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One out of three shares the same little secret
You are not alone. You may however often feel that way, since we do not usually talk about bladder weakness. This is unfortunate, since it is something that can be remedied.
Approximately 37% of all women between the ages of 35 and 54 experienced stress incontinence last year. That is approximately the same figure, 39%, as for the over 55 age group.
One out of three women have at some time in life experienced leakage. Some trickling when they jump, a common occurrence during exercise for example. Or when they run after the bus. Coughing and sneezing colds also pose a risk. For example.
Bladder weakness is nothing new. This has always been a very common occurrence for human beings - mostly for women but even men. The most common cause is that the pelvic floor muscles that keep the urethra in place and prevent leakage have become weakened.
This can be due to many things. Pregnancy is the most common reason (read more here). Hormone changes in conjunction with menopause is another. Vaginal mucous membranes become thinner during menopause and no longer act as a thick “wadding” around the urethra. A common cause is that the pelvic floor muscles, like other muscles, need exercise to avoid losing their strength and elasticity.
“It is easy to understand, even accept that I have some leakage after giving birth. I wouldn’t have it undone. But that doesn’t mean that it is not unpleasant,” says A Smart Woman.
Bladder weakness affects life, more or less. How much is very individual. We have different strategies for handling various situations in order to feel secure and fresh.
“I’ve become an expert at finding toilets where ever. I want to be certain that I can go immediately if I need to,” says a Woman.
Some always take the outermost seat at the movies so they can easily make regular visits to the restroom.
“I avoid situations where I may have to sit for longer periods and cannot move, like during a flight or a concert,” says Second Woman.
Many go to the bathroom before and during their aerobics class. To be able to do their best without taking chances.
“I bought a pair of navy-blue pants for gym class. They are loose so it doesn’t show if I should leak,” says Third Woman.
Another common solution is to pack sanitary towels along with gym clothes and water bottles, regardless of whether you have your period or not. Of course, it is better to use a towel or panty liner than toilet paper or double underpants. But they cannot provide the security and freshness of a specially designed protection.
“Menstrual fluid is heavier and comes out in smaller quantities on each occasion. A pad specially made for urine leakage is designed for other needs, like handling more urine under more pressure for a briefer period. TENA Lady Mini for instance absorbs twice as much and retains wetness four times better than a leading thin sanitary towel. It gives you long-lasting dryness. Yet TENA Lady Mini is as thin and discreet. It can also prevent odour,” says Good Urologist, from The Clinic.
The TENA Lady range has protection pads for different needs, from ultra-thin to higher capacity. Some of the Tena Lady products can be found at the pharmacist or in your nearest food store, others are available with a prescription.
For TENA, it is a question of designing protection that keeps you feeling fresh. And secure. Because you should not have to hesitate to exercise, go to a concert or laugh out loud. Purpose made protection gives you the security you need to live your life the way you want.
Urinary incontinence can be treated. Many people can be helped. Many, many are fully recovered. You should therefore always consult your gynaecologist or local healthcare provider. They can give you the best advice, write prescriptions for protection pads or refer you to a urologist.
The first step in getting better is always exercising your pelvic floor muscles – contraction exercises. Almost 70% of those who start exercising regain full control. Your physician or gynaecologist can assist you to identify the correct muscles.
There are several alternatives if contraction exercises do not help, like medication, that may or may not have side effects, and various operational procedures, some of which only require local anaesthesia. But this requires a full examination and diagnosis. Discuss this with your physician.
There are three types of incontinence. Stress incontinence – described in the article. Urge incontinence – when the bladder empties itself without you wanting it to do so. Infections or various neurological conditions may be the cause. Mixed incontinence – a combination of the above.