The Knack: A Trusted Pelvic Floor Trick To Lessen Leaks When Coughing Or Sneezing

“The Knack” is a trick you can use whenever you’re about to cough or sneeze. It’s an easy way to help prevent unwelcome leaks. Whenever you anticipate pressure on your bladder, contract your pelvic floor muscles. Think – squeeze before you sneeze. (Read How to Kegel to learn how to squeeze properly.)

When you squeeze and hold during a coughing fit, a sneeze, or while lifting, you gain more control over leakage. I recently spoke at the Women’s Health Foundation event, “Sex, Chocolate, and Your Pelvic Floor.” It was a fabulous event to help women gain more confidence and control of their pelvic health. The women learned, laughed, and participated in several eye-opening activities. At the end of the evening, Missy Lavender (the Foundation’s founder) took the women through an exercise to discover the usefulness of “The Knack.” You can try that exercise right now.

Step 1: Cough. Notice the pressure of the cough on your pelvic floor.

Step 2: This time squeeze your pelvic floor muscles. Then, hold as you cough. Did you notice how much less pressure you felt on your pelvic floor? I was so excited by the simplicity of this little trick that I shared it with a friend who also experiences LBL. She said, “I know that trick. I’ve been doing it for years.” “Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked. “I don’t know. I never thought to share it,” she said. Her response had me realize how important it is for women to have a place like this to compare notes, and share what’s working for them. It’s amazing what a little information can do to keep LBL from slowing you down.

Do you have a tip or trick to share?



From causes of light bladder leakage (LBL) to tips and products to help manage leaks, our LBL Starter Guide is here to help.


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