You know when people say, ‘I laughed so hard I wet myself!’ they normally don’t mean it literally. They are trying to tell you how funny something was and based on that statement you can understand that it was pretty hilarious. But, there are times where they do mean it literally, they did laugh so hard that they wet themselves. This is called giggle incontinence.
I am one of those people. When I laugh extremely hard, my bladder decides it’s a good time to empty itself. If I’m lucky, I can stop it and run to the loo. But most of the time I never make it there. I have had the most amazing and hilarious moments in my life turn into complete horror stories. One minute I am carefree and laughing with friends and the next minute I feel like an alien.
What is giggle incontinence?
Medical professionals say that the reason for giggle incontinence is due to a weak pelvic floor. It is quite common among young people. It can be easily treated and most websites say it gets better as you get older.
Well, I am 25 years old and I still completely wet myself when I laugh out loud. To be honest with you, it happens quite often. I am blessed to be surrounded by funny people. I am also hilarious, so obviously I laugh at myself all the time too.
Living with giggle incontinence
There is nothing worse than being a young teenage girl, out with friends. Then someone cracks a joke, or something funny happens and you can’t help but have a good proper laugh. Then just as quickly as the laughing came, your wee starts running down your leg. It’s pooling under you and it becomes almost impossible to hide it from everyone. You stand there ashamed of yourself and disappointed at how your own body could betray you like that. Quickly looking at everyone to make sure they aren’t looking at you. I glance down at the floor to see what the damage is and try to inconspicuously look at my pants to see how big the wet patch is. My heart would be pounding and I would just wait for someone to point and say something.
Eventually, I would make it to the bathroom after tying my coat or hoodie around my waist to hide the evidence and try to clean up the mess. Once done wiping myself down I don’t feel any better. I still have a huge wet patch and I probably smell like wee. I can’t face going out in public. Having to sit in wee-soaked clothing makes you feel awful, but I don’t want to leave. I only just got here and all my friends are having fun and my parents are the ride home so if I go then we all have to go. So, I dry my tears and pull myself together and go back out to everyone and act as normal as I possibly can under the circumstances.
I have been to doctor after doctor and urologist after urologist. One urologist even put me on Concerta which is used for people who have been diagnosed with ADHD to help them concentrate because his theory was that it could be a form of narcolepsy. When I tell other health professionals this, they look at me with disbelief and I can tell they are thinking ”‘what the f*ck?” I would just look at them and nod like “Yeah, I know”.
The older I have gotten the more I have come to terms with the whole thing, I have learned to accept my body for what it is and be grateful for all the other amazing things that it does for me. One thing I can say, every time I wet myself, I had a really good reason to laugh and I count myself lucky to be surrounded by funny, amazing people who can get me laughing that hard. I am doing my Kegels regularly and I see a physio to help get my pelvic floor working optimally again but if I always leak a little when I laugh, then I have realised it was probably worth all of it.