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Getting the “Knack” for Stopping Urine Leaks

How to Get the Knack

The Knack is a motor skill you can learn. It requires you to anticipate stress-related or effort-related to urine leakage. Any activity that increases pressure in your abdomen may cause you to lose urine. Examples of such activities are coughing, sneezing, laughing, bending/lifting, carrying objects, sitting down, standing up, and going up/down stairs, During these activities, pressure is placed on the bladder, forcing it to empty.

Timing Your Pelvic Floor Muscle Contraction

The Knack is the skill of squeezing your pelvic floor muscle just when urine leakage is most likely to occur. You should contract your pelvic floor muscles right before and during any activity that causes an increase in pressure in your abdomen. You should practice the Knack by contracting the pelvic floor muscles


Practicing the Knack before the activities

  • About 1 second before a hard cough, and holding the contraction throughout the cough

  • Before standing up from being seated or before bending down for something

  • If you feel a strong urge to empty your bladder. If this happens, squeeze the pelvic floor muscles a few quick times. Often this will quiet the bladder down and the urge to empty the bladder will pass. Then, if you need to empty your bladder, walk calmly at a normal pace to the bathroom.

Making the Knack Part of Your Daily Activity

It may take some time for the Knack to become part of your daily life. Remember to do your pelvic muscle contraction often enough to make them a habit. Do your exercises when you are

  • Standing at the sink brushing your teeth

  • Sitting in the car at a red light or stop sign

  • Reading a book in bed

  • Going for a walk

  • Talking on the phone

Be sure to join the TPT health movement and receive all of our health information by signing up in the right hand column (or below on the mobile version). If you have any further questions regarding bladder habits feel free to ask us at

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