real life

A practical guide to a little problem you might be too embarrassed to talk about.

You’re not alone. Trust us.

Three incidences. That was how many it took before I could no longer avoid the fact that light bladder leakage was becoming a bit of issue for me.

No, not a huge problem – but it was definitely “a thing” and something I realised I could no longer avoid addressing.

My realisations came to me in this order:

1. Star jumps.

As a fun “warm up” to get us motivated before we start the day, our team leader had us do, as part of a warm up, some star jumps. I jokingly said “Oh, but you’ll make me wet my pants.” And then I did wet my pants. It was no longer a joking matter.

2. Trampolines.

My family went to one of those indoor trampolining places. Now, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with these, but it’s this amazing indoor area with about 30 in-built trampolines designed to be used to, well, jump on. It’d been some time since I’d been on one myself so I was extra keen when my 8-year-old invited me to join him. We held hands and started to bounce, our mission to see how far in the air we could propel ourselves. Three bounces on that baby and I knew I was in trouble.

Related: I suffer from a problem no-one talks about. This is my story.

3. Laughing too hard.

I met up with my two best girlfriends in the way that only old friends can – those times when you find yourself on the floor, in tears, laughing and suddenly not only are you laughing, you are casually peeing your pants at the same time. Well, I was. And I was mortified.

The more I tried to stop, the more I told my girlfriends that I was peeing my pants, the more they laughed and the more I laughed and the more it went around in a vicious circle.

So, as you can see, my everyday life and pelvic floor were suddenly very much working against me. Firstly, the thing that I realised was this: I am far from alone. You are far from alone. In fact, light bladder leakage is common even among healthy, fit women in their 20s and 30s – and one in three women will experience it at some point. It’s just that most of us are too embarrassed to admit it.

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The key to understanding light bladder leakage and its triggers is learning what happens to liquid from the time you take a drink until it leaves your body.

Things like caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and even juices with high acid content (such as orange juice) can irritate your bladder and cause you to urinate more often. So these substances can play a big part in leakage. As a result, I’ve learnt to watch what I drink.

Also, I’ve had to understand how to strengthen my pelvic floor. For example, there are gentle Pilates exercises out there that are designed to help strengthen pelvic floor muscles, making them fit and firm to help regain confidence and bladder control.

Related: The one thing you can do to make the exercise habit stick.

In addition, you can also line your underwear with products specifically designed for LBL and which are also discreet (no one would even guess you are wearing them). They are super absorbent and designed to move with your body, making them a great option for the millions of women who experience bladder weakness.

The real take away message here though, for me anyway, is that I don’t have to suffer in silence or miss out on the fun stuff.

I SHOULD be able to do star jumps with my colleagues.

I SHOULD be able jump on the trampoline with my son and enjoy myself.

And I most definitely should NOT be missing out on good times with my friends for fear I will end up wetting my pants and feel embarrassed.

Because for most women, it’s not a ‘forever’ issue that we just have to learn to put up with – and it CAN be easily managed.

How do you manage light bladder leakage?

Tags: wellbeing , ageing , health , lbl , lifestyle , women
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