If you are coming in for a problem with urine leaks while sneezing, you might wonder why the heck I ask about your bowel habits.
Well, because it matters a lot. Over the years, I have helped many people with their urinary problems when other providers have not been able to because the root cause of the problem was actually constipation.
Bowel health matters for bladder health in a few ways.
- You see, the bowel is in very close proximity to the bladder anatomically. Hence, a bowel that is backed up with poop puts a lot of pressure on the bladder and does not allow the bladder to expand and fill like we want. If the bladder does not have the room it needs, then your next sneeze may send too much pressure to your bladder for your muscles to handle, resulting in leaks.
- The straining that is involved in straining to have a bowel movement may be weakening the same muscles that you rely on to keep from leaking urine.
- The pelvic nerves are not so happy when they get pressed on from stool in the rectum (the rectum is not where we want poop to hang out long-term). When the pelvic nerves experience compression, they get a little feisty and start to mess with muscle coordination or send signals that make you feel like you need to urinate every hour.
So what to do about bowel constipation?
That depends. We need to figure out what is contributing to your constipation. There are themes we see and remedies and routines that work well for many, but we need to have a conversation and an examination to get to your specific contributing factors. That is how we get to what matters faster. If you have urinary incontinence that has been resistant to other approaches or if you have had enough of straining to have a bowel movement, we would love to help.