One question we frequently receive from our pelvic health patients is this: Why do I pee when I cough? Is this normal?
The first thing we should say is that this is quite common. Though while this occurrence has become more and more common, it doesn’t mean that is should be considered “normal”. Losing urine while you cough, laugh or sneeze is not something that one should simply have to learn to live with. The loss of control of your bladder resulting in an unwelcome leakage of urine, aka: urinary incontinence, is a condition that may be a sign of weak muscles in your core and pelvic floor (the pelvic floor muscles are attached at the bottom of the pelvic bones and run from front to back). This issue can affect anyone of any age although it tends to be more frequent in women.
Peeing When I Cough…What’s Really Going On and What Can I Do About It?
When you cough, there is an increase in intra-abdominal pressure in your body which causes your diaphragm to contract down into the area of your bladder. If your bladder can’t withstand the pressure, urine leakage can occur.
Thankfully, there are solutions available to help and regulate this issue, allowing you to carry on living a leak-free lifestyle. Working with a physical therapist to strengthen your core and pelvic floor muscles can have a huge impact on your body’s overall health. Your PT will conduct a full body evaluation to locate the source and reason for the urinary leakage. They’ll then build a plan of care that is unique to your specific body and condition. Your treatment may include:
Physical therapy provides minimally invasive, one-on-one treatments to help strengthen muscles while also addressing any functional limitations. Your PT can provide preventative services to keep this issue from coming back while giving you the tools necessary to address the unique musculoskeletal issues of the pelvic region.
Want to learn more? If you’re experiencing symptoms of urinary incontinence or any other issues associated with the pelvic floor, contact a physical therapist today.