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you should not stop your flow mid-pee
Photo: Getty/ Sean justice
Well + Good writer Hannah Schneider reached out to me for some insights on why you should not stop your flow mid-pee. Here is a brief synopsis of the article, along with a link to the full article below.

Heather Jeffcoat, DPT

‘I’m a Pelvic-Floor Therapist, and This Is Why You Should Not Stop Your Flow Mid-Pee’

There's a strong chance someone in your life has either done or suggested Kegel exercises to you. You may have stumbled on Kegel advice through platforms like this TikTok. Or maybe you've googled Kegel exercises because you're dealing with bladder leakage. It can seem like Kegel exercise advice is everywhere, but there's a lot about this seemingly simple exercise that people do wrong. So, if you've heard you should do Kegels while peeing to assess your pelvic floor prowess, it is not the sagest advice.

It's understandable why someone might make this suggestion. Kegel exercises involve clenching your pelvic floor muscles and relaxing them repeatedly, but locating them can be challenging. The pelvic floor is a hammock-like arrangement of muscles that support important organs like your bladder, uterus (if you have one), rectum, and more, according to the Mayo Clinic. To find them, you might've tried squeezing the muscles around your anus and vagina and lifting them. For folks that are unsure of the location and sensation of their pelvic floor clenching, the U.S. National Library of Medicine does recommend that you try Kegeling while you pee once. However, regularly doing Kegels while peeing? Not ideal.

When we void (pee), our bladder contracts, and our pelvic floor muscles reflexively relax. If you are peeing and trying to stop your flow, you are inhibiting a natural reflex your body needs to do,"

says Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, doctor of physical therapy, and owner of Femina Physical Therapy in Los Angeles. When you do this, you are essentially telling your body that your pelvic floor muscles should relax instead of contract. This is the opposite of what they need to do when you are trying to pee.

Over time, doing this could prevent your pelvic floor from fully relaxing when you're on the toilet. Stopping your flow is confusing for your body because of your brain-to-bladder connection, Dr. Jeffcoat says. When you contract your pelvic floor, your brain could interpret that as a sign you have finished peeing and end the urination process before you've completely emptied your bladder, Dr. Jeffcoat adds.

To learn more about why you should not stop your flow mid-pee, continue to the full article here.

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After having my second baby via C-section I searched for months to try to find help for my lower back pain and separated abdominal muscles. I finally came across Heather Jeffcoat via a mommy blog. I reached out to her via email and set my first appointment. My first appointment went amazing … she listened to what my symptoms, check my separation and explained to me in detail what the next steps would be. Not only did my abdominal separation go from 3 to about 1 -1/2 but my back has pain has significantly reduced. I’m personally recommending all my mommy friends to Heather!

Y.L. (mom of 2)

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I wanted to thank you so much for helping me get through something I thought I may never be able to. We have achieved pain-free intercourse and this has really solidified our marriage. We are so grateful to you for all the work you do! Thank you!!

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Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

I can’t speak highly enough of the theapists at Femina Physical Therapy and how much they have helped me grow, discover, and love my body. I had had painful sex for my entire life, and didn’t know that there was anything that could be done about it. It was at the point where my husband and I were not having sex for MONTHs, because it was just too frustrating, and I hated feeling like I was the ONLY woman out there who had this problem, especially at my age. I finally brought it up to my doctor because I was turning 40 and my husband and I were barely having enough sex to conceive. And she brought up pelvic floor, PT. I didn’t even know this was a “thing”.

Read more: Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

Testimonial by M.M.

My husband and I were married for 5 years and unable to have intercourse, but I never knew why. After numerous awful experiences at doctor’s offices (where many doctors told me I “just needed to relax”), a surgery that didn’t fix the problem, and a year of owning dilators that didn’t get me anywhere, someone finally referred me to Heather for Physical Therapy. I finally had answers and information from someone who knew exactly what I was dealing with!

Read more: Testimonial by M.M.

Testimonial by A.M.

Months after giving birth, it was difficult for me to go from a sitting or lying position up to a full standing position without feeling that I had to remain hunched over until a bit of time had passed to get fully upright. However, after taking Heather’s course, I learned exercises to get my body back to normal. She also showed me correct ways to lift and carry my son as well as put him in/take him out of the carseat and stroller. This class was really beneficial and Heather is a wonderful teacher who made me feel very comfortable.

-- A.M.

Testimonial by Jamie M.

I have been going to see Heather for a while now, and I can't tell you enough how much she has improved my quality of life. Heather specializes in issues like pelvic floor, but I see her for other orthopedic issues.

I have a lot of chronic joint pain and dysfunction issues (back, hips, neck) that require that have ongoing physical therapy maintenance. The effects of my problem joints/areas overlap and interconnect with each other in complex ways, so helping me requires really having a complete understanding of the entire skeletal and muscular system. Pain does not always appear where the problem actually is, the human body is a twisty, many-layered puzzle. I have an exercise program I do at home and I am very functional, but there are just something things I need a PT to help me out with.

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