Your Bladder – Who’s in Control?
Urinary incontinence – also known as bladder leakage – affects millions of women. One in three women over 40 experience inconveniences, while it affects one in two women over the age of 60. For women aged 80 and over, it’s rare not to have some type of incontinence.
Whilst it becomes more prevalent as you age, it’s not a normal side effect of the aging process and you don’t have to accept its symptoms and live with it. It can be controlled – by you.
Basics of Bladder Leakage
• Most women begin to experience sings of urinary incontinence in their 40s and 50s, after childbearing. This applies to vaginal, not caesarean births
• In some cases, however, incontinence can start earlier, particularly for those predisposed to urinary conditions
There are three main types of urinary incontinence:
Simple changes could change your life…
• Avoid drinking after 10pm. If thirsty, take tiny sips of water
• Limit coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and alcohol after 6pm
• Identify personal triggers – cold weather or proximity to water – and plan loo breaks
• If planning a day/night out, a work meeting or occasion – limit liquids beforehand and plan loo time to avoid panics
• Look at your diet: avoid processed foods, eat more fruit and veg, lose weight if you need to
• Join a Pilates or yoga class – both can work wonders on pelvic floor muscles
• Relax before bedtime
• Take your daily Femaxeen® tablet
Other types of incontinence require further medical examination:
Why Do We Lose Control?
Giving birth vaginally is a major reason why women are introduced to urinary incontinence early on. However, other key factors also cause unwanted urine leakage:
• Being overweight, which adds pressure to the urinary tract muscles
• Surgery e.g. hysterectomy
• Too much caffeine or alcohol, as they increase the need to urinate
• Certain medications e.g. diuretics
• Conditions affecting the spinal cord, such as Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis