Health and Wellbeing

Pelvic Flawed

August 16, 2013
Typical kegels face

Typical kegels face

If you see me in a bank queue, supermarket line or horse riding (????) and my eyebrows are raised, one eye is squinting like a pirate, my lips are pursed and my face appears to be spasming, that’s because I’m probably doing Kegels, or pelvic floor exercises.

After two natural labours, I thought I was doing ok in this department. I can laugh, or sneeze confidently (Most of the time. If I brace.) I can even run or jump rope without cause for concern. That said, when I recently attended a super-dooper, high-intensity cardio class at the gym, I was in all sorts of trouble and the further into the class we went the worse it got.

The main culprit was star jumps. High speed, flailing arms, puffed out, trying to clench my nethers for all my might and still…. the shame.

I. Peed. My. Pants.

We’re not talking about Niagara, more like a tap washer that needs changing, but anything more than nothing is too much wee in public, no?

Naturally, I told Mister H immediately, as all husband’s are dying to know secret lady wee-wee business, and he was very understanding of my plight. Not so much as a smirk. He sent me an article he’d seen recently, regarding Cross Fit and peeing your pants which said boldly –

Peeing during exercise is not normal.

I am no doctor, nor am I a physiotherapist that specialises in ladies pelvic floor parts, but I beg to differ.

I did some highly scientific research (talked to my friends) and it would seem that it may not be preferred, nor supposed to happen, but it’s pretty damned common. Everyone I asked had had some form of urinary mishap (read : wet knicks) at some time in their life. In fact, the design flaw of the pelvic floor is so tragic that it appears that regardless of whether you have a natural labour or not, it seems gravity can take it’s toll eventually and you may need a crotch sling by the time you have a pension card. I did write a letter of complaint to the manufacturers of the female anatomy, but I’m yet to have a response.

The article I read points out the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction, in case peeing your pants isn’t obvious enough. Allow me to share.

Signs and symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction:

  • accidentally leaking urine (or faeces) when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze
  • needing to get to the toilet in a hurry or not making it there in time
  • constantly needing to go to the toilet
  • finding it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel
  • accidentally losing control of your bladder or bowel
  • accidentally passing wind
  • a prolapse
    • in women, this may be felt as a bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling, dragging or dropping
    • in men, this may be felt as a bulge in the rectum or a feeling of needing to use their bowels but not actually needing to go
    • pain in your pelvic area, or
    • painful sex

If any of you, my darlings, leak faeces when you sneeze, I must recommend you go swiftly (maybe don’t run though, just brisk walk) to a physiotherapist that specializes in lady business, because you don’t win friends with leaky poo. As for accidentally farting, that’s not a biggie provided you have a small child or dog nearby to blame.

Need to do a lot of fanny crunches, or Frunches, as they're known in the business.

Need to do a lot of fanny crunches, or Frunches, as they’re known in the business.

A weakened pelvic floor is totally normal after childbirth, and unlike other saggy, baggy, droopy body parts, you can in many cases actually retrain it back to it’s former glory. It’s not rocket science, and it’s not even difficult but it appears than the biggest hurdle preventing ladies from getting their fanny crunches on is simply –

We forget.

I’m flat out remembering to brush my hair (I never, ever forget to eat. I totally don’t get those people), so remembering to clench and hold for ten seconds ten times, 100 times a day just seems to elude.

At least, it did, before THE INCIDENT.

I could quite happily never do another star jump in my entire life, but I don’t want to slowly, embarrassingly become totally incontinent. Screw that. Have you seen the size of some of those pads? You can’t fit those thingies in your Bonds hipster g-strings. No, siree, the only leaking I will abide is sweat, thank you very much for asking….oh, and a strong pelvic floor can also equal better orgasms.


Anyway, I can’t do them in public because I cannot keep a fricken’ poker face to save my life, but I’m trying to remember to do them in the car.

If you see me at the lights, and I look like I’m having some kind of conniption, don’t call the paramedics, I’m just doing Kegels.

Kegels face

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Having a blog flog this fine Friday with the gorgeous Flog Your Blog Friday crew over at With Some Grace

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  • Reply Samantha August 16, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Love this! I have mastered them without a face but they still don’t seem to help. Every time I have a sneezing fit (3 or more) I empty my entire bladder…it’s pretty awesome…NOT!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 16, 2013 at 8:18 am

      Hey Sam, it sucks, huh? Check out Anthony’s comments to this post. He has some link to resources that may help. Apparently there’s more to it than ‘crunches’.
      Hope you got a giggle.

  • Reply jaymers August 16, 2013 at 7:40 am

    It’s okay that I almost peed my pants while reading this, right? (And I don’t get people who forget to eat either.)

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 16, 2013 at 7:41 am

      I should have posted it with a warning!!

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 16/08/2013, at 7:40 AM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

  • Reply Antony Lo August 16, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Hi. Thanks for the reference to my article and your humerous story.

    Peeing your pants during exercise is not normal but it is common.

    If you leak, it is a sign that the load/exercise is too heavy for you.

    In most cases it can be trained.

    If you pull faces during your exercises, I am fairly confident you are doing it wrong, or only doing one type of exercise. There is the holding type of exercise which is done but there is also the coordinated with breathing type exercises as wel.

    Good resources exist at your local Physio/physical therapy association.

    Also check out Julie Wiebe’s blog or the physios who chat using the hashtag #pelvicmafia.

    My blog has some resources as well. – I will be developing some exercise based programs for those who want to exercise but leak.

    If you have any questions, I am happy to answer them here or at my blog or via email or Facebook.

    Thanks again.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 16, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Anthony, hi!
      Thanks for swinging by and taking the time to leave some links for resources. It’s great that someone takes it seriously. Obviously, my article is very tongue in cheek and I may have exaggerated the facials slightly 😉
      I personally don’t think anyone should do star jumps ever as they are way too ballistic.
      I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for the pelvic mafia, and keep you all updated on the status of my floor.
      I hope my readers read your article and learn some useful techniques. I will check out your others methods as you can’t be too armed in the fight towards ‘iron clad’.

      • Reply Antony Lo August 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm

        Hahaha. Thanks.

        The coordination of squeezing your pelvic floor whilst breathing out is a good place to start. Just clenching won’t work :/

        Breathe in, relax your pelvic floor, breathe out and gently squeeze.

        It is just training,,,you don’t just clench holding a weight to strengthen your arms…and so you shouldn’t just clench your pelvic floor and hope it gets stronger 🙂 Just time your movements with your breathing and your body should start to get better 🙂

        Thanks again for the reference…I hope you subscribe to my blog for more useful information 🙂

  • Reply Bec | Mumma Tells August 16, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Bahaha! LOVE your kegel face! Love it. But, in all seriousness, this is a great post (and reminder). I’m due with Baby #2 in November, and need to get my butt (or another area close by!) into gear and get exercising. X

  • Reply Janet (@RedlandCityGirl) August 16, 2013 at 10:03 am

    LOL the joys of getting older. I think the secret to remembering to do them is to associate them with some other regular activity. Like you, I try to do them when I’m driving (and any other time I remember). I have a friend who had to have surgery for the prolapse thingy and she said it was worse than childbirth AND a hysterectomy so NO THANK YOU I don’t want to go down that path, and the best way to avoid it is the good old Kegels …

  • Reply bokolm August 16, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Yes – they should totally tell you this before children. I remember being in a cardio circuit 10 months after baby #1, and finding out that I was absolutely fine for the first 84 jumps of the jump rope… it was #85 that broke the camel’s back. I was. very. unhappy. to discover this and the instructor thought I was being a bit precious. I wished the wrath of the pelvic floor gods on her. After baby #2 I am still not good and starjumps tell me so too. Sigh.

    Best get frunching – awesome new portmanteau word that I intend to adopt.

    Thanks for a giggle!!

  • Reply mummywifeme August 16, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Lol. I have a very similar face!! Pelvic floor exercises suck big time. They’re so boring, especially when you *whispers* don’t feel a hell of a lot going on down there. Alas, I don’t want to be wearing adult nappies, so brace away I go …

  • Reply ksbeth August 16, 2013 at 10:57 am

    i love everything about this )

  • Reply mumabulous August 16, 2013 at 11:04 am

    There are times when I wish I could jump up and down but generally the state of my pelvic floors is the best excuse ever not to attend group fitness classes.

  • Reply San August 16, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Well Girlfriend you’ve gone from writers block to writing an absolute beauty!!! So good, in fact we peed our pants reading it….. (we have a problem don’t wee :o)….)

  • Reply maxabella August 16, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    You do know your pelvic floor isn’t on your face, right?! ;0 x

  • Reply Zanni Louise August 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Brilliant, Lady. Loved this. I did lots of kegels through pregnancy, and quite a few after birth, and although I can run an exercise without peeing, I cannot skip AT ALL without major flood damage. It feels unfair, and now I feel like I just can’t be bothered.

  • Reply empressnasigoreng August 16, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    We have these awful ads on Australian tv featuring a group of women sitting around and chatting about “LBL” (aka Light Bladder Leakage). They have just made me determined never to use the advertised products so it is pelvic floor exercises all the way. 🙂

  • Reply San August 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    You know, now that I think about it…. I’ve pulled those faces at gym class but it was due to struggling into my leotards, and by the time I’d done THAT, the class was over!!!

  • Reply kimspiritedmama August 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I get u totally but crazily it’s not only after natural childbirth – I had to go the Caesar and I still need to do my kegals … I found that one out pretty quickly after a non-braced sneeze once. So u may see others pulling funny faces too … For the same reason. Sisters unite 🙂

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      That’s just bloody rude, ain’t it!!
      In my ‘research’ most Caesar girls were bragging dry undies.
      Nice to know gravity is not discerning!

  • Reply Vicki @ Knocked Up & Abroad August 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    What a cack! I love a girl who can admit she’s had a case of wet knicks! And … you’ve scared me a bit. I’m 8 weeks out from 2nd baby arriving, natural birth also and I too, have a bad case of dementia when it comes to squeezing down there. I just don’t like it. Ok, it’s convenient dementia. I don’t wanna remember but now… yep, ok, I get it. I’m gonna get my pinched face on too. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Don’t panic…. all you’ll need is an INCIDENT or two and it’ll be at the forefront of your mind. I think you probably have enough to worry about right now, sweets!

  • Reply [email protected] August 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Yep, I avoid the trampoline, but I’m working on the problem. Your frunching face makes me even more determined! 😉

  • Reply A Morning Grouch August 17, 2013 at 12:21 am

    No matter how many kegels a day I did while prego, seems like nothing prevents a little spill now and again . It’s the worst!

  • Reply Alicia August 17, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    No major leakages, I have had the odd sneeze leak though. I remember to do kegels every few months, better than not at all, right?

  • Reply robomum August 17, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    I like that. “If I brace” made ma laugh as well. I hear you ;o)

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 17, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      A sneaky sneeze can be a whole different story 😉

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 17/08/2013, at 8:01 PM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

  • Reply Pinky Poinker August 18, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Mmmmm… I know what you mean. My whole bladder system has gone to pack and it’s worse since Meno has struck. Why, Why Why??? wasn’t I born a man. Funny post!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 18, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      Worse? It gets worse? Jesus. As if meno doesn’t come with enough issues!
      I’ll take it up with the manufacturers.

  • Reply NewLifeOnTheRoad (@NewLifeOnRoad) August 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Gee I am so glad to hear I am not alone, mind you after five kids I suppose something down there is not going to work too well….would love to have correction surgery but I am not into hospitals that much so I guess I will be doing those exercises even though they don’t seem to help!!! Love the Face 🙂

  • Reply larva225 August 19, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I had 2 c-sections and still have some minor issues. Mainly involving jumping on the trampoline. My daughter never seems to notice, but I know….

  • Reply mummyflyingsolo August 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Oh my god I laughed so hard at that I almost peed my panties! Well done! 😉

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      Should totally have come with a warning!!

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 23/08/2013, at 2:06 PM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

  • Reply Back brace for posture February 2, 2014 at 11:01 am

    This is hilarious… I am sorry but those pictures….. LOOL!!!

  • Reply Kim February 21, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Thanks luv – this post is the most kegels I’ve done in the last 3 months. I went ‘oh that’s right! Shit!’ And off I went. Maybe blog reading should be our kegel trigger? Mine is all kinds of fubar since 2 4kgs babies bouncing around down there well engaged from 30 weeks on. BEST FACE ever. Don’t do it when you’re, um,not alone and using your special muscle for other purposes 😉

  • Reply hughbarnett123 July 29, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Thank for the article, i am not a lady but this piece is very informative. thanx

  • Reply Get Straight September 27, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks for the article. I will definitely show this post to my wife. This is hilarious! But seriously??? Are you the lady in the pictures???

  • Reply Best Womens Posture Corrector February 13, 2017 at 8:00 am

    This is hilarious!! Haha, either way – good content!

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