reading about a natural thing that happens to some women after bearing children offends you … scroll on, friend. 

I was in line for the port-o-potties at a 5K recently and the line was 100% women. They were mostly my age and the conversation was the same: “I better pee before I run so I don’t wet myself in this race.”That 100% used to be me. It happens. We have kids, we age, we pee ourselves. Sneeze? That would mean a clothing change if I didn’t cross my legs first. Jumping Jacks or Jumping Rope? That was a big NO from me. 

Honestly, I just thought it was a part of my body I would have to accept. During a video, I joked about my propensity to pee when I exercised. The internet isn’t all bad because I got several sweet messages recommending pelvic floor therapy as a solution. My doctor gave me a referral and I found out my insurance covered the sessions. Can I sidetrack for a second? 

Just A Mini Rant

Can we all agree if men gave birth they would have a pelvic floor therapist in the recovery room? 

Your pelvic floor does more than control your bladder, there are real complications women endure. I didn’t know ANY of this stuff and it was only after someone on the internet told me it was an option did I talk to my doctor about it. This information would be on billboards if men gave birth. 

My First Appointment

I was incredibly nervous for my first appointment. It was a back room of a traditional physical therapy practice. I giggled as I walked past men doing exercises to help with knee pain, and here I was, walking to this tiny room to get my who ha into shape. 

The therapist was a kind woman in her late twenties. She was a physical therapist but specialized in the pelvic floor. She showed me plastic models and explained, the pelvic floor is a combination of muscles and connective tissues that work like a hammock to hold our organs together down there. While everyone has a pelvic floor, it can be weakened after giving birth so some of us can experience more issues. And for the record, pelvic floor dysfunction can be much more than peeing when you sneeze. There’s a lot that can go wrong. This is just my personal experience.  

The awkward part of my first visit only lasted about 3 minutes. Yes, there’s an internal exam. She asked me to do some “exercises” while she was up there to judge the severity of my case. I’ve had two kids and no longer have an ounce of modesty, but having a twenty-something physical therapist asking me to kegel and timing how long I could hold it made me laugh. Which made me afraid I’d pee on her. Which made us both laugh. I don’t have it in me to be embarrassed but it was definitely one of those, “Is this actually happening?”  moments.

Believe it or not, she said my case wasn’t considered severe and thought that within 4 sessions, and work on my own time, I would be able to run without needing to change clothes.  I didn’t believe her, but I had almost peed on her so I was going to put on a positive front. 

Cap And Gown

Our sessions were about 45 minutes long. Some of the time I was on the table (no more internal exams needed) and some I was out on the regular physical therapy floor doing more traditional exercises. By the end, she had me test the progress but running a mile on the treadmill. I did it! After four sessions and some homework, I ran and didn’t wet myself. I had graduated pelvic floor therapy. Get my who ha a cap and gown, she’s ready!

I’m not exaggerating when I tell you this was a lifestyle change. After the recent 5K, my girlfriends and I went to brunch to celebrate our run, as one does. Before, I would have had to bring a change of clothes or at least, sit there in some damp pants. 

I am in no way an expert on this but there are a few exercises she gave me that I will still do today if I think about it. Basically, if you see me at a stoplight I’m doing kegels. I won’t pretend I do this with any regularity which should be encouraging to you. I don’t pee when I run and I don’t really work at it that often. 

I’m hesitant to detail my training plan because it may not be right for you. Yeah, that’s right. People can have a pelvic floor that’s too contracted and that’s a big deal too. If you are wanting those exercises there are a ton of resources on the google machine, but the best bet is to connect with a physical therapist. 

I hope this helps. 

Xo, Kim