There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to bladder leakage.
Because it affects so many people (as many as one in three women and one in five men) and can be brought on by a range of causes, there’s no silver bullet that will magic it away.
For some, it’s a lifelong condition – just the way we’re built.
For others it’s triggered by an illness or medical procedure, or it’s just part of the ageing process.
Whatever the cause, if it’s bothering you or stopping you doing what you want with life, here are some simple ways you can tell your bladder where to go.
1. Avoid certain foods – spicy food, citrus, tomatoes and chocolate have been found to aggravate leakage in some people. For others it’s diuretics like alcohol or coffee that increase the urge to go. Try to keep track of what might be triggering your episodes so you can quit or restrict that food or drink. Find out more on our blog.
2. Avoid constipation. A blocked-up bowel can put pressure on the bladder, leading to unwanted leaks. For advice on managing constipation read our blog.
3. Do your kegels. At the risk of nagging, this is the easiest and most important thing most of us can do to strengthen our pelvic floor. Just a few squeezes a couple of times a day can make a real difference to
. You can do them at your desk, in front of the TV or in the car at the traffic lights. If you have trouble remembering, set the alarm on your phone to ring mid-morning when you’re likely to be at your desk, and again in the evening when you’re relaxing on the couch. For details of how to do kegels see our blog.
4. If kegels aren’t helping, see a doctor or a physiotherapist specializing in pelvic issues. Some people don't like to bring up the issue of leakage with their family doctor (our research* tells us 70 per cent of people affected by
won't discuss it, even with their GP), so you might feel more comfortable making an appointment with a physio who you'll only see for this issue.
5. Check your medications and alternative treatments. A few medications are taken for other health issues can actually make bladder leakage worse. If you take medication relating to your heart, blood pressure, sleeping habits or any sort of muscle relaxant, these could be contributing factors when it comes to an unhappy bladder. When consulting any doctor, make sure you disclose exactly which medication and alternative treatments you are on so they can offer you the best advice.
6. Try bladder retraining. For some people, going to the loo too often trains the bladder to need to go more often. Bladder retraining is a safe, non-invasive way to actively work to regain control over leakage and incontinence. Over time, you should be visiting the bathroom less, and be able to hold more liquid in your bladder. Read our blog here and download our bladder training diary here.
Hopefully these actions will help reduce the volume and/or frequency of your leaks. In the meantime, or if you’re one of those folks for whom leaks are an unavoidable consequence of illness, medication or surgery, Confitex is here to help. Our underwear look just like fashionable underwear, but with the secret bonus of an absorbent, leakproof panel to give you peace of mind every day. Give them a try today – they could well change your life!
*Confitex-commissioned US research 2017