The little problem no one has… but that’s more common than hay fever. We are of course talking about bladder weakness! So why is it that almost 60 percent of us are too embarrassed to talk about it and simply ignore what’s happening?
“This is a modern day issue that modern day women have to deal with. It is more common amongst younger women than most people think” says Jane Le Fevre, Physiotherapist Expert for lights by TENA. In fact, bladder weakness is a real issue for millions of Australian females. One in four women experience bladder leaks at some stage in their life, and one in three over the age of 35 endure light bladder leakage. Despite this, bladder weakness is often thought of as an old lady problem.
This misconception was confirmed in a recent TENA survey where almost half of the respondents said bladder weakness only happens to women over 40. Less than six per cent believed it to be something that women in their 20s encounter – but the reality is that almost 2 in 10 women between 25 and 29 have experienced it!
Remember, just because bladder weakness is common, it doesn’t mean it has to be that way. Jane Le Fevre has the following tips to combat the problem:
1 Find your pelvic floor
Did you know that the Pelvic Floor runs from your pubic bone at the front of your pelvis to the coccyx at the back? Imagine that this sling of muscles is like two elevator doors. As you lift it, imagine the doors closing together and then lifting towards your head. The rest of your body should stay still.
2 Practice gentle lifts
Practice lifting during the day at your desk, or at the sink while washing your hands, not just lying down at the end of the day. Work on connecting with it and then seeing if you can hold it for 5 seconds. As it is an internal exercise, no one will know you are in the middle of a workout!
3 Combat coughs and sneezes
Feel a sneeze coming on? Lift your pelvic floor as strongly as you can and try and keep it lifted while you sneeze. If this is a bit difficult at first, try scrunching your toes in your shoes to help you get a little bit more oomph!
4 Use the right products
Research has shown that four out of five people withbladder weakness do not use the purpose made products. While it may be tempting to use sanitary pads, these aren’t designed to handle the leakage and you’ll probably feel more relaxed using a correct liner.
5 Practice, practice, practice!
If you don’t use it, you will lose it! Imagine a hose flowing with water lying on a trampoline. If the trampoline is floppy, when a foot steps down on the flowing hose, the flow will continue as there is no resistance from the trampoline. Now imagine the trampoline is strong. A foot stepping down on the flowing hose will be met with some resistance, meaning the hose will be bent and the flow will stop.
Want to know more? For expert tips and video demonstrations on how to strengthen the pelvic floor, visit www.lightsbyTENA. com.au.