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5 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR BLADDER HAPPY
Let’s be honest. Light Bladder Leakage (LBL) and incontinence can be slightly awkward topics to discuss around the dinner table - especially if French Onion Soup is on the menu! But, because so many of us experience it, the fact that LBL is treated as a taboo subject is more than a little irritating.
Addressing the elephant in the bathroom, and discovering ways to manage urinary incontinence is extremely important if we are to maintain a good quality of life, and although LBL can be seen as an inconvenience, it should not limit you in terms of what you choose to do! Here at Confitex, we want you to be able to enjoy taking that yoga class, jumping on the trampoline or running around after your kids without having to worry about LBL. Crossing your legs and desperately hoping against any leakage every time you need to sneeze is no way to live!!
We’ll be working to chip away at the LBL stigma in the coming weeks, months and years, but for now – here are 5 things you should know about female incontinence.
Believe it or not, there are several different types of incontinence. The three main ones are:
1. Stress incontinence
This is the most common form of incontinence. Leaking occurs when extra pressure is placed on the bladder from coughing, sneezing, physical exercise or heavy lifting.
2. Urinary urge incontinence
This type of incontinence means that you get a strong, sudden urge to urinate with little to no warning. It can result from nerve damage, be a sign of infection or be the effect of an overactive bladder.
- Mixed incontinence
Mixed incontinence feature elements of both stress and urge incontinence.
There are tiny muscles which connect your pubic bone to your tailbone and act like a hammock to hold your pelvic organs, which together make up your pelvic floor. External factors, such as pregnancy and stress can weaken these muscles, and can result in LBL. Kegel exercises are great way to strengthen these muscles and help take control of incontinence.
There are many different types of kegel exercise, but the most basic one is to contract and relax.
To find your pelvic floor muscles, next time you go to the bathroom, try to stop urinating mid-way through. If you do this successfully – congrats – you’ve found them!!
To exercise your pelvic floors, stand, lie or kneel on the floor and contract those muscles as strongly as you can for 3-5 seconds. Relax fully for 3-5 seconds, then contract again for 3-5 seconds. Repeat this ten times per day, and over time, you should feel the muscles strengthening, resulting in you having more control over your LBL. If you don’t experience any change, see a health professional who can determine whether or not you are working the correct muscles.
Like most health issues, what you put inside your body has a huge impact on your overall wellbeing. If you are overweight, this can weaken your pelvic floor muscles and lead to stress incontinence because you are putting undue pressure on your bladder.
Taking care of your health can help eliminate leaks. A diet which is rich in fiber can protect against constipation - another factor when it comes to stress incontinence.
In terms of fluid intake and LBL, it is recommended that you:
Avoid drinking any fluid 2-4 hours before going to bed to avoid night-time wake ups/accidents
• Avoid drinks with caffeine and alcohol insofar as possible, as these are both increase the urge to pass urine and can irritate the bladder lining causing the production of more urine
A few medications are taken for other health issues can actually make LBL 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 LBL. If you choose to consult your doctor, make sure you disclose exactly which medication you are on so they can offer you the best advice!
Let’s face it. Incontinence can make living a normal life a little intimidating. We don’t want to leave the house with a bag full of diapers, or to go to the counter with a pack of bulky pads in tow. Confitex underwear can assist in living life without limitations, because not only does it look and feel like normal underwear - it’s also fashionable, reusable, washable, environmentally friendly and entirely discreet. Confitex underwear eliminates odor, stops leaks and keeps you dry as you just get on with your day worry free – yoga class and all!