Exercise class can help women regain bladder control

In an exercise room in the Mercy Health Partners Bladder Control Clinic, a group of mostly middle-age women did a series of exercises to help them gain control of what medical professionals say is a common problem. The women were gathered in a room of Hackley at the Lakes, 6401 Prairie St., for a session of Total Control, a class taught at the clinic aimed at strengthening muscles in the abdominal and pelvic region. The class also educates participants about good fluid intake habits and is aimed at women of all ages,instructors said.
Jordan Travis
Jul 9, 2011


One of the students was Grand Haven resident Pauline Melvin. She said the control she has gained has helped her remove a great inconvenience from her life that took hold when she began having bladder control problems several years ago.

Melvin works at Rycenga Building Center. Prior to completing the class, she said she would have to excuse herself from customers on the sales floor in order to use the bathroom.

“Hopefully, I’d make it,” she said. “I’d tell them, ‘Sorry, I had to go to the bathroom.’”

Melvin’s problems were also affecting her everyday life, she said. As an example, she would park nearest to the bathrooms when shopping, and keep a mental map of where to find them once she got inside the stores. She also avoided running and taking long walks, as well as other activities she enjoyed.

Even Melvin’s sleep was affected, she said. On some nights, she said she would wake up three times or more.


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