Leaking when you laugh: It’s common but not normal
The following is written by Dr. Sinéad Dufour PhD. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Sinead Dufour, who is a Researcher (PhD) of all things Pelvic Health. She is also a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist in Burlington and Oakville, a Professor and lecturer at McMaster University, and on the teaching faculty of Bia Formation and Reframe Rehab and Pelvic Health Solutions. Dr. Sinead Dufour is also the sister of the founder of Compass Rose Wellness, and is a huge supporter in developing more resources and access for women’s healthcare. It was with her encouragement and assistance finding a top notch Pelvic Health Physiotherapy team, that Compass Rose Wellness Centre was opened in 2020.  

It’s been a full decade since Whoopi Goldberg starred in a series of webisodes about peeing a little (or, as she called it, spritzing) in an effort to sell Poise brand incontinence products. At the time, the star was a regular on the mega-popular women’s talk show The View, which highlights just how much the problem of stress incontinence had come out of the closet.
While there’s no denying that these ads worked wonders for mitigating stigma, they also relied on a common misconception about pelvic health. Leaking while you laugh is very common—but it’s not normal – using a product to soak up the leakage is certainly not getting to the root of the issue.  The issue is the pelvic floor, lack of fitness of the pelvic floor to be clear.  Like  any other fitness issue, the pelvic floor deserves to be addressed.
Before we go any further, we recommend you acquaint yourself with some basic anatomy by reading Get to know your pelvis. Ready?
Stress urinary incontinence is the medical (and far less fun) term for leaking when you laugh, and it’s only one type of incontinence. In this case, the problem is essentially a mechanical failure of the pelvic floor.   The pelvic floor is collapsing or buckling out because it doesn’t have the fitness it should. When you laugh, it creates pressure that an unfit pelvic floor cannot withstand so you pee a little.
The thing is, laughing—or exercising, sneezing, or coughing—is a very basic function that any fit person should be able to handle. If you’re leaking when you laugh, it’s a sign that your body needs your help. You need to pay attention.
Luckily, help is easy to find. At Compass Rose Wellness we specialize in conservative care options for increasing pelvic floor fitness. The first step is to schedule a consultation and we’ll take it from there. Put your pelvic health first so you can get back to enjoying a life full of laughter. Now that’s normal.