courtesy of Antranik

There’s really no gentle way to broach this topic, however, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that bladder leakage in women is very common after a vaginal birth and as women move into their 40s and beyond.


What Causes Bladder Incontinence?

This is not associated with a sudden and urgent need to urinate that results in loss of bladder control. Causes of bladder leakage in women is typically due to weak urethral sphincter and/or pelvic muscles. I’ll start off with the sharing and say that I’ve been there. It’s embarrassing and makes you feel anything but sexy and desirable! Most of all, I wasn’t ready to accept that I may have to wear adult underwear, so I was on a mission to find a resolution.


A Treatment Better Than Kegels

Kegel exercises is the typical suggestion if you’re determined to go the non-prescription, non-surgical route. While Kegels are effective for building the pelvic floor muscles, I’ve found that it takes months to see moderate results, and that’s only if you’re doing them correctly and consistently.


Fortunately for me, while going through my herbal studies program, we discussed an herb called Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and its effectiveness in tightening tissues, particularly those in the female urinary tract. I happened to have a small baggie of some dried Yarrow flowers that I’d purchased over a year ago from an herbal event, so I pulled it out and made it into a tincture. I began taking 3ml, three times a day. While I continued to take it for a week, I began to notice a difference within 2 days. A tea or a pill would be just as effective.  I could laugh, cough, and sneeze without the mortifying feeling that comes when you have an oopsie. No more fear of leakage when exercising and no adult underwear for this girl! By now, I’m sure you’re asking what in the world all this has to do with good sex. Wait for it…just a little longer.


How Does Yarrow Work?

Yarrow is a powerful astringent that tightens tissues. But I need to be more specific because there are different types of tissues in the body. Yarrow is a powerful astringent that tightens muscle tissue, in particular — both skeletal muscle tissue and smooth muscle tissue. Skeletal muscle movement is controlled voluntarily. The muscles that are attached to your bones and your pelvic floor muscle are two examples. Smooth muscle tissue lines our hollow organs; their movement is involuntary. Examples of smooth muscle tissue are the stomach lining and the vaginal canal. , and the internal urethral sphincter, located at the intersection of the urethra with the bladder.


There are two additional muscles that control the passage of urine — the internal urethral sphincter, which controls the flow from the bladder into the urethra, and the external urethral sphincter, which is connected to the pelvic floor muscle and controls the release of urine from the urethra. If either of these muscles is weak, leakage can occur (Marieb, 2015).


And This Has What to do with the Vagina…?

So now for the good part… Just as it works to tighten and tone the tissues of the urethral sphincter muscles, Yarrow also tightens and tones the tissue within the vaginal canal and the pelvic floor muscle, resulting in elimination of bladder leakage, enhanced sexual response, and improved overall sexual experience.


You can see more traditional uses for Yarrow in the Medicinal Herbs section.


Have you ever used Yarrow? If so, what did you use it to treat? Was it effective?

Marieb, E.N. (2015) Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology, 11th ed. Pearson Education. Glenview, IL.
  1. Hi, thankyou so must for this article, found it really interesting. I am finding it almost impossible these days to do stomach crunches ect just to tighten that area. Im pushing 50 soon and have a bad back. My question to you is were can I get this Yarrow?, am willing to just about give anything a try and drinking a herbal tea sounds a lot easer than trying to do pelvic floor exercises. Thanks again for your lovely article. Joanne

    • Hi there,

      I’m glad you found the article informative. You can go to your local herb shop or health food store and inquire about dried yarrow or a Yarrow tincture. However, if none of that is an option, you can go online to Mountain Rose Herbs, where I get a lot of my dried herbs —

      Absolutely love them because their dried herbs are high quality; I see they have 1 oz. of Yarrow for $2. Don’t forget to get a tea strainer (if you don’t already have one) so you don’t have to worry about fishing the herbs out of your tea water :-). I’d love to hear back from you on how everything worked out.


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