Martha recalls a harrowing incident with a dangerously full bladder in the cockpit of a tiny plane mid flight.
And she and her friends drive themselves to distraction about their over-50 bladder habits & the "easy-peasy" procedure that helped their friend KK with her stress incontinence.
Imaginations run wild with the idea that you could go in for a full tune up!
Get Bulkamid injections, some Botox, a little filler for your nasolabial folds!
Top it all off with the pleasure-boosting O Shot! (...which Martha was thisclose to getting in 2021. Phew!)
KK's procedure: Bulkamid (she says it worked well for her)
Martha's Botox alternative: Frownies (Save 10% with MAV discount link.)
Photos from the fateful cockpit emergency are on Instagram here, including the screenshot of the note she wrote to her colleague. Video from the flight coming soon.
We explore pelvic health more thoroughly and learn more about the aging vagina and the typical path to incontinence later in Season 1 with Dr. Wendy Chorny:
MAV Tip: Hydrate. We know you hear it everywhere; you already know! But between kidney stones, UTIs, and crepey-looking skin, letting yourself get dehydrated in midlife is just asking for trouble. Hate the taste of water? Add some salt, lemon or cucumber and make it "spa"-gua. Trying drinking 12 oz as soon as you wake up and 12 more 20 minutes later and you'll get ahead for the day.
Thank you for listening!
Take care of yourself. And take care of your vagina!
Everything show related at MyAloofVagina.com
Discounts on faves:
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Hey there here's what's coming up in this episode. they were standing outside, So they could see my head . They knew what I was doing, and they're like, are you ready? Are you ready? I'm like, gimme a second, So I, I'm zipping it up, and I'm trying to be very gentle in my backpack's. The only backpack I've got, I'm gonna be here for two weeks, So I'm in this little hut. With a backpack full of urine, I'm trying to not rush them and make them think I'm suspicious, like what's in her backpack. I'm like, are they gonna search me Welcome to the My Aloof Vagina Podcast, where we explore the distress and surprise of our midlife transitions. We take menopause seriously, but we don't take ourselves seriously, and we believe that learning what to expect in perimenopause can be entertaining. It's inevitable, so we may as well equip ourselves and have a good. time I'm your host, Martha, and in this episode, we're going to talk about bladders and the glory of the changes as we age. I did a deep dive into what pelvic health and aging does to our bladder habits. Pun not intended, but totally appropriate. And I wanted to make sure I shared what I know now with you. What is stress incontinence? And why is that word so alarming that episodes with it in the title get far fewer listens? And where might you seek out one widely available procedure for our urethra that has a lot in common with the tweakments we get to plump up and smooth out our aging faces? wouldn't it be nice if you could get it done and other things that might help your vagina age more gracefully, all at the same time, you might get, Botox or lip plumpers. Why do women deal with more UTIs again as they get older and how might taking steps to prevent that also help us look and feel a lot better the answers to all of those questions and more in this episode. So stick around. By the way as always anything we talk about during the show is referenced in the show notes for each episode links, more details photos, those kinds of things. You can find them any time right there in your podcast app or at myaloofvagina.com So this episode's another case of me needing to remove my friend, but not wanting to lose my stories or the subject matter because it's important stuff. So what's left of the original episode is just my side of the conversation and my stories. So I interject here and there to add context. Now I'm dehydrated. M y because sometimes I realize now. I don't drink water because I don't wanna end up having to pee. Going to the bathroom is inconvenient to me They're saying that we have bad habits. So that habit with your kids before you leave, do you need to go? You better go before we leave. I do that to myself too. Like, I'm gonna go on an errand so I better go before I leave. And that those are bad habits because they. Contribute to your bladder, thinking that even a little bit of urine, it's time to go. Listener, as I just mentioned, we think we're doing ourselves a favor by peeing when we can. And we tend to do that more as we get concerned about leakage. I know, I know. Stay with me here. I'll try not to say that word. Too much to keep you from turning the podcast off, but this is meant to be a safe place to have a conversation about these kinds of things. The things that might make us a little squeamish, but that we need to know about. So we're going to talk about the early signs of stress incontinence, which is the official name, the formal medical name of that thing that happens to most women, where we pee just a little when we laugh or cough or jump or sneeze. And it's that thing we don't really want to talk about. I could provide some stats, but this is not that kind of show. The stats are linked in the show notes if you want to read about it. Just know stress incontinence or peeing while you laugh and stuff can happen at any age and sometimes worsens in our thirties or forties. the vast majority of women, if not all of them, experience it. Such a high percentage cop to it and report it that we can just presume it's 100% for our purposes or so close to 100% that if you are someone who never, ever has it happen, In the decades before perimenopause, you should consider yourself quite remarkable. Maybe even contact a university and offer to be studied as an anomaly because your contribution to science could be major for the rest of us. So we can just claim our comfort in knowing that we're in good company. Babies or no babies, hormones or no hormones. It happens and we're not alone. You're not alone. I'm not alone. And there was one time in my late thirties, I mortifyingly thought. That I was alone in this. It was pretty public and a fantastic friend set me straight. I was thinking about it the other day because another friend I had on the podcast, Kristen like way back closer to 40, I remember for the first time having a situation where we, she and I were at this conference and doing like the outdoor workout, know, with this famous trainer, and we were so excited and we were doing it and there were these. They weren't really jumping jacks. They're more like, jack jumps. Like you would jump with your legs, like, you know, like a jumping jack open. And every time I did it, I'd pee a little and I thought, what? This has never happened to me. And so then I told her and she said, oh yeah, everybody, like all the women here, all the 40 old women here are peeing their leggings right now. Later as my friends and I dug into why we were so mortified about it, what really worried us, what we were concerned about. It was a fear of smelling like urine, because we'd all smelled it on other older women. I mean, that was part of the big concern, why it was such a huge worry and why we didn't even want to think or talk about. It happening to us now Would you even know? Would you, do they even know? You need to, you know, who will tell you, Does mommy smell like pee? We decided that those of us with kids have an early warning signal. Thank God. Since. It's likely that their birth was a major contributing factor. And the plan is just to ask them because who else will tell you? Who else would you ask? Let's get back to the topic of dehydrating ourselves because it turns out to be a real thing, something women do as we age and we don't even consciously realize it. And it contributes to all sorts of issues. That we actually cover in depth in later episodes this season with Dr. Wendy, and I'll link to those in the show notes. One of the things that my friend and I had been talking about at length were UTIs because, spoiler alert, They seem to make a comeback as we age. Oh no, it's terrible news So I wasn't aware that I wasn't drinking water. I, I didn't, Recognize it. In fact, I was defensive about it because so, not too long ago when I was walking in the desert with, let's just call him Boo Boo barfly. So Boo boo Barfly and I were walking in the desert and he had a lot of rules about. Everything. Like, this is what we do and this is what we do, and this is how we do it, and this is when our stops are. And I was like, okay, okay. And I was drinking plenty of water and I'd been in the desert before I met up with him, so I was hydrating. but I wasn't peeing, right? We were walking 10, 20 miles and I wasn't peeing except for during the stops And he said, that means you're not drinking enough water. You're not drinking water because you don't wanna have to stop and pee. And I was like, no, I'm drinking water. I'm just maybe sweating it out and absorbing it like this. I'm just not needing to pee as much. I was defensive. I wasn't gonna accept that I wasn't drinking enough water cause I felt like I was drinking plenty and I didn't appreciate being critiqued with everything else going on. But I also think I have, maybe a camel's bladder, I mean, every time I say I don't have the bladder leakage, I wanna knock on wood because I need to stop saying it. Cuz then all of a sudden it's gonna sneak up on me. Because in the most recent one, well anyway, so that's out in the desert with booboo barfly, I felt like I was drinking plenty of water. He was critiquing. But I would go all day without peeing. I could walk, you know, miles. But we were talking about UTIs, and I was gonna mention I was so excited. I feel like I've aged out of the UTI season. I used to have 'em all the time, like I kept my, my Cipro all the time and everything like that. But then as you get older, we're gonna be more prone to them. recently someone was in the hospital and I said, watch. When they check her, like an older person, when they check her, they'll say she has a u t. I'll be on the long list of things. No matter what she's in there for, they always at 70 years old or so, every time they go in for something or if they're in the er, in the hospital, they always find that they have a u t I. And so I was so excited. Like I've outgrown them or whatever. Life has changed. I used to keep Cipro on me, not anymore. it's coming though. You know why? Because we probably, I just thought of this, we probably don't drink as much water as we get older cuz we're worried about the incontinence. And we don't wanna have to plan to stop. the tip of the day then is stay hydrated. Use your poise pads or go to the bathroom when you need to. Speaking of poise pads, which as an aside is one of those things that I think encourage us to stay silent about the stress incontinence and other things, because the broader cultural message is You will experience actual incontinence, that's in air quotes because there are more precise and accurate labels for it, the message to us is old ladies experience that. But don't you worry, Kimberly Clark and others have you covered. There are diapers for that, which could be a comforting message, I guess, But it does make us worry about odor again. they're ready to sell us solutions for that too. The reality is that there are many stops in the pelvic health journey between stress incontinence And relying on depends for other adult diapers at one point during a very fun girls trip. A few of us got the giggles. That's the easiest way to describe it. We were laughing so hard and we couldn't stop laughing in a drugstore right next to the many paper products marketed for just this issue. It was me. My friend who's been removed from this episode and our friend KK. When we talk about it, we tend to refer to it like, Remember that time we peed our pants in Walgreens? Did we actually pee our pants or did we just think, was it a threat? They were gonna pee our pants. KK is pretty funny and, and it was great to laugh in the aisle where we could get the protection if we needed it. You know how there's that movie? This is 40 that was, this is 50 like for a 50th birthday event For us to be laughing in a drugstore and thinking we might need to tear up an emergency bag. It depends. Our friend, KK, had actually had a procedure to stop bladder leakage. So at the time, she was our sole source for information on how that works. I did some research about BMid, which is the procedure that our friend KK had, she says it really helped. So most of my information is from their website. This is not an endorsement. I only know secondhand what KK told us and I am not a doctor. Not at all, not even close. But I do think it's interesting to have a variety of solutions and not just be relying on poise pads and depends and things like that. So per their website, they use a local anesthetic, so I guess like a dentist or some other procedures that we get. And they do three to four small injections, at least that's what it says on their website. And they say it takes about 15 minutes. So really I'm just reporting their propaganda. The results last for seven years and it's designed, they say for stress and urinary incontinence. Evidently it's a bulking agent, so that's why it's called balkam., you can't make this stuff up. It bulks up the urethra to kind of provide some extra support so that you don't leak and you don't have accidents and other things. So that's what it is, I'll put some links in the show notes, but Google it yourself if you wanna look it up. BMid, BMid. injections, filler, really, for the urethra. Filler injected into the vaginal area. So you can imagine where our minds went. Actually don't imagine. You can listen for yourself. They should really do it as a package deal because there's also the O shot. Remember the O Shot I was researching it's the same thing. The O shot, it's P r P, which I, I forget something plasma. Apparently it is a miracle worker for all sorts of things. So it is a similar thing with the O shot. They, when I thought that my lack of orgasms with. intercourse was my fault. There's something wrong with my body instead of being, you know, Instead of it being circumstantial based on a variety of factors, partner related factors and situational factors. the O shot is one where they kind of go in and they, they put p r P Plasma rich platelets into the front side of your Vagina, where like your g-spot tissue is, which clitoral tissue, and then that, kind of creates new volume then there's more friction. And that erectile tissue that gets you aroused has, more sensitivity. And then that's an improvement. That's what that o shot is. So what if they could do a whole tune-up, like you went in and they did the shot in your urethra? They did the shot in your Vagina, your O shot at the same time. They did some, maybe some shots in any kind of thinning hair. And then what was the, oh, and then they could do your nasal, what is it? Nasal labial folds. Okay. I actually can say it. Nasolabial. Nasolabial folds. I can say it. Nasolabial folds. Another big O. Naso. She thought it sounded a little vulgar. My friend hated that term, but I could see it. More than the root words being fully accurate. I could see similarities to the physical structures and had to act it out for But think about how this looks. That's a Vagina. This is the clitoris, which they say your nose is the closest right type of nerves and concentration. So this is basically a Vagina, right? Naturally, once we start talking about filler, and I'm left looking at myself in the camera while she's away for a moment, I start experimenting with what I might look like if I got a tune up. You can see this immaturity if you're watching on YouTube. If you're listening with no visual, just picture this, me pulling my Aging, loosening, aging face, the skin's loose enough to pull, pulling my aging face back to see what it would look like if I got lip filler or cheek implants, or maybe even a mini facelift. You know, tightened it all up, Doesn't this look like I've got like a bright light on my face? Don't you think my face looks like those women when I do this, don't I look like those women? It it bothers me that I look at that. And a part of me goes, Ooh, I could look like that. Well, it does look like this, but we used, but we didn't Used to think this looked good, but now we see it so many places that we think this is normal beauty. I'm not gonna do it. But now I'm probably stretch my faces, my face out, my face is my many faces. Now I don't have to do the Botox, cuz I'm, I'm a very loyal, frowny user. These are the ones for me. This, these are, I'm still working on. But the thing that's so crazy to me, I mean, frownies should really be a, um, a sponsor. I talk about Frownies in every episode. frownies is actually the affiliate of the week. After we'd recorded this episode, I had established a relationship with them. I started using them more than a year ago to soften the 11s between my eyebrows. And if you'd like to try them, there's a special discount link in the show notes. Or you can use my code, MAV10. M A V 10 at frownies. com. If you want to get a look at them on me, check the My Aloof Vagina Instagram or YouTube. They make frequent appearances because I'm hooked on frownies. I used to stare at my own what the fuck lines, those 11s between my eyebrows, but now I just notice them on other people when I'm watching TV. I'm now noticing them on people, like in movies, I'm like, oh gosh, they need frownies, I am practicing the different. Uplift looks, Oh, I see people in movies and I think, oh, wow. They should really get frownies. I don't think they need Botox because it's some, for some it's very distracting. Men, mostly women. I think they're all Botox. Have we talked about vaginal caverns? It's not a perimenopause symptom, but same person. Booboo barfly. love to talk about. His knowledge of the female anatomy. but in a sense, like he did, I learned things from him that I'd never known before, cuz of the way he is and the way he communicates and he explained that. If a woman hasn't had a baby, their Vagina feels different. Not because it's looser after a baby. He's like, but there are like these anti rooms and chambers. He's like, because a baby comes out and like changes the whole path. and he is like, every woman's, every woman's vaginal caverns are like a fingerprint. They're unique to them. And then you kind of learn it. And I was like, all these women, he is been like, checking all these patterns, like, oh, I know your pattern. Anyway. So, you know, so I know that my Vagina changed at 20, It's been different for 30 years when supposedly the, the damage to my pelvic floor happened, right? And the damage to my urethra and all that stuff. But it's been a long time and I hadn't had issues. But I think the issues can develop now even it's not just from old damage. Like there is the stuff from having babies, But there's also, it shifts, Aging and then the hormones affect it and all of that good stuff, and then affects everything. Defecation out, pee, pee, and poo poo, It affects all of those muscles. We can't do this much longer cuz you're not wearing headphones and I'm talking about defecation and vaginas. well now it's just rated Scatological. You say you don't have any problems with defecation, but have you always had such an infrequent bowel movement pattern? Is this too personal? I thought that you thought that you weren't having a bowel movement every day. Like I have it at least every day and sometimes three times a day. I guess I'm aware of it because I'm, I'm like clockwork. I get up in the morning and within an hour I go, And that's my big one of the day, And so if I, for instance, I'm aware now, now that I'm a little bit, now, I think this is related to the perimenopause. Now, if I miss the window, let's say I have an early flight or an appointment and I leave and I don't go right, cuz I'm in transit, then I've ruined it for the whole day. I spend the rest of the day chasing it, trying to get it. And if I'm traveling, sometimes I end up having issues. On the trip, Because traveling can cause a disruption for me. I just can't go. Like I get constipated if I don't go before my flight. It would happen here if I had to run out for an appointment and I postpone my morning constitutional it, need to go in the morning. I have a note, so, and I have a little story and then we can stop about my gigantic bladder. Um, let's see. Uh, when we land, will it come up? the story is this. I had a note on my phone cuz I, I was on a plane, I was on a plane in Africa, so from Uganda to Kenya across Lake Victoria I was up front with the, with the pilot we had we had like a cooler with a couple cokes in it and some snacks like it Was that kind of a thing. When we'd been going through security in Uganda, we bought Big Waters, a fter we went through security and I was working for a water charity, so water was super precious. And then when I went to go board the plane to go to General Aviation, they said, you can't take more than three ounces of water. I'm like, I just bought these in the airport, like they did like a metal detector and checked you again to get on the plane. But I wasn't even getting on the plane. I was gonna walk out in the tarmac into the Cessna where, they, you know, they misinterpreted the security rules. So this was precious water. So I guzzled one of the, it was a it's like a two liter, but it's long. I guzzled a two liter of water. Shouldn't have done this. I was, at that time I was about 40 and not thinking this way, but I guzzled a two liter of water and then I gave the other one to someone else in line that wasn't open, like, here, you want this cuz I can't take it. And then we got on the plane and it took a while, like all the preparation. So we're sitting. So before you even take off, I'm like, uh oh, I need to pee. So I'm sitting up front trying to distract myself with all the instruments and the fact that we could just plummet to our deaths at at any point. Like this is a plane, in ill repair, like, almost like a crank-up plane in East Africa. So we're flying, we're flying, and I realize that I need to go so badly that I'm not gonna be able to stand up and leave the plane. Like I can't walk. I've let it go too far. so I'm like sitting there. So I write a note on my, on my phone, which I'll find this load, the screenshot in the notes or something. Listener, I did find the note later and I posted it to Instagram and included some recovered video and photos from that fateful day in 2011. There's a link to the video of this story with all the visuals and screenshots from my phone in the show notes, but in case you can't see it, I kind of describe what the note said. And my travel companion, who was like a 60-year-old dude who I had just met four days before kind of proper. I had to say to him, listen, I can't get out of this plane. I need to pee so badly. I'm gonna need to be left alone And he d in the plane. and he. idn't really say anything, but he understood. I said, you'll have to like, you'll have to explain to the pilot. So when we land in Kenya, a different country, right in the middle of the almost kind of a field but it's, it's asphalt and there are people checking on you cause you've gotta prove that you have a visa and all this stuff. And so So they get out of the plane and I go into my backpack and I had had this, I had this gallon. Ziploc that I was using for snacks on the road. So I pull all the snacks out and put them loose in my backpack and I squat in the, cockpit of, of this little plane. And I, I'm like, peeing, like, and, and it hurts cuz it's like relief cause it's so crazy. But I pee so long that it fills the gallon. And I have to stop myself. so that I could zip it up and put the gallon of pee into my backpack, Because I didn't wanna carry it across this tarmac. So I'm like[mimes putting pee bag into pack it's like it's a Kisumu airport in, Kenya they were standing outside, right? So they could see my head. They knew what I was doing, but so I, I zip it up and I put it and they're like, are you ready? Are you ready? I'm like, gimme a second. So I, I'm zipping it up. I'm putting it in my backpack and then I've got the urine and a bag and I'm trying to be very gentle in my backpack It's The only backpack I've got, I'm gonna be here for two weeks. So I'm, um, Walking behind them and I'm like, Hey, can I go to the ladies room? And they said, no, no. We are in violation. We have to go in, in basically like a hut, like an out building. We have to go over here because they're upset that we're here without the right visas and they have to stamp our passports. We did have the right visas, but this was a, a shakedown situation. So I'm in this little hut Speaking of smelling like pee. I'm in this little hut. With a backpack full of urine, a gallon of my own urine, I still need to pee. And we're, I'm trying to not rush them and make them think I'm suspicious, like what's in her backpack. And I, I'm like, are they gonna search me and find this gallon of pee in my backpack? And so I'm just standing there and they're talking and there's like a video music channel on, and it's some cover of Toto that I've never been able to find since Toto's Africa. And I was like, that's so interesting. This is like a made up matrix Matrix-style scene in my life. And I'm just standing there trying not to look too agitated. And then finally they let us go. I don't know how many shillings were passed over. And I go into the bathroom now I have to find, I gotta dump my, my gallon of pee out. I proceed to get rid of the pee, and then I can't use that Ziploc anymore. And, and I'm like washing to make sure I don't smell like pee and that is my biggest pee story. I had to Google like, what is the capacity of a human bladder? Like I I wouldn't have thought a gallon could fit. evidently, A least mine at least mine, like I was 40 and it probably stretched my bladder out a little bit, but this is why I think I have a camel bladder. That and that I walked 20 miles in the desert without stopping to pee. I think we can end on that story. a gallon of pee in an airplane cockpit is a great story to end my friend and I have known each other a very long time and she couldn't understand how she'd never Heard that story before I don't know that I'd ever told anyone that story before I think this was the first time I had Mentioned it out loud I got a million of them. I don't know. When would I have brought it up? When have we ever talked about urine? So extensively. Thank you for listening. Until next time. Take care of yourself and take care of your vagina. If you love this irreverent podcast, please recommend it to a friend. You think will enjoy it so that we know to keep delivering this very specific style of midlife information and stories for you. And one of the surprises of the show has been how great it is to hear from you remember to find me the next time you're on Instagram to let me know what you think. Look me up at my aloof vagina.