Have you heard the one about the woman who peed her pants?
Probably not, because it’s not often joked about.
But physiotherapist Elaine Miller is tackling the taboo of female incontinence in a stand-up comedy show.
The 45-year-old mum of three describes herself as a “recovered incontinent” and she is hoping her approach to discussing incontinence will help women who are suffering in silence.
One in three women suffer from incontinence and, on average, they wait seven years to get help.
Elaine said, “There is a perception that it’s an inevitable consequence of ageing or parenthood but that’s not true. There is no need to put up with it.”
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.
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 and LifeSense Group B.V. have signed a partnership for distribution of Carin wearables in the UK. Carin’s washable smart underwear and pelvic floor exercise programme helps 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.
For LifeSense Group this is a fantastic opportunity to broaden activities within Europe. Vale Pop (CEO, LifeSense Group) comments: “Carin is in good hands at Allanda. They have a large database of customers and knows how to keep them satisfied. We think they can bring Carin to a larger public of users and contribute to our mission to empower more women around the globe”.
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.
After our recent post about Incontinence Exercises for Men, we’ve had lots of requests for information about Incontinence Exercises for Women.
These are fairly well documented but we thought it worth repeating them anyway.
The most important exercise for women to do is daily pelvic floor exercises (otherwise) known as Kegel Exercises. Pelvic floor exercises can be really effective at reducing leakage, but it’s important to do them properly. Remember that you may have to do pelvic floor exercises for several months before you see any benefits
Find out how to do pelvic floor exercises.
Pelvic Floor Exercises are most suitable for Stress Incontinence but may also help with Urge Incontinence, however the most effective treatment for Urge incontinence is bladder retraining.
Other things you can also do to help improve incontinence are:
– Stop smoking. Coughing as a result of smoking puts strain on your pelvic floor muscles and can cause leaks.
– Avoid lifting. Lifting also puts strain on the pelvic floor muscles, so avoid it where possible. If you do need to lift something heavy then tighten your pelvic floor muscles before and during the lift.
– Lose weight. Being overweight can weaken your pelvic floor muscles and cause incontinence, because of the extra pressure on the bladder. If this is the cause of incontinence then the condition may improve with weight loss.
– Avoid constipation. Straining to empty the bowel can weaken the pelvic floor muscles and makes leakage worse, eating more fibre and taking more exercise can help
– Cut down on caffeine. This irritates the bladder and can make incontinence worse. Coffee, Fizzy drinks, tea and hot chocolate contain caffeine, so cut down on these and replace them with water or herbal/fruit teas.
– Reduce alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a diuretic, which makes you urinate more often so reducing alcohol may reduce incontinence.
– Drink plenty of water. Many people with urinary incontinence cut down on fluids, as they believe it can reduce the risk of incidents, however this can lead to de-hydradation and constipation making the problem worse. Limiting fluid intake may also reduce the bladder’s capacity making incontinence worse.
It is also good to remember that high-impact exercise such as jogging or aerobics puts pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and can increase leakage. Sit-ups can also strain pelvic floor muscles. To strengthen the pelvic floor to relieve incontinence symptoms, then try replacing high impact exercises with Pilates. Pilates focuses on strengthening the core muscles and doing this can be an effective treatment for stress incontinence.