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Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, right? Well, if you channel the reaction you had after seeing your first anatomy chart in sex-ed, we’ll forgive you for believing that to be unwaveringly true. However, when it comes to LBL, men and women share more similarities than you may initially realize.
Although LBL is typically presented as more of a women’s issue (1/3 women experience LBL), 25% of men will also experience LBL in their lifetime. While the obvious differences in plumbing have a lot to answer for, certain lifestyle choices and life experiences can result in LBL, gender regardless.
Today, we’ve put together an email which demonstrates a few of those differences, but also celebrates our commonalities, so you can gain a better understanding of why you might experience LBL – and why the people you care about might, too.
The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system, which is located underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra (the tube which passes urine from the bladder and out the penis).
Because of its close proximity to these areas, when the prostate gland is unhealthy or damaged, LBL can be a side effect. For example, if the prostate becomes enlarged, the urinary tract can be blocked or restricted. If the prostate is removed or damaged due to prostate cancer/radiation, this can disrupt the way the bladder holds urine. If you undergo a surgery that implicates the prostate, the nerves responsible for bladder control can be damaged.
So - as you can probably deduce - the prostate has a lot to answer for when it comes to male LBL!
When a woman is pregnant, the unborn child presses down onto her urethra, which can put extra pressure on the pelvic floor muscles responsible for controlling urination. After a woman gives birth, nerves and pelvic floor muscles can be further weakened, all of which can result in LBL.
Although it’s not 100% clear as to why menopause results in LBL, some experts believe that the decline in estrogen during this time weakens a woman’s urethral tissue, which is partly responsible for controlling urination.
As we age, our muscles lose strength, and unfortunately bladders are no exception! Fortunately, there are ways to keep your bladder and pelvic floor muscles as strong as possible (eg, by making kegel exercises part of your everyday routine).
Long-term constipation can result in LBL because of extra pressure placed on the urinary tract over time.
Certain lifestyle choices can have a huge effect on whether or not you experience LBL. Someone who is overweight, unfit, smokes and/or drinks alcohol/coffee to excess is more likely to experience LBL than someone who doesn’t. The good news is that if you experience LBL for any of these reasons, although it may seem tough, there is the potential to change!!
Certain types of medication, including diuretics, sedatives and medicines for neurological conditions can actually enhance the effects of LBL. These medications can weaken the bladder lining and affect the nerves that control urination, which can lead to LBL. If you are seeing a doctor about your symptoms, make sure you bring a comprehensive list of any regular medication you take so they can give you the best advice going forward.
As you can probably infer from this article, when it comes to light bladder leakage, there is actually more that connects than separates us– which is a strangely comforting thought!
If there is someone in your life who you know experiences the effects of LBL for whatever reason – why not make their day and surprise them with a pair of Confitex? And while you’re at it, you may as well nab a pair for yourself, too. That way, we can enjoy just getting on with living life without holding back – planet of origin regardless!