"My pelvic floor has left the building"

Do not attempt this at home folks


 I just wet myself.

I’ve had a bad cold for the past week and it was during a particularly nasty coughing fit that the aforementioned event occurred. It wasn’t even a dribble. It was a significant gush. What if I hadn’t been home? Does it really have to be this difficult to be a woman?

During my three pregnancies I’d often wet myself (not a lot but a good two tablespoons) but it was funny, one of the joys of pregnancy. I could joke about it. I’d have a chuckle. A sneeze, cough or laugh could bring it on. Woops, how funny, I wet myself again. Ha ha, the joys of pregnancy.

It’s been three and a half years since I was last pregnant and I diligently performed my kegel exercises after each birth. I didn’t even have vaginal births. Three c-sections. I thought my pelvic floor muscles would remain intact. My pelvic floor should be a freaking trampoline. But no. Another charming side-effect of pregnancy and I’m not happy. I’m humiliated.

Jo Abi – minus one pelvic floor

Yes, this is a little too much information but I have had to wear panty liners every day since I first became pregnant (thank God they make them for g-strings now). There’s always discharge. But wetting myself? I’m too young for Poise.

As I type this I am doing my kegel exercises. From now on I will treat my pelvic floor like my other trouble spots (triceps and lower abs). I will perform exercises daily and the beauty of the kegel is that you can do them anywhere. It’s the ultimate multi-tasking event. I can do them while I’m washing up, while I’m reading, while I’m driving my car.

But what I can’t do while I’m washing up, while I’m reading, while I’m driving my car is sneeze, cough or laugh.

We start our lives in nappies and we end them in nappies. If I want to live life as the fun-loving, vivacious woman I like to be I’m going to have to take certain precautions. Because wetting myself is just unacceptable. Like the women in the ads I want to frolic and cavort or spend gardening with the knowledge that I’m not going to wet my pants like a little girl.

I’m a grown woman for crying out loud. This can’t happen. Wetting myself is just unacceptable.

Jo Abi is the author of the book How to Date a Dad: a dating guide released by Hachette Livre Australia.  You can read more about her many and various exploits here.

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