Stress and Urge Incontinence - Is it normal?
We are constantly being told bladder leaks are not normal but try telling that to the many women who experience it on a daily basis. Women who have had children, are going through the menopause or simply going through the ageing process.
It is a common misconception that only old people suffer from incontinence. Yes, older people do tend to as part of the ageing process but stress and urge incontinence can be experienced by anyone - of any age!
We are told that we don't need to suffer from leaks and dribbles. That it is easily fixed by doing our pelvic floor exercises and maybe for some people that is true. However, me personally, I have been doing my pelvic strengthening exercises for years. I do pilates and exercise in the gym but if I overstretch or cough, without doubt urine will leak out.
Like a lot of women I know, going out can cause stress and anxiety. Making sure that you have been to the toilet before you have left the house, fretting about if there will be a toilet where you are heading. Not wanting to drink tea or coffee just in case there is no toilet when you arrive at your destination. When you have just been to the toilet and you feel an intense, urgent need to go again is Urge Incontinence. I absolutely convince myself that I need to pass urine even just after having been to the toilet and it can become all-consuming.
Playing sports can be particularly frustrating. You might be just about to start a game of netball or run a half marathon and all you can think about is needing to use the toilet. You probably find yourself visiting the toilet a couple of times before and during the game (along with half your team mates!).
So remember this - Incontinence in women is not normal, but 1 in 3 women will struggle with bladder leaks. There are exercises that you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles but that might not work for everyone. There are pelvic floor trainers that you can use that can strengthen your pelvic floor. You are not alone, you do not need to feel embarrassed and ashamed. Unfortunately, urinary incontinence is more common than you think but most people don't like to talk about it.