Incontinent for a Decade

Marie was 72 when she first came to see me for help with her stress urinary incontinence. She is retired and lives in rural Northern California. She had “accidents” when she would sneeze, cough or laugh. And she would have occasional leaks during the night.

When Marie came to me as a patient she was using protective pads every day and night. She was having 2 or 3 leaking accidents per day, and had been incontinent for over a decade.

Marie liked to take her dogs for walks in the hills but was getting very tired of walking around with wet pads. She also liked to go to the movies, especially comedies. This was a problem for her because when she laughed, she leaked.

Even though she didn’t like the possible side effects–and the cost–she was considering having surgery or getting on prescription medication. Marie also worried about how incontinence medication would interact with her other medications.

I explained our 3-step system of pelvic floor strengthening exercises, liquids regulation, and relaxation techniques. She did the daily exercises, and increased her liquids intake and used our relaxation video. Within 2 weeks, she cut her leaking accidents to once a week.

By the third week, she no longer needed to wear protective pads during the day or at night. Marie has now been leak free for over a year. Now, the only time she wears protective pads is when she has a bad cough. She walks her dogs and enjoys being comfortable and dry. She now goes to the movies to see comedies and laughs without worrying.

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