Cover, don't Hover!
Ok, ladies …do you go into public bathrooms and for the sake of efficiency just hover over the toilet instead of putting down those protective potty barrier sheets?
Well, let me just say I USED to be one of those people! As some of you know I am a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist…and some of you may by be wondering what that means… so let me explain what this is before I go any further.
Physical Therapists in general are healthcare practitioner’s who treat dysfunctions of the musculoskeletal system. Pelvic Floor PT’s have decided to specialize in the pelvic girdle region treating dysfunctions of urinary and fecal incontinence, urinary urgency/frequency and pain of the pelvic region. Becoming a Pelvic Floor PT comes with additional study and certification. Oh, and I should also mention pelvic health is not just for women but men too.
I bring this topic up because most women may be are unaware of problems they may be setting themselves up for in their pelvic floor when going to the bathroom this way. I’m going to try to keep this explanation as simple as possible so here it goes. When you go pee your bladder has to contract or push pee out of your bladder and your pelvic floor muscles (that are part of your core) have to relax or soften to allow the pee to come out through the urethra (aka pee hole). What happens when you hover is that your bladder still contracts to push the pee out but your pelvic floor muscles DO NOT relax because they have to stay activated or turned on to help assist in holding the squatting position. Follow me so far??? Ok, good. So what happens then is as your pelvic floor muscles are still having to work even though they should be relaxing they become dysfunctional overtime and this can set you up for a pelvic floor dysfunction, meaning that if you continue this behavior it may cause stress induced incontinence. What is this… anytime you go to cough, sneeze, jump, run etc. you leak urine. Say you couple this with a few pregnancies/births or injuries/surgeries and before you know it you can’t hold your urine in no matter what and your having to wear pads for protection.
I CANNOT stress enough saying that this is not normal (even if your Md or lady friends say it is). So ladies, please if you’re hovering over those toilet seats please stop and if you are one of those women who are experiencing stress incontinence message me for an evaluation. This is not a problem you want to go unresolved because over time and as you get older it will only get worse.
So let’s remember our mantra…Cover Don’t Hover!!!