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Read a real life story of how Carin underwear can empower you!

19.10.2016 | Posted in: Bladder Weakness, Incontinence Exercises, Pelvic Floor Exercises, Pelvic Floor Muscles, Wasahble Incontinence | Author: Colin

Allanda now supply Carin’s washable smart underwear and pelvic floor exercise programme, which help women regain bladder control and confidence in everyday life. We are proud to introduce Carin within our diverse portfolio of wearables promoting a ‘care to cure’ approach.

Click here to read Natasja story.

 

How to improve your bladder control

28.09.2016 | Posted in: Advice, Incontinence Exercises, Pelvic Floor Exercises, Pelvic Floor Muscles | Author: Colin

Around 11million men and women suffer from weakened pelvic floor muscles, but there are ways to get them back in shape.

A weak bladder might be more common than hay fever but it’s still a hugely taboo subject.

So women everywhere applauded Hollywood actress Kate Winslet when she talked openly about her post-children bladder problems.

In a TV interview last November the Oscar winner, 40, confessed: “I can’t jump on trampolines anymore – I wet myself. It’s bloody awful, especially if you’re wearing a skirt. When you’ve had a few children it’s just what happens.”

A third of British women admit they’ve suffered from stress incontinence after a fit of the giggles or an exercise session.

And although more commonly ­associated with women following ­childbirth, stress incontinence is a problem that can affect both sexes, with one in 10 men in the UK also affected, most often following prostate surgery.

Why it happens to women

Stress incontinence occurs when urine leaks out at times when the bladder is under pressure – this can be from laughing, coughing or from any exercise that involves jumping.

For women this usually happens because the pelvic floor muscles that support the urethra have been damaged by pregnancy or childbirth, or have lost tone following the drop in hormones after the menopause.

Alongside stress incontinence, there’s a related condition also caused by ­weakened pelvic floors known as ‘urge incontinence’ – which causes a sudden sense of urgency forcing sufferers to rush to the toilet with little warning, or risk wetting themselves.

How men can be affected

For men, bladder weakness most commonly occurs after prostate surgery and can be one of the biggest challenges to overcome during the recovery process.

Like women, men can also suffer from age-related loss of pelvic muscle tone. This is because the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body, is shaped like a U-bend. In younger men the surrounding muscles contract strongly, helping expel the last drop of urine stuck in the bottom of the U-bend. However, with age these muscles can weaken, meaning some urine gets left behind. As a man walks away from the toilet, the movement stimulates the urethra to push out and leak the last bit of urine.

What you can do

There’s good robust evidence that physiotherapy – exercises targeted to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles – will improve symptoms for 75% of people with bladder incontinence.

Allanda introduces Carin underwear to its range!

14.09.2016 | Posted in: Pelvic Floor Exercises, Products, Training, Washable Incontinence | Author: Colin

Further to our announcement last month that we have signed a partnership with LifeSense Group B.V. for distribution of Carin wearables in the UK, we are delighted to announce that the Carin washable smart underwear is now in stock.

Carin is a unique product designed and developed for women with urine loss who want to regain control over their bladder. Carin is a 100% natural approach to heal your bladder and regain control by strengthening your pelvic floor with this unique combination:

  • Exercise app – a personal trainer for your pelvic floor.
  • Wearable sensor – shows you how well you are doing and what progress you are making.
  • Carin Protective underwear – absorbing, washable underwear that keeps you dry even after losses, and works with the wearable sensor to measure progress.

For more information or to place an order, please click here.

Yoga may help reduce side effects of prostate cancer treatment

02.12.2015 | Posted in: Bladder Incontinence, Incontinence Exercises, Pelvic Floor Exercises, Pelvic Floor Muscles, Prostrate, Uncategorized | Author: Colin

Male patients who undergo radiation therapy for their prostate cancer can turn to practicing yoga to help reduce the adverse effects typically associated with the treatment, according to a recent study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania.

Scientists from UPenn’s Perelman School of Medicine examined the impact of Eischens yoga on prostate cancer by having 68 individuals diagnosed with the condition to participate in 75-minute yoga classes twice a week.

The researchers monitored the impact of the exercise on the prostate cancer patients through a set of questions that determined their fatigue levels, urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and their overall quality of life.

The team chose to measure these factors as they are some of the side effects most often seen in men with prostate cancer.

They also made use of Eischens yoga because of its sustainability for people of different body types, fitness levels and experience.

By the end of the program, the researchers found that prostate cancer patients who were able to complete the Eischens yoga classes while receiving radiation therapy had better results in terms of their urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

The UPenn believe the positive findings could be a result of yoga’s focus on strengthening an individual’s pelvic floor muscles and improving the flow of blood. This is viewed as a way to help reduce the impact of erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.

Incontinence Exercises for Men

02.06.2015 | Posted in: Advice, Male Incontinence, Pelvic Floor Exercises | Author: Colin

It’s not just women who can benefit from pelvic floor exercises. They are just as simple for men to do as well, and they can have a similar benefit in increasing bladder control and reducing incidents.

You can read more about incontinence exercises for men in our help and advice section. But in the meanwhile let TENA Men’s ambassador, Stirling Gravitas, show you how easy it can be.

Pelvic Floor exercises effective at treating incontinence

18.09.2012 | Posted in: Advice, Allanda, Bladder Training, Incontinence, Pelvic Floor Exercises, Pelvic Floor Muscles | Author: Colin

If you are suffering with urinary incontinence, you need to look at pelvic floor exercises and bladder training.  You may have read previous articles about these exercises but if you had not taken previous research findings seriously, a July 2012 review by the American based Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) should give you more reason to start pelvic floor (otherwise know kegel) exercises.

According to the review, about 25% of young women and 44% to 57% of middle-aged and postmenopausal women experience involuntary urine loss. Their findings show that age, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, hysterectomy, and obesity put women at a higher risk of suffering from urinary incontinence.

Fortunately, there are several forms of treatment for women suffering from urinary incontinence.  An independent team of investigators analysed 889 studies and prepared a comparative effectiveness review. The AHRQ review compared different treatments for urinary incontinence that included doing pelvic floor muscle (Kegel) exercises, bladder training; using medical devices, weight loss, medications and electrical stimulation, among others.

They found that “pelvic floor muscle training, combined with bladder training is effective for treating women with urinary incontinence without the risk of side effects. The drugs for urgency incontinence showed similar effectiveness. However, with some drugs, more women discontinued treatment due to bothersome side effects.”

Julie Goodyear talks about continence issues

05.09.2012 | Posted in: Advice, Female Incontinence, Incontinence, Mixed Incontinence, Pelvic Floor Exercises, Stress Incontinence, Urge Incontinence, Urinary Incontinence | Author: Colin

Julie Goodyear has been causing havoc in the Celebrity Big Brother house.

“I sneeze, I pee,” she announced to fellow housemates, flicking away any embarrassment at suffering from urinary incontinence as if it were ash at the end of her trademark cigarette holder. In doing so she highlighted the millions of Britons who have poor bladder control.

It is estimated 14 million people in the UK have urinary incontinence and although it can occur at any time of life problems are most likely in middle age. One in five women over the age of 40 experience problems although men can also be affected, particularly if they have undergone prostate surgery.

However, as Julie, 70, has shown, there is no need to suffer in silence and there are many ways to deal with the problem.

Professor Linda Cardozo, an expert in urogynaecology at King’s College Hospital in London, says: “There is not one solution for everyone but there is help for absolutely everybody.”

There are four types of incontinence: stress, which causes leaks when you cough, sneeze or laugh; urgency, which is characterised by a sudden compelling need to pass urine; mixed, which is a combination of the two; and overflow, which occurs when the bladder overfills  but there is no corresponding urge to urinate.

Childbirth increases the risk of problems. A Norwegian study published in the New England Journal Of Medicine found 10 per cent of childless women experience problems compared to 16 per cent of those who had children via caesarean and 21 per cent who had a vaginal delivery.

Other factors include loss of muscle tone as we age, obesity and lifestyle. Smokers like Julie are more likely to suffer because of their chronic cough. Constipation can also increase pressure on the bladder. White wine, champagne and caffeine-based drinks are the most irritating for the bladder but the fashion for downing copious amounts of water doesn’t help either.“Women often drink far more than they ought to. There is absolutely no need to drink all that sippy mineral water,” Professor Cardozo says.

“In a temperate climate the fluid intake recommended by renal physicians is 24mls per kilogram of body weight. For the average woman that would equate to 1,200 to 1,500mls a day.”

Diet versions of popular carbonated drinks are also more likely to cause problems than standard sugary ones. “The diet drinks are better for teeth and weight but they are not better for your bladder,” Professor Cardozo says.

Some forms of exercise are bad news. “Trampolining is about the worst, 70 per cent of women will leak when they are on a trampoline.” High-impact aerobics and weight training can also cause leaks but exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor, the sling of muscles which holds the bladder in place, will help reduce symptoms if you do them regularly. Professor Cardozo says pelvic toning devices may help, if only to identify the right muscles to flex and relax.

If in doubt ask your GP for a referral to a member of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Women’s Health or search their website for a local one.

Incontinence specialists can offer distraction techniques such as sitting on the edge of a hard chair and other tips to minimise the risk of accidents.

If the problem is more troublesome you may be prescribed antimuscarinic drugs that suppress involuntary bladder contractions. A new class of drug which regulates nerve signals to the bladder will be available within a year or two.

Botox and other forms of botulinum A toxins are another option: injected into the wall of the bladder they can prevent for up to a year the muscle spasms which trigger leaks.

Surgical solutions involve slings to support the bladder, procedures to lift the neck of the bladder or placing a tape under the urethra which blocks urine if the pelvic floor drops. “It works like a hosepipe when kinked,” Professor Cardozo explains.

“The most important thing to remember is there is help available. Urinary incontinence is no longer such a taboo because there are so many high profile people who have now admitted to having problems.”

Two simple ways to tackle incontinence

17.08.2012 | Posted in: Advice, Bladder Training, Incontinence, Pelvic Floor Exercises, Pelvic Floor Muscles | Author: Colin

There is no reason why anyone should have to feel embarrassed about incontinence, but it continues to be a common chronic health condition that diminishes quality of life.

Many women experience urinary incontinence for the first time during or after pregnancy. The physical changes of pregnancy, along with the stresses put on the pelvic floor, can cause urine leakage with exertion, coughing or sneezing. For many women, this problem resolves within several months postpartum. However, without treatment, some women may continue to have a chronic incontinence issues for life.

There are two main types of urinary incontinence, listed below. Some women develop a mix of the two.

Stress Urinary Incontinence

Causes:
-A weak pelvic floor.
-Urethral sphincter dysfunction.

Women who have stress incontinence experience urine leakage when pressure is put on the bladder during laughing, coughing, sneezing, or with exercise.

Urge Urinary Incontinence

Causes:
-Pregnancy or pelvic surgery such as C-section.
-Injury to pelvic area.
-Diseases such as diabetes, stroke, MS or other neurological conditions.

This condition is more commonly called ”overactive bladder.” Urge incontinence occurs when there is nerve dysfunction that causes bladder contractions outside of normal urination. Women with urge incontinence find that they have episodes where they experience an extremely strong and immediate need to urinate. The bladder contractions can make it difficult to make it to a bathroom.

Treatment
The first line of treatment is to strengthen the pelvic floor to help provide greater support and control. The pelvic floor muscles play an important role throughout a woman’s life in maintaining proper alignment of the spine and support and function of the pelvic organs. The muscles of the pelvic floor span from the pubic bone to tailbone, forming a figure eight around the urethra, vagina and anus. Weak pelvic muscles result in sagging and loss of support of the pelvic organs, and can lead to incontinence problems if not corrected.

Pelvic floor exercises (sometimes called “Kegel” exercises) are a great way to strengthen these muscles and are simple to perform, but require that you first identify how to correctly contract the pelvic floor muscles. One method for locating the pelvic floor muscles is to note the area that contracts when you stop urinating. The muscles responsible for stopping urine flow are the pelvic floor muscles. You can use the urine stop-and-start test when initially learning how to locate and isolate the muscle group.

Pelvic Floor Exercises
Two or three times a day, do 5-10 repetitions of each exercise listed below. Build up to two times a day of 25-50 repetitions of each exercise. If your pelvic floor muscles fatigue quickly, do fewer repetitions each time, but increase the frequency throughout the day.

Quick Flicks:
Contract your pelvic floor muscles quickly and release.

Elevator:
Slowly contract your pelvic floor muscles (think of lifting up like an elevator moving up floors), progressively increasing your contraction, and then slowly releasing back down. You can increase the effectiveness of this exercise by holding for five seconds at the top of the contraction.

Your abdomen, buttocks, and thighs should not be tensed when doing these exercises.  Lie, sit, or stand with your legs slightly apart so you can isolate the correct area. No one will be able to tell that you are doing these exercises, so you can do them anywhere. It’s helpful to give yourself a ”cue” to do your exercises; for example, try to remind yourself to do them while brushing your teeth or driving to work. You should contract your pelvic floor muscles each time you lift something, laugh, sneeze, or cough to provide support and prevent further weakening.

Increasing pelvic floor strength is helpful for reducing stress incontinence, and the exercises can be part of the treatment for those with ”overactive bladder” or urge incontinence issues.

In addition, those with urge incontinence can improve the condition with the following bladder-retraining program:

1. When you feel a strong bladder urge, stop and stand (or preferably sit) very still.
2. Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles 5-6 times to prevent leaking.
3. Relax by taking a deep breath and exhaling several times until the urge reduces.
4. Slowly walk to the bathroom. If the urge suddenly becomes strong again, go back through the steps to regain control and retrain your bladder response.

Additional treatments can range from biofeedback and behavior interventions to medications and surgery. The key for effectively treating an incontinence problem is proper diagnosis and follow-up with a healthcare provider who is trained to treat this condition.

Remember, if you suffer from incontinence, you are not alone! It is an easily solvable and common problem that you don’t need to feel ashamed of.

 

Survey shows benefit of Pelvic Floor Exercises for Urinary Incontinence

15.08.2012 | Posted in: Advice, Allanda, Bladder Training, News, Pelvic Floor Exercises, Pelvic Floor Muscles, Urinary Incontinence | Author: Colin

A July 2012 review by the American based Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) should give you more reason to start pelvic floor (otherwise known as kegel) exercises.

According to the review, about 25% of young women and 44% to 57% of middle-aged and postmenopausal women experience involuntary urine loss. Their findings show that age, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, hysterectomy, and obesity put women at a higher risk of suffering from urinary incontinence. Fortunately, there are several forms of treatment for women suffering from urinary incontinence.

An independent team of investigators analysed 889 studies and prepared a comparative effectiveness review. The AHRQ review compared different treatments for urinary incontinence that included doing pelvic floor muscle (Kegel) exercises, bladder training; using medical devices, weight loss, medications and electrical stimulation, among others.

They found that “pelvic floor muscle training, combined with bladder training is effective for treating women with urinary incontinence without the risk of side effects.  The drugs for urgency incontinence showed similar effectiveness. However, with some drugs, more women discontinued treatment due to bothersome side effects.”

Some information to help solve incontinence worries

06.08.2012 | Posted in: Advice, Allanda, Female Incontinence, Incontinence, Incontinence Pads, Incontinence Pants, Male Incontinence, male incontinence, Pelvic Floor Exercises, Prostrate, Stress Incontinence, Urge Incontinence, Urinary Incontinence | Author: Colin

Urinary incontinence is more common than reported. Regrettably, many people suffer in silence and restrict their daily activities. Yet incontinence is often easily managed and treated, indeed, experts have shown that nearly 80% of people with poor bladder control can be cured or improve.

Bladder control is a problem for women and men, and some young people. Experts estimate that four out of five incontinence patients are women — especially those who have had pregnancies or who are elderly.

Urine leakage is the symptom of a medical problem. Diabetes, strokes or Parkinson’s can damage nerves. A bladder infection or irritation (like a kidney stone) can scar the urethra (the tube that moves urine from the bladder). Childbirth can weaken muscles, stretch tendons, or damage nerves. Drugs like diuretics can increase bladder activity. It can be hard to get to a toilet if severe arthritis slows walking, or if medication makes a person confused or sleepy. Lower estrogen during menopause can weaken the vaginal canal.

There are several types of incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when pressure on the bladder causes a loss of control and leakage. This often occurs when a person sneezes, laughs, falls, runs, exercises or lifts a heavy object. Urge incontinence is different; the bladder becomes overactive, perhaps from a spasm. The sudden urge to go makes a person rush to the toilet. Overflow incontinence can occur when the bladder will not empty and urine builds. Something might prevent the bladder from emptying, such as constipation, an enlarged prostate, or scar tissue.

Pelvic surgery and trauma can affect the nerves, muscles, and structure of the pelvic area.

For women, the trauma of childbirth and carrying a baby can reduce support of pelvic organs, affect the bladder, and injure nerves. After a pregnancy, weak muscles can also cause the bladder or uterus to drop out of place and bulge into the vaginal canal or press down on the rectum.

For men, especially older men, an enlarged prostate or prostate surgery can weaken muscles or cause nerve damage. The surgeon might widen a passage for urine or use techniques to shrink an enlarged prostate gland. Men can need surgery for prostate cancer. At times, surgery results in complications such as impotence or incontinence

There are many urological tests that can help specialists learn the specific problem or problems causing leakage. Urodynamics tests are helpful to see how efficiently a bladder fills and empties.

However, don’t assume that incontinence is a problem that you must just accept.

Don’t be embarrassed to get help. Specialists (urologists for men and women, or urogynecologists for women) can do tests to pinpoint medical problems. Finfing the right solution depends on identifying the real problem.

Don’t be afraid to be honest with your doctor or nurse, give a complete history so they have all the information to make a correct diagnosis. Don’t be surpised to be asked for a physical examination and to provide a urine sample.

Look for habits that you can change to manage leakage. Some people improve by avoiding caffeine, alcohol and certain drugs, and by limiting fluids at night before bedtime. A diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can reduce constipation. Drink enough fluids in the daytime to avoid urinary tract infections and constipation.

If you weigh too much, lose weight. A large belly puts pressure on the pelvic muscles. Excess weight can cause both stress and urge incontinence.

For urge incontinence, create a regular schedule to empty your bladder, starting at every two hours. Over time, you can increase the time between trips to the bathroom. This schedule can retrain your bladder to control urges.

Regardless of your age or sex, force yourself to do Pelvic Floor (Kegel) exercises. They can strengthen muscles to support the bladder and control leakage. Don’t just blame old age or being out of shape for your poor bladder control.

If you are a young woman, start doing Kegel exercises before getting pregnant. Strong pelvic muscles will serve you throughout your life and could make the effects of childbirth less difficult.

If a treatment does not work well for you, don’t be afraid to ask for another option and remember that there are many ways to manage incontinence alongside incontinence pads and incontinence pants.