It’s cold outside! Last night, when I left the grocery store, it was a bone-chilling 7 degrees. During that brisk walk to my car, it happened. And just when I thought I had it beat. I thought regular exercise, cutting back on coffee, and following the advice on my LBL blog and podcast recordings was enough. What else could cause this? Then, it hit me. Maybe LBL can be triggered by cold weather.
I searched the internet and found women who say their urge to go gets stronger as the temperature drops. Walking past the refrigerated section of the grocery store was a trigger for one lady. Another wrote that shivering intensified her urge to go. I also checked in with a couple of girlfriends. But neither of them notices a difference with the cold. One said, “No. It only happens when I’m sneezing, jumping, and laughing too hard.”
To get answers, I phoned gynecologist Dr. Judith Brysk, MD in Birmingham, Michigan. She confirmed that cold weather can contribute to LBL. “When women go outside in the cold, they tighten their muscles to stay warm,” she said, “That increases the pressure in the abdomen, which puts more pressure on the bladder.” Dr. Brysk offered a simple solution to help combat cold weather leaks, “Before going out into the cold, empty your bladder.” Sure, it seems obvious, but it can help reduce the risk of leaks this winter.
What about you – does the decrease in temperature increase your urge to go? If so, how do you manage LBL in cold weather?