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  • Yee Yeoman

Conquering Bladder Leakage

Bladder leakage can be quite a problem for women in my practice, even those who have never experienced the joys of childbirth. Suddenly, you find yourself becoming familiar with every public toilet in your daily life. If this situation sounds all too familiar, don't worry, you're definitely not alone. In fact, a whopping 60% of women have dealt with incontinence at some point in their lives. So, if you're one of the lucky ones who can still laugh without crossing your legs, consider yourself blessed!

Now, let's dive into the three major culprits behind bladder leakage: stress, urge, and mixed incontinence. Stress incontinence is like your bladder's worst workout session. Something as innocent as a cough, sneeze, or exercise can lead to an unexpected leak. Who knew your bladder had such a weak spot? And don't let the name fool you; it can strike even at a young age. Then there's urge incontinence, which is basically your bladder playing the "I really gotta go" card on repeat. It's like your bladder has a mind of its own, constantly making you feel like you need to pee, even when you just finished your bathroom break two minutes ago. And then there’s the most popular type: mixed incontinence, the blend of stress and urge. But fear not, knowing which type of incontinence you're dealing with is key to finding the right treatment. So the best way to find out is to let a trained pelvic health physiotherapist be your bladder's personal detective.

So, what can you do about bladder leakage? Here are some top tips:

  1. Weight loss: While it may be a sensitive topic for some, losing weight can significantly alleviate the pressure on your bladder caused by excess weight. It benefits all types of incontinence. Additionally, consider the type of fat you carry and the state of inflammation in your body as they may contribute to bladder issues.

  2. Manage your constipation: constipation can be a real pain in the...pelvic area. It adds more stress to your bladder and pelvic floor, making those leaks even more likely.

  3. Say goodbye to fizzy drinks and cut back on caffeine: We all love a little fizzy goodness and a caffeine kick, but they can wreak havoc on your bladder. So, if you need your daily caffeine fix, let's make it a treat only.

  4. Drink earlier in the day: It's a simple tip, but it can make a big difference. Put a pause on the fluid intake a couple of hours before bedtime. Your bladder will thank you, and you can finally enjoy a full night's sleep without those midnight bathroom rendezvous.

  5. Train your bladder: Bladder training is like boot camp for your pee-holding muscles. With the help of a pelvic health physiotherapist, you'll retrain your bladder to respond appropriately—no more unnecessary urges to pee between bathroom breaks.

  6. Flex those pelvic floor muscles: It may take some time to see the results, it's worth it. When your pelvic floor muscles are in shape, you'll notice a few exciting changes: longer gaps between bathroom visits, fewer accidents (hooray!), the ability to hold those contractions longer or do more repetitions, and, of course, fewer wet and smelly underpants. It's always a good idea to work with a pelvic health physiotherapist to ensure you're nailing the technique. With targeted physiotherapy alone, you can say goodbye to 50% of stress incontinence or significantly improve it. W

  7. Consider vaginal estrogen: Studies have shown that women prescribed vaginal estrogen therapy experience less incontinence. So, think of it as a little TLC for your lady parts.

  8. Explore medication options: Sometimes, your bladder needs a little extra assistance, and that's where medications come into play. There's a whole range of options available for urge incontinence, including Solifenacin, Mirabegron, Trospium, Oxybutynin, and Tolterodine. These antispasmodics work their magic by calming down your bladder's overactivity, but keep in mind they may have some side effects like dry mouth and constipation. It's always best to consult with GP to find the right medication for you.

  9. Botox for the bladder:Botox isn't just for wrinkles anymore! This wonder drug can be injected into the muscles at the base of your bladder, paralyzing them temporarily. It takes a few days to kick in fully, but the results can be remarkable. Studies have shown that 42-87% of patients achieve complete continence after treatment, and there's a 40-60% decrease in those annoying frequent bathroom trips. Plus, there's a 35-65% increase in quality of life. It's like a bladder miracle! However, keep in mind that repetitive treatments can lead to permanent changes in the bladder muscles. So, consider it a last resort after exploring other options.

  10. Surgery: If all else fails and you've tried everything short of jumping on a trampoline with crossed legs, surgery may be the answer. It's a more invasive approach, but for those who have exhausted all other options, it can provide the relief they've been longing for. Consult with your GP or specialist to discuss the surgical possibilities.

So, don't let bladder leakage dampen your spirits. With the right treatment and a few bladder-friendly lifestyle adjustments, you'll be back in control.

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