Here’s a little known fact about me: after roughly 5 miles of running I start to lose bladder control. And ... jump ropes and trampolines are an accident waiting to happen ... literally!
This is thanks to the beautiful, traumatic experience known as giving birth. While physical therapy helped tremendously with regaining pelvic floor strength, my nether regions still can’t quite stand up to the 50 mile runs and 24-hour adventure races I have a habit of signing up for.
I remember my PT saying something along the lines of “For any normal person, you have regained full strength” ... implying, of course, that I’m not exactly normal. Listen, no offense taken. I like that I do things my own way. I always have. And, as an entrepreneur, I always will.
But, let me tell you, peeing your pants is no fun either. It somehow takes the mystique out of the outdoors.
I’ve tried lots of different things over the years to manage the situation – with mixed success – but recently landed on a solution. And, cuz, I know I’m not the only woman out there going through this, I want to share my secret to success with you.
First of all, use a tampon .... the big ones made for those heavy flow days. As I understand it, it provides structure to keep your bladder from sagging, and in turn leaking.
I’ve also tried Poise Impressa Incontinence Bladder Supports, but wasn’t impressed. They dug into the walls of my vagina, and were generally a lot less comfortable than a good ol’ tampon.
While the tampon trick is generally well known, the real secret to success is to pair a tampon with Thinx Underwear. Pause, take that in! Go write it on a sticky note.
When my sister-in-law approached me this fall to see if I wanted Thinx Underwear for my birthday, I was initially a little (OK, a lot) skeptical. My periods just aren’t that bad or long (thank you, universe!) and, for me, tampons work just fine. I’ve been using them for years and saw no reason to fix something that works.
But a couple weeks later, as I was once again washing out messy, humiliating, stinky urine-soaked running tights, it dawned on me.
If that thin, comfortable fabric in Thinx underwear could hold two tampons worth of blood, it would probably work just as well for urine leakage.
I gave my sister-in-law the go ahead on the birthday gift, and then found myself eagerly awaiting the box. And, oh my lordy almighty ... it totally worked.
Now, when I’m headed out for a long run or a gym workout, I wear a tampon and Thinx underwear, and then forget about it!
I still try to keep up with my Kegel exercises and my level of fatigue from daily life makes a big difference as well. (First thing in the morning, when I’m fresh, I have far fewer issues with incontinence). But it is SO nice to know that I can head out the door for some exercise without a 50/50 chance of having to put something between my butt and the car seat for the drive home.