The birds were chirping early this morning. When I looked outside I saw a big, bold dandelion growing right in the middle of my lawn. Every spring, when I pluck out weeds, and prune back branches, that certain something in the air can send me into fits of sneezing. Tearing eyes, and a dripping nose aren't the only leaks brought on by the pollen in the air. Constant coughs and sneezes put pressure on your bladder, and that can lead to light bladder leakage. Here are some things you can do to keep LBL under control this spring:
• Stomp out the Symptoms. Chronic coughs and sneezing can weaken your pelvic floor, making you more likely to leak. Nip those symptoms in the bud. Ask your medical professional to explore treatments that are right for you. You may choose natural remedies like herbs or locally grown honey to hedge off your coughing and sneezing fits. Some prefer alternative treatments like acupuncture or conventional medications. It may also help to use an air purifier and allergen reducing vacuum cleaner bags inside your home to reduce your symptoms even further.
• Protect Yourself. When you tend to a garden, you probably bring along a shovel, hoe, and pruning shears, but that's not enough. You also need tools to protect yourself so you can keep going - gloves protect your hands, a knee cushion keeps you comfortable, and sunglasses take the strain off your eyes. Remember to wear an LBL specific pad too, so that unwanted leaks don't slow you down.
• Work Those Muscles. If you're like me, springtime can bring on a renewed focus on fitness. Muscles don't tone themselves. (Darn!) That's why I recently started a new exercise program. Did you know that strong pelvic floor muscles can help prevent LBL? And just like toning the tummy, there are exercises that tighten that area. Kegel exercise, yoga, and Pilates are examples of workouts that can support your pelvic floor strength. Make a habit of exercising your pelvic floor muscles daily, especially during allergy season.
• Squeeze Before You Sneeze. There's a nifty little way to reduce leaks whenever you're about to cough or sneeze. It's called "The Knack" and you can read more details about it from my previous blog post here. Basically all you need to do is squeeze and lift the pelvic floor just before you sneeze or cough. It really does help lessen the leaks.
How about you? With the arrival of spring, and all those outdoor chores, what are you doing to manage LBL?