Incontinence Affects More Than You Think

by

I never thought this would happen to me. 

I thought never ever would it occur.  

It only happens to others right? 

And if it does it is older people that have this happen.  

Wrong. 

“46% of women affected by incontinence are under 50” 

In fact incontinence and bladder leakage effects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men.  These numbers show that there are a lot of people in Australia dealing with this issue. 

TENA has created infographics to help simplify your understanding of incontinence and prepare yourself for it.  

 

What is incontinence?

What is incontinence?

 

Although there are thousands or possibly millions of people affected, no one seems to discuss this issue.  

The idea of bladder leakage seems a taboo subject.  

I like others have not liked to discuss it, however it happens.  It is real, it is an outcome of life, and an outcome of being a mother.   

Pregnancy can weaken your pelvic floor muscles. Don't worry exercise can make it all better.

Pregnancy can weaken your pelvic floor muscles. Don’t worry exercise can make it all better.

Incontinence is not all the same, there are different reasons for why it happens.  

Below are the main reasons that people would have any form of incontinence.  

  • Stress Incontinence – When you sneeze, cough, jump or laugh and end up having a leak. This is due to having a weakened pelvic floor muscle. Due to the weak pelvic floor muscle the urine cannot be contained and creates a downward pressure.  This is mainly an issue for women and the reasons for the weak pelvic floor is pregnancy, childbirth, being overweight could be an issue, if you smoke that could not help and if you have constipation or had issues trying to go to the toilet.
     
  • Overflow Incontinence – This is when you have an overwhelming need to urinate and it cannot wait. Sometimes getting the toilet in time is not possible, and must be very upsetting. This could also be a sign of infection and it is best to seek advice from your doctor about this issue. Other causes could be fizzy drinks, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Overflow Incontinence – Although this can be experienced by anyone it is mainly men that have this issue. Check with your doctor and see if there are any issues with prostrate or maybe a blockage. Once all fixed everything should return to normal.
  • Functional Incontinence –  Physical injury or other health issues might affect a person’s ability to get to the bathroom on time. It might also be neurological, including Alzheimer’s, stroke and head injury, where the messages between brain and bladder aren’t getting through.
  • Bowel or Faecal Incontinence – Causes of Bowel or faecal incontinence can be a weak pelvic floor due to constipation, poor bowel habits, diarrhoea or maybe bowel surgery.  Diseases such as Coeliac and Chrohn’s can impact control over your bowel.  

Incontinence is an outcome that I don’t like.  

Not only do you carry a baby for nine months or close to it if you have babies early.  

Your body changes, you are also dealing with extra weight due to putting it on for the pregnancy and then have limited time to exercise to lose the weight.   

Although it is an annoying outcome, it is something that can be fixed or made much better.  

 

Yes you read that right, there are treatments that can help you!  

You need to understand what is causing the issue first. Once you know why you are having bladder leakage then you can start to treat the issue.  

  • Pelvic Floor Exercises – This addresses the weakened pelvic floor mostly due to childbirth. One option is to consult a continence physiotherapist who can develop an individually tailored program as well as assist in monitoring progress. 
  • Bladder Retraining – This is done under the supervision of your GP, Gynaecologist, Urologist or Continence Physiotherapist. You retrain your bladder to have longer intervals to the toilet.  
  • Surgery – This is an option if all the other treatments have not worked. Only when your doctor has recommended it is a solution that will correct the issue.  
  • Medication – Before medication is considered doctors try a change to lifestyle, such as reducing coffee, soft drinks and alcohol. A doctor will advise if this is needed and how it can help.  

 

 

Have you been slack on the kegel exercises? I am, and it is really not hard to fit them in.  

 

TIP to help you exercise

MAKE A TIME EACH DAY WHILE DOING A CHORE: One tip that helps me is to make one time a day or maybe two to do the kegel exercises.  

It could be when you are hanging out the clothes, picking kids up from school or driving in the car.  

Shhhh….Don’t tell anyone, I like to do them when I am driving back and forth from school. This way they get done in the morning and afternoon.  

Having a chore to do with your kegel exercises means that every time you do this chore you will think to do your kegel exercises. A win all round.  

Perfecting your kegels

Perfecting your kegels

 

 

Pelvic Floor Exercises for Women – Continence Foundation of Australia

There are also to exercises for men to help their pelvic floor too.  

Now armed with some great techniques, my pelvic floor muscles will be like steel.

Yep, not abs of steel, pelvic floor of steel!  Maybe this is a bad visual for you my dear readers.  

I have been wanting to get toned, fit and drop some weight, maybe soon I will be a woman of steel! It could happen….given enough time? A personal trainer would help….oh how I wish. 

How to strengthen your pelvic floor?

How to strengthen your pelvic floor?

 

TENA has got a great list of myths around incontinence management. I must say that I have been guilty of one of them, restricting water intake was my silly thing that I did.  

It is best to have more water to reduce the concentration of urine, if you don’t have enough water you can irritate your bladder and aggravate urge incontinence.  

Making sure that you look after yourself now, is going to pay off when you get older. Strong muscles will mean that when you are older you can control any leaks and not have accidents.   

This helps with quality of life and also confidence. If you are not worried about the possibility of incontinence you can do more and be more active.  

While you are exercising and working towards stronger pelvic floor muscles it is advisable to wear protection to allow you go confidently go about your everyday tasks without worry.  

TENA is offering customers free samples to help find the right product for their needs. Fill out the form and get some free samples sent to you, all in discreet packaging.  (I’ve signed up for my free samples. Have you??) 

Get Free TENA Samples to find out what works best for you.

Get Free TENA Samples to find out what works best for you.

While you are busy getting pelvic muscles of steel make sure to protect yourself with TENA. It will allow you to have confidence to exercise and enjoying life.  

 

Life is short and it is best to get on with it and participate. If bladder leakage or incontinence is holding you back, get it checked at the doctors, do the exercises and be key to improving your quality of life.   

 

MAKE YOU A PRIORITY! 

 

Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with TENA. I was approached to help the awareness of the different causes and treatments for incontinence. It is a fixable issue and one that you should not live with if it is bothering you. Make an appointment with your doctor and get it fixed so that you can start enjoying all the fun things you wish to do again. 

I hope this helps you know more about this issue. 

Note: I am going to be doing more follow up articles on this issue, so stay tuned.  

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