Don’t Let Urinary Incontinence Control Your Life: Empowering Solutions


If you’ve got the joke – Congratulations! You know what I’m talking about and this blog will add to your knowledge. And who knows, may help you or your loved ones solve the issue. If you haven’t: Even better – This blog is for you!

So, what is URINARY INCONTINENCE really?

Urinary Incontinence refers to the condition where there is ‘unintentional leak of urine’. This is common when there are physical stresses put on the body like sneezing, coughing, running, jumping, dancing. In severe cases, this can happen even in routine activities like getting up from a chair, picking up weight, bending, having sex, etc. This type is termed as ‘Stress urinary incontinence’.

Another type is called ‘Urge urinary incontinence’. Picture this: You are in the mall, happily window shopping through the million sales out there. You happily go home, and the minute you reach your door, the urge to pass urine hits you out of nowhere…and it’s a race to the bathroom. Sometimes you reach the loo successfully and sometimes you leak.

A combination of stress and urge incontinence is called Mixed Urinary incontinence.

This issue is so common amongst females (3 out of 5 will experience this in their lifetime) especially, that it’s considered normal. It’s NOT normal ladies, and it’s definitely treatable to a large extent.

The Why, the What, the Who, the How

Why does incontinence happen– This happens generally due to a weak pelvic floor (the power house muscles holding up your genitourinary structures. Weaknesses set in due to childbirths, ageing (esp. post menopause), diseases like asthma, repeated urinary tract infections, long standing cough, long standing or severe back pain, constipation, diabetes, being overweight, having repeated back pain (being sedentary.

What happens- A weakened pelvic floor does not have the strength and the reflex to hold urine especially during rapid stresses on the body like a loud sneeze or repeated coughs, hence the leak. Can be a few drops, or enough to want to change your undergarments.

So, who’s at risk – basically all are at risk, especially females. Males especially elderly men who’ve had their prostrate surgery also face this issue.

How do we tackle this- Though it seems like a minor inconvenience issue, tis has far reaching effects on women who are suffering. In my practise (been a practising Physiotherapist for 20 years and have been in women’s and pelvic floor health for more than 10), I’ve seen women mistakenly resign to this issue. The stop going out, wearing good clothes, not taking up vacations and travels due to the fear of leaking and spoiling clothes. And are essentially home bound. This reduces their physical activity and hence they become more unfit and ironically the urine leakage increases.

When I give them solutions – an in-depth knowledge about their problems, Solutions- via specialized physiotherapy- which includes pelvic floor rehab (nothing complicated), core strengthening, generalized body strengthening, and simple strategies, they are amazed as to how soon, they are able to get rid of the leaks!

And the most common thing said to me (besides a big thank you), is “I wish I had known about this earlier”. The latest thank you coming from a young mother with severe back pain post her second baby. As protocol I asked her if she faced any leakage issues. Wide eyed she asked me “How did you know?’ I told her it’s common to have a weak pelvic floor post pregnancy, like it’s common to have a weak back. And since the pelvic floor is also made of muscles, it can be strengthened too! So, she could get rid of her back pain and her urine leakage too. She was delighted and managed to do exactly that with the help of a guided core and pelvic floor rehab. (More in the next blog).

Which prompted me to write this blog, to educate, empower and enable the community to care of their health, and work towards it actively. You can reach out to me, for doubts and questions at

As they say- May your pelvic floor, intuitions and coffee be as strong as you want it to be!

Stay informed, stay healthy.


Dr Shinee Shanbhag

Deputy Medical Director,

Consultant Physiotherapist

PHYSIOREHAB Clinics India Pvt. Ltd

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