By Miriam Osborne
If you're one of the 1.5 million Canadians who suffer from urinary incontinence, you may be interested in a book called I Laughed So Hard I Peed My Pants!: A Woman's Essential Guide for Improved Bladder Control (IPPC, 2002, $29.99) by Kelli Berzuk.
Although the title may sound humorous, Berzuk, a physiotherapist and director of the Incontinence and Pelvic Pain Clinic in Winnipeg, stresses that urinary incontinence is no laughing matter. "Millions of women suffer from urinary incontinence and/or overactive-bladder symptoms, yet it's a topic that is rarely discussed," she says. It's a common occurrence for laughing to cause urinary incontinence. Women who think that it's normal to leak when they laugh and believe there's nothing they can do to prevent it couldn't be further from the truth.
As well as demonstrating simple (yet effective) exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles, the book offers other strategies, such as dietary changes, to help control incontinence. But the book doesn't boast a cure for everyone: if diet and exercise don't make a significant difference, Berzuk urges women to consider medical or surgical interventions.
For more information or to order a copy of the book, visit www.ilaughedsohard.com.