health

The common health problem we're still not talking about.

Poise®
Thanks to our brand partner, Poise®

When was the last time you laughed so hard you peed? Not, like totally peed your pants, but felt things get a little bit * cough * moist down there – and not in a good way, if you get my drift.

Last week? An hour ago? A month ago?

Maybe you sneezed, or coughed and felt it. Maybe you were watching a classic episode of Friends and you just. Couldn’t. Stop. Laughing.  My point is – no kidding – this is something that a lot of women are dealing with on a daily basis.

For women over 35, this sort of light bladder leakage (or LBL if you’re into acronyms) is something that one in three have experienced. It’s really, really, common.

But it’s also not just an older woman’s problem, as many people believe. Half of all cases occur in women under 40. There’s no shame in it, and it’s not just a sign of your body getting older.

Laugh ladies, laugh away. Image: Buena Vista Pictures.

The reason you maybe haven’t heard about it, or you haven’t realised how common it is, is because like a lot of the stuff that relates to women’s health, most women are pretty reluctant to talk about it.

They think it’s a sign of being defective or flawed. And it just isn’t. At all.

What’s worse, it can be treated and fixed in a lot of cases, so keeping silent is just prolonging a problem that doesn’t have to exist.

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Beyond anything else, for a lot of women who are living with LBL fear and embarrassment might lead them to use the wrong kind of pads and panty liners to deal with it.  While some women might be embarrassed about buying pads for their period, they are more likely to be willing to buy those types of sanitary products than to put LBL-appropriate panty liners in their shopping trolley.

Which is a mistake.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but blood and urine are not the same, and they require a different management approach. Of course there are products out there designed to help with LBL while you sort out what’s going on and work hard on those pelvic floor exercises (which are beneficial in a LOT of ways).

There is no shame in buying LBL products, just like tampons or pads. Image: iStock.

Poise panty liners, for example, are just as thin as the liners you would use at the tail end of a period to catch any last drops, but they are three times as absorbent, and so way more effective at keeping you dry if you find yourself experiencing some LBL.  They are also odour absorbing, which is important too.

I guess the difference is kind of like only having a mini-tampon on the heaviest day of your period.  To be avoided at all costs.

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So, if you’re one of the literally MILLIONS of Australian women who experience LBL giving a tailored product a go seems like a total no-brainer. There’s even a free sample option, meaning you don’t have to financially commit to anything until you’ve genuinely compared products.

Not having to worry in the middle of your next pump class and getting stuff for free all at once? Seems like a winning combo to me.

Get exercising without the worry of LBL. Image: Universal Pictures.

And let’s be honest. Any other health problem, you’d seek out the right way to fix it. LBL is fixable, and where it’s not it’s infinitely more manageable when you have the right tools.  So don’t be afraid to get them.

But also, don’t be ashamed of your LBL. My mum always says wrinkles and lines on your face are the signs of a life lived well, and with joy. LBL is often the product of childbirth, exercise, post op, menopause, and well, living life to the full. It’s a common condition and nothing to be ashamed of.  It’s a bit of a stretch (no pun intended) but maybe we should start seeing it as the “laugh lines” of our pelvic floor.

Think that sounds ridiculous? Just consider it something else to smile about.

Why do you think women feel unnecessarily embarrassed about LBL?

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