Different types of incontinence

So you may be have been told that post baby – or with age – that leaking urine or faeces is normal – it’s what you should expect.

This helps to breed indifference to what can be a problem that is easily (ok you do need to work at it!) rehabilitated. Tena lady and other sanitary towel companies make money from you being told that this situation is normal – that there’s not really too much you can do about it – it’s common – put on a pad and get to an exercise class or just get on with your life.

There are more than one type of incontinence that you can suffer from:

Stress –

  • Loss of control of bladder function
  • When laughing, coughing or sneezing
  • On movement or impact – this can be high or low
  • You may leak when with legs apart, you simply bend over or walk upstairs –
  • These are your fast twitch muscles not firing properly – being weak and also they may also be too tight – essentially your bathroom muscles not opening and closing when you want them to


  • ‘Key in the lock’ scenario – you made it home and now have a pressing urgency to go pee/poo
  • Being caught short
  • A need to go immediately
  • No possibility of holding it in
  • These are your slow twitch muscle fibres that are weak – and perhaps tight too


  • When you void or go pee but there’s something left behind
  • Feeling of not fully emptying the bowel or bladder
  • Higher risk or urinary tract infection


  • When you suffer from a combination of the symptoms above.

Hypopressive exercise uses thoracic breathing to decrease the pressure on the pelvic floor – lifting the pelvic floor muscles and working the ‘friend to your pelvic floor muscles’ muscles that surround your pelvic floor to lengthen and strengthen them.

Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP)

Chronic pain ramps up your nervous system this in turn reduces respiration- respiration is particularly affected with pelvic pain as women suffering tend to round forward over the pain. This altering of posture does in itself also limit the ability to breathe as the lungs and diaphragm cannot operate at full function when one is stooped over .

Try it: curl your head and spine forwards and trying doing a diaphragmatic breath. Now try it upright – see the difference?

Try it: Lying on your back take a rolled up towel and place it across your shoulder blades. Keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. This mobilises your thoracic spine, opens your chest and encourages improved upright posture. Now use diaphragmatic breathing, inhaling through your nose for a count of 2 and exhaling through your mouth for a count of 4. This will help calm the nervous system, move your diaphragm and relax your upper back.

When we inhale the respiratory diaphragm drops yo help expand our lungs. The  pelvic diaphragm mirrors this and lowers adding mobility and circulation to the pelvic floor – by working to increase the depth of respiration we can improve pelvic floor movement.