Planning some time away from the comfort of your own home can be difficult if you suffer with bladder issues. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t travel if you suffer from incontinence. As long as you plan carefully and meticulously, there’s no reason why you can’t swap home for a bit of adventure.
To help you along the way, here are some top tips for travelling with bladder weakness:
1. Plan ahead
If regular access to a toilet is essential, it’s best to pick a mode of transport that has a toilet available. So if you’re being whisked away on a weekend coach trip, make sure it has a toilet! If you have the ability to book seats in advance, you can always try reserving a seat nearest to the toilet or, plan your travel time with your bladder/bowel habits in mind.
2. Kegel, Kegel, Kegel
If, in the worst case scenario, your bladder contents are threatening to make a surprise appearance, Kegels can be your savvy sidekick; gently perform a few Kegel exercises for extra protection. You can learn how to do Kegels here…
If you get the urge and have nowhere to turn, try sitting on a hard, flat surface. The pressure can help to support your pelvic floor muscles and keep leaks at bay. Also try the 'Quick Flick' technique (for urinary incontinence) - When you feel the urge to urinate, the this technique can be applied. Contract the pelvic floor muscles quickly 3-5 times, taking slow deep breaths whilst you do so. This should reduce the need to urinate so you can hold off going to the toilet for longer intervals.
And if you're about to sneeze or cough use 'The Knack' manoeuvre (for urinary incontinence). This is the conscious contraction of the pelvic floor muscles before and during your bladder being put under stress. This prevents the urethra and bottom of the bladder from descending which can lead to incontinence. You may need supervision and training to learn how to make this most effective with a physiotherapist who specializes in women's or men's health. When done correctly, it is proven to be 98.2% effective with a medium cough and 73.3% with a particularly deep cough.
3. Check your diet
Holidays are the perfect time to overindulge. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. But, go easy on the coffees, margaritas or airport Proseccos – any form of alcohol or kaffeine can irritate the bladder. Pay attention to your food as well, try and stick to your usual diet as best as possible.
4. Keep equipped
Make sure you’re well stocked up on sanitary supplies before travelling. You never quite know when you’ll need a handy panty liner or a pack of wipes. If you need bed protection or specific hygiene or laundry products, make sure you have all of these packed and easy to grab if needed.
When packing your prescribed medications, ensure you have a letter (and copies) from your doctor confirming the prescribed medications in your luggage and/or in your hand luggage have been medically prescribed for you. This does not apply for over-the-counter medications.
5. Take control
The best thing you can do for yourself is to take control of your bladder health as early as possible. Pelvic floor exercises are the first line treatment for bladder weakness – whether you leak a little when you laugh or occasionally witness the floodgates being opened – it’s all incontinence. Start practicing your Kegels today!
What if Kegels aren’t working?
If you’re not seeing results from Kegel exercises, it could be that you’re not performing the exercises correctly.
To perform a Kegel exercise, you must:
Sit, stand or lie with your knees slightly apart
Relax your tummy, thigh and buttocks (don't use these muscles during Kegels)
Tighten the muscles around the anus (as if you’re trying to hold in wind)
Tighten the muscles around the vagina/penis (as if you're trying to stop weeing)
Squeeze and lift these areas simultaneously to perform an effective pelvic floor contraction
The only issue with manual pelvic floor exercises is that it’s hard to tell if you’re doing them properly. With other muscles, it’s quite easy to tell when they’re being worked and flexed. But, with your pelvic floor muscles located inside of you (as with women), it’s going to be pretty difficult to watch them flex.
For men it's a little easier to see the results, you can check if you’re using the right muscles by placing your finger tips on the skin behind the scrotum. If you’re using the right muscles, you’ll feel the muscles lift away from your fingers each time you tighten the muscles correctly.
One way in which you can guarantee the effectiveness of your Kegels is to use a biofeedback tool. Kegel8 Pelvic Floor Wand or Kegel8 Weighted Vaginal Cones have a unique indicator tail that allows you to see, in real-time, whether you are exercising the muscles correctly or not. As you squeeze and lift, the tail of the cone waves downwards – it’s that easy! Plus, the set of cones comes with three different weights to give your pelvic floor a thorough workout and to help build your endurance over time.
Over 30% of women cannot correctly recruit their pelvic floor muscles.
If you cannot produce an effective pelvic floor contraction, it’s not the end of the line, extra help is at hand! Electrical stimulation devices, such as the Kegel8 Ultra 20 Electronic Pelvic Toner and Kegel8 V for Men harness the body’s natural electrical signals to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles and produce an effective contraction all with the push of a button!
That means that all of the guesswork is removed, and you can guarantee your pelvic floor gets a great workout every single time with this Class lla medical device for home use.
The Kegel8 Pelvic Floor Wand is an incredibly simple and extremely effective pelvic floor exerciser that physically shows you if you’re exercising your pelvic floor muscles effectively. Order here
With the Kegel8 Weighted Vaginal Cones you can easily follow the visual indicator so you target the muscles correctly, and when the cone 'tail' moves downwards you can be sure that you have found the muscles, and that you are exercising correctly for maximum results. Order here
Original article: Kegel8 Website