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What is Incontinence?

Wetting yourself laughing can be the sign of a really good joke, but it can also be the sign of something a bit less funny… Urinary incontinence occurs when urine is released from the bladder involuntarily. This can range from just a little leak to full loss of bladder control.

More than one in three women over the age of 18 are dealing with incontinence of some kind.

There are three main kinds of urinary incontinence: stress, urge, and overflow. You can read more about the types of incontinence here.

Incontinence Symptoms

Loss of urine constitutes the primary symptom of urinary incontinence; however, you can identify other associated symptoms that indicate a loss of bladder control. Some of which include the following:

• Inability to urinate – you might feel the urge to wee, but simply can’t.

• Discomfort related to a full bladder – discomfort caused when urinating (without bladder infection).

• Weak urine stream – this can be accompanied by the feeling of not having emptied the bladder completely.

• Needing to use the toilet more than usual – throughout the day or night (without bladder infection).

• Having to run to the toilet – the intense urge to urinate can be awkward, and nobody wants to be seen hurling through the office in the direction of the bathrooms.

• Urine leakage – the most common symptom is the leaking of urine (with to without the presence of a hilarious joke).

Incontinence Issues and Causes

In the majority of cases, urinary incontinence is caused by weakness of the pelvic floor muscles, which can be the result of the following causes of urinary incontinence:

Delaying urination – the tendency to delay the urge to urinate is widespread. Whether you’re on a roll at work or your favourite song has just come on in the club, denying the urge to pee can cause problems. The habit of holding until the last second may promote the occurrence of UTIs and urinary incontinence.

Age – another year older means another year wiser but it can take its toll on the pelvic muscles. Some of the pelvic floor muscles and tissues lose elasticity with time, causing the mechanisms of the urinary system to weaken.

Pregnancy and Postpartum – pregnancy is another one of the principle causes of urinary incontinence. During pregnancy, the pelvic floor muscles are weakened due to the weight and pressure exerted by the baby. Childbirth can also cause the alteration (and sometimes tearing) of muscle fibres. In addition, the episiotomy, which is the cut that is made in the muscle to facilitate the baby's exit, also directly affects the muscles of bladder control.

Menopause – during ‘that time of the month’, females produce increased levels of oestrogen. Oestrogen controls and regulate menstrual periods and body changes during pregnancy and lactation. A lack of oestrogen causes the bladder muscles to weaken and lose elasticity, leading to the onset of urine losses.

Other factors – obesity, constipation and some medications can also be the cause of urinary incontinence. Keep in mind that small urine losses are temporary, treatable and reversible.

Incontinence Help

The last thing you want is to be distracted from your day due to bladder leakage. We want to give you the peace of mind so you can forget about awkward bladders leaks and enjoy the everyday activities you love. Incontinence can make you feel a bit nervous to take on the tasks of your day. But this doesn’t need to be the case. Far from it!

There are many products and tools at your disposal for dealing with incontinence so you can keep living life to the fullest.

Incontinence is very common across all ages, affecting one in three women over 18. It is a common issue faced young, vibrant, active women as well as elder… vibrant, active women! This doesn’t fit the image many people have of a person dealing with incontinence. We want to break down the stereotypes of incontinence and get to how we can make things better for every woman. Some actions you can take to deal with your little leaks include:

Start doing pelvic floor exercises.

The pelvic floor is a system of muscles, ligaments, and nerves that creates a basket of support for our bladder. Fitting these exercises into your routine can be pretty straightforward. As you’re sitting at your desk, flex and release the muscles used to hold in urine. Do this at least three times a day.

Avoid foods that irritate the bladder.

This might mean limiting alcohol, caffeine, citrus, and chocolate (at least a little bit!), as all of these foods affect the acidity of urine, ultimately irritating an already sensitive bladder. Keep a journal for a week in which you document what you eat, when you eat it, and how often you feel the urge to urinate. This may help you identify correlations between the food you eat and the intensity of your incontinence so that corrections can be made to your menu.

Hydrate!

While drinking too much of anything will create an urge to go, a critical tool for dealing with incontinence is to consume plenty of water. Sure, this may sound counterintuitive. After all, if you feel like you have to urinate, it might make sense to limit your fluid intake. However, not drinking enough water results in highly concentrated urine, which will irritate your bladder. If you leak overnight, you may wish to cut back in the evenings to increase your chances of making it through the night without having to get up to go. If this is the case, be sure to frontload your fluids during the day to stay hydrated, drinking more fluids than you do in the evening to stay hydrated.

Establish a bathroom routine

Staying on a bathroom schedule can serve to alleviate some of the urgency associated with having an overactive bladder. Start by visiting the bathroom every hour and see how you feel. Gradually over time, you should increase the time between each. Bladder training of this kind can be helpful for dealing with incontinence. You may be able to train your bladder to go at specific intervals, bringing a level of predictability to your bathroom needs.

Get moving

Weight management can help alleviate the symptoms of adult incontinence as extra pounds put pressure on the bladder’s muscles, which can lead to stress incontinence. Simply going for a walk and taking in the sun can be a great way to get moving.

Wear protection

Specially designed Always Discreet liners and pads provide comfort and peace of mind for those moments in which you won’t be able to make it to the bathroom despite your best efforts. Not all liners and pads are created equal. Some are designed for dealing with incontinence, and others are not. Some women, reluctant to purchase incontinence products due to either stigma or inconvenience, wear period liners to address their incontinence. However, period liners are not uniquely designed to absorb urine, and may leave you feeling wet. Always Discreet pads and liners are designed differently – the super absorbent core quickly turn liquid to gel and neutralizes odours, leaving you worry-free to focus on doing what you love. Always Discreet liners ,pads plus and pads are thin, comfortable, and stay in place so you can go about your day confident and worry-free. We also have a range of incontinence undergarments called Always Discreet underwear. Our incontinence underwear has a higher absorption capacity than pads and liners, for heavier bladder leaks.

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More Tips to Manage Incontinence

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Frequently Asked Questions

Types of Incontinence