Enjoy Being a Senior!
Marja Sprock, M.D.
I've been asked by a
Senior Medical Magazine "Could you
give the seniors some idea of what to expect concerning
urine and stool control when they progress in age? Isn’t it normal to leak
urine when you get older?"
“Not really” I answer, “the
chance increases, when we age, but by all means there is
so much that can be done to control urine and stool
Urinary incontinence comes
in a lot of different varieties and a lot of women will
be helped by being taught pelvic floor or Kegel
exercises correctly. This should not just be taught by a
friendly lady encouraging you to squeeze harder, since
if you do not know where and how to squeeze there will
be no difference.
Pelvic floor exercises should
not just be taught by a friendly
lady encouraging you to squeeze
harder, since if you do not know
where and how to squeeze there
will be no beneficial effect.
At Central Florida
UroGynecology, we have small sensors that can be placed
in the vagina and will be connected to a computer
screen, to see and feel how to contract the muscles.
Yes, we have the friendly lady too; she will be guiding
and watching you and the computer screen. Guess what….
for urinary incontinence most women come in once a week
for 3 weeks and master the pelvic floor or Kegel
exercises. You will be surprised to find out how many
seniors it has helped out of diapers or away from pads.
Obviously there is much more that can be done and often
needs to be done, but do not under estimate the power of
correctly performed pelvic floor exercises.
A granddaughter flew in
her grandma from Oklahoma; she was worried since her 79
year old Grandma had trouble holding stool and urine.
Grandma used to be so upbeat and started to withdraw
from life. She was in diapers and never knew what would
be excreted where. She had tried to look for help in her
home state, however had not accomplished much. When
Grandma came to Central Florida UroGynecology in
Rockledge, Florida, the granddaughter basically told me
to take care of her beloved grandma, whatever it would
take. By the way, Grandma wholeheartedly agreed with her
granddaughter, they were a good team. After some tests
for urine and stool, I had documented that the problem
was quite severe and debilitating. There are nerve
stimulators, pacemakers for bowel and bladder, and I
expected that was where we were heading. However I
always start with the basics. If someone is found to
have weak muscles, start training them first!
Remember the small probe
in the vagina to learn the correct way of contracting
the pelvic floor muscles; it does not only help in
prevention of urine leakage, but also leakage of stool.
back to Oklahoma, 2 months after arrival in Florida,
without diapers, without pads, without surgery.
fecal incontinence, I usually do 6 sessions of the
pelvic floor muscle training, since we do some passive
muscle stimulation, bulking up the muscle, with the
machine and it really benefits the ability to hold stool
till arrival at the toilet.
Grandma was her happy self
again, did not need any prompting to keep up with her
exercises and is back in Oklahoma again.
Pelvic floor exercises are
the building blocks of your pelvic health and some
people come in with significant problems despite having
strong muscles. I meet seniors who bike 40 miles a
couple times a week, do kayaking and keep on going. It's
quite disturbing to have an unpredictable stool loss
problem if you are in your kayak. One of these ladies I
helped with a nerve stimulator-she called me from
Montana where she resides part of the year and told me:
“you have no idea how this has improved my life”. Anna,
a senior with MS, does not kayak, however stated the
same sentence after the nerve stimulator not only
regulated her urine, but her life long battle with
debilitating bowel cramps and fecal incontinence, “I am
In other words it is
not normal for seniors to lose urine and stool without
Another question: “isn’t
it normal to get up at night to urinate when you are a
Okay, I will admit for
most seniors it is normal to get up once at night,
however if it is more, it takes away from your quality
of life and may be able to be corrected. By the way it
is amazing to see how much friendlier and upbeat people
are if they get rest at night and this applies to
seniors as well as the more junior people”.
Enjoy being a senior
and live a happy lifestyle, be glad you have Central
Florida UroGynecology, Rockledge, Florida close by and
do not need to travel from Oklahoma or Montana.
Dr. Sprock and her "Keep 'em Dry"
Call us at 321-806-3929 for an
appointment or leave a note