Problems involving our bladder are generally left out most conversations, which is worrying considering 1 in 3 women are affected, more than a quarter (27 per cent) avoid using public transport for fear of being caught short, and 70 per cent of those suffering go on to experience symptoms linked to depression. With festivities approaching, don’t let urinary incontinence stop you in your tracks.
While talking about the problem is a good start to finding a solution, here are some practical steps you can take:
1. DO KEEP MOVING
It can be tempting to avoid certain social situations, such as exercising, yet doing so only causes health problems than can make incontinence worse. Take up low-impact sports such as cycling, yoga or walking. These are ideal activities to keep you fit without affecting your sensitive bladder.
2. DON’T DO SIT-UPS
Abdominal workouts such as sit-ups, crunches or plank kicks, place a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor. Opt for alternative exercises where breathing or your position supports your pelvic floor.
3. DO PRACTISE PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES
Aim to practise at least three times a day, as these exercises can help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and give you more control when you need it. To make sure you are doing the exercise correctly, try a visual technique. Think of your pelvic floor as a lift and imagine it going from the bottom of a building (your bladder) to the top of the building (your belly button). Breathe as you do it and but don’t hold your breath – the exercise should be subtle, not strenuous.
4. DON’T LIFT ANYTHING HEAVY
Lifting heavy objects is really bad for the pelvic floor. Instead it’s best to ask for help from those around you.
5. DO DRINK JUST ENOUGH
It’s vital to keep hydrated and avoiding liquids won’t help, and will just boost your chances of bladder irritation. Add a splash of cranberry to ward off urinary tract infections, and don’t drink anything at least an hour before you go to bed.
6. DON’T DRINK TOO MUCH CAFFEINE
Caffeine, along with alcohol and fizzy drinks, can irritate a sensitive bladder. Cutting down is a surefire way to reduce the chances of any embarrassing mishaps.
7. DO LOOK FOR THE RIGHT PRODUCT
Avoid embarrassing situations by wearing a product that has the right protection for you. The Always Discreet range (£7.49, Boots), are comfortable to wear, highly discreet due to innovative design and tailored to fit the needs of all women with a sensitive bladder.
8. DO SET A SCHEDULE
Believe it or not, your bladder is trainable: your doctor will be able to able to you plan a daily schedule to build up your bladder’s holding capacity so that rushing to the loo will become a thing a of the past.
Research carried out by Always