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No, you are not old!
Age is not the prominent cause of bladder weakness. It has more to do with how strong your pelvic muscles are. And what they have been through – like pregnancies. Small changes in your daily life can make a big difference.
An international survey shows that:
1 out of 3 over the age of 18 experienced stress incontinence last year.
1 out of 5 experienced the identical symptoms between the ages 18 and 29.
Source: “Wirthlin Worldwide 2003: Women and Stress Urinary Incontinence: Discovering the Truth”
Finding your first grey hair was a bit surprising. It was kind of funny when a friend laughingly told you her optician recommended reading glasses. But, when you discovered you couldn’t just lift heavy items, cough or skip without trickling a little - well, that’s when you felt a bit old. All of a sudden.
“It was no laughing matter. It’s something that happens to old people. My first reaction was that it’s downhill from here,” says One Woman.
Hold on, you are not old. This is not primarily an age-related condition. It is more a question of circumstances and what you have experienced in life. The reason why it is hard to control leakage is that the pelvic floor muscles are weakened from, for example, pregnancy and childbirth. Certain lifestyle factors can also increase the strain on the pelvic muscles.
Smokers’ cough entails repeated pressure on the pelvic muscles, increasing the risk for leakage.
Too much weight is a strain on the pelvic muscles. It usually helps if you lose weight and do contraction exercises at the same time.
Our body is the last thing we listen to when things are hectic. We don’t go to the bathroom until our entire system is desperately signalling a full bladder. That’s not a good idea.
It is also important to take your time on the toilet: Just sit still, don’t push or pick something up from the floor or put away wet hand towels. Just sit and wait until your body says “finished”.
Coffee, tea or juice:
Most of us really enjoy having a cup of coffee. Some people cannot imagine anything better and drink several cups a day. Unfortunately, coffee, tea and juice are diuretics and can even irritate the bladder so we feel like we have to go when we don’t.
If you have trouble controlling your bladder when you exercise you might want to consider trying a different form of exercise. Everything that entails jumping increases the pressure on your pelvic muscles. Swimming and biking however are both excellent alternatives.
A good formula for reducing leakage is to combine contraction exercises with a few lifestyle changes.
If you have trouble controlling your bladder when you exercise you might want to consider trying a different form of exercise.
Use a protection specially designed for bladder weakness when you exercise, one that makes you feel secure and comfortable. You can do what you want without hesitation. It is that kind of security you need when you give it your all during a workout. Or for overcoming a bad cold.
There is a big difference between using a regular sanitary towel and a protection pad specially designed to handle urine leakage. TENA Lady Ultra Mini and TENA Lady Mini are for example as thin and discreet as thin sanitary towels. But that is where the similarities end. TENA Lady Mini for example absorbs twice as much and retains wetness four times better than a leading thin sanitary towel. It is designed to give you long-lasting dryness.
TENA is designed to handle urine leakage. The pad has to handle more fluid and pressure compared to menstrual fluid. Plus, specially designed protection pads can prevent odour. Only then will you truly feel fresh and comfortable. Some of the products in the TENA Lady range are available at the pharmacy or food stores.
You can never avoid contraction exercises. Almost 70% of those who start exercising regain control and the rest can find other kinds of help.