Embarrassing Body Problem No. 1: Bladder Leaks
Whether you have small leaks when you sneeze, laugh, or cough, or a bit larger loss while you exercise, urinary incontinence can cause extreme embarrassment. Known as stress incontinence, it's the most common type of bladder control problem in women. Another type, called urge incontinence or overactive bladder, happens when you have a strong need to urinate but can't reach the toilet in time.
"Pretty much every woman who has given birth to at least one baby is going to suffer some urinary incontinence problems -- you almost can't avoid it," says Siegel.
But while that might be true, there are still things you can do. First, Siegel says, see your doctor -- just to make certain there isn't anything more serious going on. "You can also chat about the various medications and other treatments for overactive bladder."
What's more, there are also things you can do on your own, including exercises designed to tighten bladder muscles that control the flow. These include Kegel exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor and bladder training -- stopping your urine flow mid-stream every time you go to the bathroom. "Just stop it and release it several times; this will help build the muscle that controls urination," Siegel says.
You can also try emptying your bladder before engaging in activities that might bring on a leak, such as exercising or dancing, says Fabienne Daguilh, MD, a family practice physician. Avoid coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate if you're going to be away from home and a bathroom.
"These act as a diuretic and can increase urine output -- and when the bladder is strained, leaks are more likely to occur," says Daguilh, medical director of the Montefiore Williamsbridge Family Practice Center in New York City.
Siegel says it's also worth investing in disposable panty liners, but skip the menstrual pad section at the drugstore and go straight to the incontinence aisle. Unlike menstrual pads, incontinence products will wick the leak or dribble away from your body and send it deep into the pad so you won't feel the wetness.
And Siegel offers this reminder: "If you know you have this problem, even occasionally, make sure you wear underwear, and carry an extra pair, just in case."