Leak When You Laugh? Maybe You Need Therapy

I walked out of my doctor’s office feeling defeated: This is just my life now. I went to Costco and bought another jumbo size box of pads because my leaky bladder affected me morning, noon and night. The doctor’s words tumbled around in my brain “practice those kegels,” and “you’re young, it’ll heal over time.” But, it hasn’t.

I got the feeling that he didn’t understand that every time I left my home there was a small cloud of panic hovering over me as I constantly assessed my bladder and tracked the location of the nearest bathroom. As my kids grew older, and my body healed from giving birth, the bladder issues remained. Finally, a friend mentioned that she had physical therapy done for the same issue!

Now, you’re are going to have to put your big girl pants on, or rather take them off, for this one. It is only as intrusive as a visit to the gynecologist and if you’re a mom – you’ve had your privacy violated multiple times, before breakfast.

The physical therapist taught me how to relax. She explained my anatomy and “held my hand” to guide me through exercises to relax muscles that I’ve been clenching for years. You see, after two vaginal births and between breast-feeding, naps, school, household operations… my body forgot how to relax. It was a self-care item that I kept neglecting.

She taught me which muscles I should be using and that I can potentially do more damage by doing the exercises incorrectly.
After one session, I felt my muscles relax and go back to where they are supposed to be. So, if your doctor is telling you to “do kegels” and you’re not entirely sure you’re doing them right, and you’re still having issues…pursue a physical therapist because I am EXHAUSTED after my “work-out.”

I’m on a road to recovery, a normal bladder and pelvic floor. Learning to relax will help as my body ages and hopefully prevent the need for surgery. And if you want to know the details of my births or any other super personal stuff – ask away in the comments. I’m clearly not shy.

Steph is well prepared for the challenges of motherhood. A former officer in the U.S. Army, she led a platoon of soldiers to Iraq where she spent a year and a half conducting combat operations. When she hung up her dog tags to stay at home full time, she knew it was the right decision for her family. She now keeps household operations on point while her husband Adrian serves in the Army Reserves. After 10 years living through the Texas summers, she's back home in the Midwest and enjoying the Northland. Steph enjoys cooking, eating, drinking coffee (and beer), trying new things (failing at diets), and political discussion. Her mom village includes women that she respects: super crunchy moms, lawyer moms, college professor moms, musician moms, Crossfit moms, obsessively crafty moms, drinking buddy moms, super conservative moms, super liberal moms, Army moms, and anyone she hasn't yet met. Her favorite thing about the Northland (so far): Penguin Park.


  1. Maria, my urogyno (spelling?) actually recommended her. I know there are only a few urogyno’s in the Kansas City area. My PT said it is a severely understaffed area of medicine considering how common the issue is. Does this help? I’m happy to give you her name – she’s in Gladstone.

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