Although little is known about it and it’s viewed as an ‘older female problem’, bladder weakness affects millions of Australian females of all ages each year¹. In fact, bladder weakness is more common than hay fever.
1 in 4 females experience bladder leaks at some stage in their life², and 1 in 3 Australian females over the age of 35 suffer from light bladder leakage.
Despite it being such a common occurrence however, 59.6% of Australian women feel too embarrassed to talk or do anything about bladder weakness³.
This is a modern day issue that is actually more common among younger women than most people think.
It’s important to understand that if this is something you are experiencing, it’s OK to admit it. But you don’t have to accept it. There are several ways to regain control and in many cases, prevent leaks happening altogether.
If you experience an uncontrolled leak from time to time, you have light bladder leakage. Women have so much going on in their everyday lives, it’s easy to ignore light bladder leakages and pretend it’s not happening. But by acknowledging the problem, women can seek a solution and take control of their situation
The causes of bladder weakness can include anything from childbirth, exercise, weight issues, irritations, and some genetic or medical issues can also contribute. So it comes as no surprise that such a large number of Australian women are faced with LBL.
But like learning to ride a bike, all it takes is a few steps and a lot of persistence to start taking control of your little problem:
1. Find your Pelvic Floor
The Pelvic Floor runs from your pubic bone at the front of your pelvis to the coccyx at the back. Imagine this sling of muscles is like two elevator doors. As you lift it, imagine the doors closing together and then lifting towards your head. The rest of your body should stay still.
2. Practice gentle lifts throughout the day
Practice lifting during the day at your desk, or at the sink while washing your hands, not just lying down at the end of the day. Work on connecting with it and then seeing if you can hold it for 5 seconds. As it is an internal exercise, no one will know you are working out.
3. Combat coughs and sneezes
Strong contractions are needed to resist higher loads on your pelvic floor, such as coughs or sneezes. So if you feel a cough or sneeze on its way, lift your pelvic floor as strongly as you can and try and keep it lifted while you sneeze. If at first this is a bit difficult, scrunching your toes in your shoes can help you to get a little bit more oomph!
4. Practice practice practice!
If you don’t use it, you will lose it! Imagine a hose flowing with water lying on a trampoline. If the trampoline is floppy, when a foot comes and steps on the flowing hose, the flow will continue as there is no resistance from the trampoline. Now imagine the trampoline is strong, a foot stepping down on the flowing hose will be met with some resistance so the hose will be bent and the flow will stop.
5. Use the right product while dealing with the problem
Use a correct liner such as one from the newly launched lights by TENA® range to handle the leakages while you’re dealing with the problem. The liners will keep you drier, fresher and odour free. And much less stressed.
Light bladder leakage is not something women should be expected to succumb to, take control of your body and enjoy a much more care free lifestyle.
For more expert tips and video demonstrations on how to strengthen the pelvic floor, visit www.lightsbyTENA.com.au.
Written by Jane Le Fevre, Physiotherapist Expert for lights by TENA®
Physiotherapist Jane Le Fevre graduated from Sydney University in 1997, and has since worked within hospital systems and private clinics in both Australia and England. Jane has lectured in the treatment and rehabilitation of lumbopelvic and spinal pain through the UK, Australia, Finland, Ireland and Scotland. She currently treats incontinence and associated symptoms on a day to day basis. Jane helps clients in all stages of life, from children to adults, prenatal and postnatal women, sporting and sedentary lifestyles.
1. Continence Foundation Australia
2. Continence Foundation Australia
3. According to a new survey of over 1,000 Australian women carried out by lights by TENA®