Oxygen

getting to the bottom of pelvic floor issues

“Ladies, who pees a little when they laugh?” a celebrity spokeswoman asks a stage full of backup dancers. At least half the women shrug and raise their hands. “Uh-huh, ya see?” the woman says to the camera before launching into a sales pitch for her favorite urinary incontinence pads — aka adult diapers.

This commercial is just the latest to claim that incontinence happens to everyone — no big deal — in order to sell products designed for an issue that, according to the Urology Care Foundation, affects about one in three women. But pelvic floor expert Dr. Julie Sarton, DPT, WCS, says that this kind of thinking, which is intended to be destigmatizing — empowering, even — is actually counterproductive. “Urinary incontinence is common, not normal,” she asserts.

Pelvic Floor 101

Found in both men and women, the

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