A lesson on stress incontinence

What ever happened to doctor patient privilege? 

Is there no dignity left in the world?

I was talking to our new insurance company and was being interrogated asked what I assumed to be standard medical questions. I expected them to be somewhat personal; it is the nature of the beast. I had no idea the degree.

Not as personal as the therapist asking me if I talk to God…and does he answer. (My God woman, I just met you I’m not telling you what the voices in my head say or don’t say.)
I digress.

The nurse politely and matter of factly asked me about different conditions that I may currently have or have had in the past according to my medical history. I was prepared to explain that time that I had that gerbil removed or the time I thought my headache was brain cancer and insisted the doctor run every test imaginable. I was prepared to explain all of that away. I was not prepared for the question she asked next.
Nurse: “So, what about stress incontinence?”

Me: “Pardon me?? I am not familiar with that diagnosis or that term?” (Is this the clinical term for a brain fart?)

My God, I thought, was she asking me if I soil myself when I got stressed out? Was that even a ‘thing”? Was this an actual bonafide medical condition? If it is, I don’t have it.  Have never been diagnosed with it and certainly don’t want it.

She explained, “It’s when you sneeze and there is a release of a small amount of urine.”

Me: “Oh, you mean do I tinkle when I sneeze? Yes, occasionally if I sneeze really hard (thanks to my beautiful babies with big heads). Why yes, I do sometimes have to do the peepee dance so I don’t tinkle on myself. But it’s not always…just sometimes. Well, like 30% of the time. OK, well, maybe more like 67% of the time. 80% of the time tops.”

Come on, surely I’m not the only Mommy who has had this happen, right? Oh please don’t tell me it’s JUST me. There is no way that I am the only one in Zumba class who is having to sport a Depends. Why else do you think my yoga pants are so lumpy? What, you thought that was cellulite? I cannot believe that I am the only person who is afraid that sneezing, coughing or laughing too hard can cause Mama to water the plants. Don’t tell me you do your Kegel exercises religiously and have the vaginal wall of a 16 year old? If so, I’m not sure we can be friends any longer.

The nurse was really trying to be serious. Next question, “Do you require any treatment for this condition?”

Me: “Oh, you mean other than the peepee dance? Not really, just remembering to practice my Kegels. Maybe I need some gingko, my memory is not what it used to be.”

Nurse: “Any plans for treatment or corrective surgery in the future?”

Me: “No, it’s kind of like being ugly. You just kind of have to learn to live with it!”

At this point, she laughed out loud. And this concluded our interview.

I am a little concerned that I am in a chart somewhere as a grown woman who tinkles on herself (just a little bit and just on occasion…OK, OK, 80% of the time!) but it’s better than what I had originally thought…. One who poops on themselves in stressful situations! Now, that’s a stressful condition. Can you imagine, explosive diarrhea every time you were stressed out?

No amount of Kegels in the world is going to fix that.

And in case you’re still fixating on the whole gerbil incident, God told me to do it…during our conversation, in which I asked what I could do to make him smile. He answered.
Deborah Cruz-Beck, aka Truthful Mommy, is the creator and writer of the blog The TRUTH about Motherhood. She is a freelance writer and work-at-home mother. She lives in the Midwest with her two beautiful little girls, ages three and five, and her husband, who she affectionately calls the Big Guy. Deborah has a Master’s of Art in Liberal Studies from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She spends her days loving on her littles, surviving suburbia and shuttling her girls between Catholic school, ballet and play dates. When she’s not exposing the truth about motherhood or advocating for sisterhood through motherhood, she can always be found exhausting her potential and realizing her dreams. While she’s sitting at stoplights or waiting in pick up lines, you can always find her on Twitter andFacebook, as her iPhone has now become a fully functional appendage. Above all, Deborah is embracing life with her daughters and taking on each and every trial, tribulation and celebration on little to no sleep. Stop by the blog to see for yourself what a solid intermingling of Mommy brain and verbal diarrhea can produce. It’s all love.

About Guest Writer

Would you like to be a guest writer at Aiming Low? We offer keys to the Cool Kids Club and empty promises of fame and fortune. Find out how to get your hands on all that here.


  1. Christine says:

    Good grief I already do this and I haven’t even HAD kids yet. I’m doomed!

    Twitter Name:

    • It’s Ok mama, you are in good company:)WElcome to the club.Just remember to cross them legs when you sneeze and if you are a squirter, well, God help us all:)

      Twitter Name:

    • CB says:

      I also have this problem and mine was actually medically diagnosed with a rather painful test.. and I’m only 27 without children. So, I have a future of peeing my pants and/or peeing every 45 mins to an hour. Why don’t guys get this problem? Oh, right, their genitals are made only for expelling things.. Just for one month I want my spouse to experience having a vagina and the leaky urethra that goes with it. Oops, gotta go pee.

  2. I had surgery to help with that exact problem last fall. Well, I had a few other things going on with the ol’ frankenvulva too, that I had repaired at the same time, but the peeing myself issue was the main reason I did it.

    It was so worth it!! No more Poise pads!

    And believe me, you are not the only woman with that problem.

    Twitter Name:

  3. lonek8 says:

    I totally pee myself when I sneeze or jump or run or whatever. I have three kids – duh! In fact, I automatically grab myself whenever I have to sneeze because the pressure helps stop the pee, which makes for some awkward moments if I ever have to sneeze in public. The weirdest thing is that i had the incontinence really bad after my first baby (8lbs 15 oz with a 16 inch head, yowza!!), but after my second it totally stopped. Stupid me, i had to go and have a thrid, so now I have a little problem – but nothing like as bad as after my first. I’m trying to talk my husband into having a 4th – let’s hope that fixes the problem again!

    Twitter Name:

    • New to Mom says:

      ive only had 1 kid and it happens to me. I’ve been known to straight pee my pants if I throw up. i will even go to the bathroom before getting sick and i STILL do it. i dread the day i get sick at work. Yep, it’s actually something I worry about. :)

      Twitter Name:

      • lonek8 says:

        throwing up is THE WORST!! I am totally sensitive to stomach bugs and get them all the time. No doubt this is TMI, but I’ve started putting a spare towel in between my legs if I have to puke so I don’t constantly have to change my clothes or clean the bathroom floor. Being a mom is so glamorous!

        Twitter Name:

      • OK, that is not cool for you.Here’s hoping you can stay dry in your darkest vomiting hour. that would really make morning sickness the cruelest of all bitches, aye?

        Twitter Name:

        • New To Mom says:

          I’m glad I’m not alone on this one! Luckily I don’t get that sick often. But yeah, I’m seriously not looking forward to the day I become pregnant again.
          It’s one thing if I’m at home, but working in an office with over 300 possibly seeing my pee pants would be horrifying.

          Twitter Name:

    • You go girl and keep me posted if the next child stops it,it may be worth it for my poor ole body to go through birth once more if it meant I could stop pissing myself.ANd tickling, OMG, I could kill a person for tickling me. It is certain death of the pee variety:)

      Twitter Name:

  4. Cassie says:

    I’m pretty sure I peed when I sneezed when I was 16 – hell I’m a 21 year old virgin and I still do

    Twitter Name:

    • If that is the case my friend, I suggest you definitely include poise or depends on the baby registry:)Always remember to close your eyes, cross your legs and clench your ass cheeks this could save you form some embarrassing moments in public.

      Twitter Name:

  5. You can acutally have physical therapy to help with this. A gynecologist who specializes in urology told, um… a friend of mine (yeah). She (the doctor) said she didn’t believe that it really worked until after her last baby she had problems and went for the PT herself. Now she’s a believer… just thought I’d share.

  6. You can actually have physical therapy to help with this. A gynecologist who specializes in urology told, um… a friend of mine (yeah). She (the doctor) said she didn’t believe that it really worked until after her last baby she had problems and went for the PT herself. Now she’s a believer… just thought I’d share.

  7. lisak says:

    I had this problem after my enormous two headed babies. For fourteen years I kegeled my brains out and it didn’t help in the least. Finally saw a urogynecologist. He said my pelvic floor tone was great (which made me feel vindicated after every doctor told me to do more kegels). I had surgery in February and it was pretty simple. Relatively painless. And now I don’t pee when I sneeze, laugh, cough, run, jump, trip, vomit, etc. One of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

    • lisak says:

      I mean my two enormous headed babies. They each only had one head! (thank goodness!)

      • Thank God you clarified. I was concerned for you and thought it would stand to reason that after birthing two headed babies you’d have some issues with stress incontinence. But now, that its clarified, I can laugh with a clear conscience:)LOL

        Twitter Name:

    • OMG< no pissing myself when I vomit?That is the best.Nothing like being sick off your ass and having to add insult to injury by wetting yourself too. This may be the one reason there are fewer cases of bulimia in women who have had children…the pee on the pants every time you hit the loo would certainly bust you of any bad behavior:)LOL That surgery is sounding better and better. Zumba without a diaper would be Suh-WEET!

      Twitter Name:

  8. Naomi says:

    I have explosive stress diarrhea. And unfortunately no amount of Kegels can help that. Can I borrow one of your Zumba Depends?

    Twitter Name:

  9. Penbleth says:

    My goodness! Something I can actually do, I have four kids and can sneeze with impunity.

    I am the Kegel Queen. I need a tiara with that written out in diamonds to wear upon my head.

    Twitter Name:

  10. Bruna says:

    Luckily I don’t have this problem of peeing when I sneeze thanks to three c-section deliveries. I do have the scar though … oh and the stretch marks. God love the stretchmarks. Motherhood is a beautiful thing.

    Always love reading your Deb!

    Twitter Name:

  11. “cause Mama to water the plants”. LOVE IT.

    Twitter Name:

  12. Nicole J says:

    Well, I just tinkled while laughing hysterically. Brings whole new meaning as to why one would be ROTFLMAO… its because we mommies (and select other lucky ones to have this pre-mommyhood) have to hold ourselves in order to keep from peeing our pants! So glad to know I am in good company. And for the love, let’s not even get started with trampolines :)

  13. Janie says:

    I can top that. I have that problem and I’ve never even had a baby.

    I had a bajillion bladder infections when I was younger.


  1. [...] yeah, I am live at Aiming Low this weekend…the post begs the question…Is that a gerbil in your pocket or are you just [...]

  2. [...] one side effect of pregnancy) that I forgot to mention but I didn’t. I just wrote it over here. If you’ve peed yourself reading this post thus far, get ready to water the plants over [...]

Speak Your Mind