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Frequently Asked Questions

Urinary incontinence is sometimes a bit of a taboo subject. We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions to help you better understand the topic.

Understanding Incontinence

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence involves the leakage of urine from the bladder during movement and physical activity.

Laughter, sneezing, sport, heavy lifting, or mere standing or crouching can cause urine leaks ranging from a few drops to a squirt. It affects one in three women over 18*. You can read more on the topic here.

Do I have urinary incontinence?

The most decisive way to diagnose urinary incontinence is through your symptoms and a consultation with a medical expert.

Your doctor may suggest some lab tests, such as:

• Post-void residue to measure the quantity of urine remaining after urinating

• Take a urine test so you can rule out any possibility of a UTI

• Urinary stress test (you’ll be asked to stand with a full bladder and cough)

• Abdominal or pelvic ultrasound

• X-ray

• Cystoscopy (examination of the inside of the bladder)

• Urodynamic studies (to measure pressure and flow)

If you’d like to found out more, you can call the Continence Foundation of Australia helpline at 1800-33-00-66.

What are the types of incontinence?

The three most common types of urinary incontinence are:

  1. Stress incontinence – urine leaks during moments of bladder pressure
  2. Urge incontinence – sudden, intense urges to urinate followed by involuntary loss of urine
  3. Overflow incontinence – frequent dribbling of urine due to the bladder not completely emptying

You can read more about the types of incontinence here.

What activities trigger bladder leaks?

Light bladder leaks often occur when the pelvic floor muscles contract unexpectedly. Common triggers including laughing, coughing, sneezing, bending and lifting. However, you don’t have to avoid the comedy club just because you’re nervous to laugh.

Always Discreet enables you to go about your day with the confidence of protection against bladder leaks.

What is the normal amount of urine?

A healthy adult will typically urinate between 4 and 10 times a day, depending on fluid intake, but the average is between 6 and 8 times. A healthy stream usually lasts around 7 seconds, but this can vary quite a bit. The most obvious way to know if there is a problem is if your urge to pee is inconsistent with the passing of urine.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Do I need to see a doctor?

It is very important that you consult a professional to know if the problem originates in the pelvic floor. After being evaluated by a gynaecologist, you may need to also consult a specialised physical therapist to give you treatment.

What are some treatment methods for urinary incontinence?

Treatment will depend on the cause and type of incontinence. Mild cases can be treated with medication or physical therapy. In more extreme cases, the best treatment is surgery. In the meantime, you can make the most of the Always Discreet product range to help reduce some of the awkwardness and discomfort.

Does drinking less liquid help?

In short, no. Reducing your fluid intake will concentrate your urine much more. This can actually worsen your leakages as the bladder becomes irritated.

What are Kegel exercises and whom do they benefit?

Kegel exercises are physical exercises that you can do to enhance the strength of the muscles in the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor exercises can help women with urinary incontinence to regain bladder control (and there are also some nice benefits in the bedroom – like longer and more intense orgasms)

How to do pelvic floor exercises?

Pelvic floor exercises are sometimes known as Kegel exercises. They work to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. The exercises involve tensing and relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor. As you contract the muscles, avoid tensing your abdomen, thighs or buttocks and aim to breathe freely for the best results. We have a great guide here.

Causes of Incontinence

What are the main causes of urinary incontinence?

The causes of urinary bladder leaks vary greatly. The most common are weakness in the pelvic floor muscles, age, obesity and pregnancy.

How does incontinence relate to age?

Light bladder leaks can occur at any moment in life, regardless of age.

In fact, one in three women experience urinary incontinence over the age of 18. Younger people can have sporadic urine losses, often after an intense exercise routine. Smokers, even if they are young, are also more likely, as they cough more often and that can relax your pelvic muscles. Incontinence is more likely to develop in later life due to natural changes in the bladder tissue and muscles. However, bladder leaks can be experience by all women of all ages and its normal!

Does urinary incontinence only occur in older women?

No, urinary incontinence can occur to women of all ages. It affects one in three women over the age of 18. Pregnant and postpartum women often experienced higher rates of incontinence.

Does pregnancy leave a lasting problem with urinary incontinence?

During pregnancy, the body changes not only physically, but also from a hormonal point of view. Hormonal changes, along with the pressure the uterus exerts on the bladder and the effort of delivery, weaken the pelvic floor muscles. But it’s worth noting, that even those who experience very heavy leakage just after giving birth will typically recover significantly in the first six months. As the pelvic floor tissues, muscles and nerves mend, you should regain bladder control. Regular pelvic floor exercises will help strengthen the muscles and improve this control.

Can incontinence come and go?

Depending on the cause, yes. Stress incontinence can come and go with sickness and certain exercises. While urge incontinence can be worse during periods of cold weather and some dietary factors like increased fluid intake.

Are there foods that can influence my urinary incontinence?

Excessive consumption of coffee, tea or alcohol can contribute to light bladder leaks.

Do only women experience urinary incontinence?

Women are more likely to experience urinary incontinence due to difference in internal organs. Especially because one of the main causes is childbirth. However, men can also experience bladder leaks and incontinence.

Does menopause worsen urinary incontinence?

Your oestrogen levels tend to drop during menopause. The lack of oestrogen during menopause means that your pelvis muscles are a bit weaker than normal and you can’t control your bladder as you normally would. You might experience heightened symptoms of urinary incontinence during menopause.

Our Products

Which product should I use while experiencing incontinence?

The type of product you use will depend on the amount of leakage you are experience. Different absorbency levels are symbolized by droplets printed on the side of each of our packages. The more filled-in droplets, the higher the absorbency level. A sizing chart on each package also helps you choose your perfect fit.

Where to buy incontinence pads?

Always Discreet products can be purchased from Australian Grocery and Pharmacy stores.You can also buy here.

How can I tell the front from the back for Always Discreet liners and pads?

It does not matter which direction you place the product in your panties.

How do I know what size Always Discreet underwear I should buy?

Available in Medium and Large, our sizing chart is on the back of every incontinence underwear package for easy reference. Use it as a guide to choose the size you should try first. Don't let the stigma of adult diapers stop you from trying Always Discreet underwear. Our underwear is created to fit smoothly under clothes, just like normal underwear.

Can Always Discreet be used for my period as well, or should I use a menstrual product for my period?

The entire line of Always Discreet urinary incontinence products is specifically designed to handle urine, which is a thinner, less viscous fluid than menstrual fluid. While we understand that some women have used Always Discreet for their menstrual needs, and it is perfectly safe to do so, we recommend using a menstrual product for your period as it is designed specifically to handle the thicker, more viscous fluid.

Where can I find reliable sources of information and help about caring for people with incontinence?

We have lots of information available on our website that can help you understand the ins and outs of urinary incontinence. If you need additional assistance, we recommend the Continence Foundation of Australia. They also offer a helpline for free on 1800-33-00-66.

*Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Report, 2006

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More Tips to Manage Incontinence

Pelvic Floor Exercises

What is Incontinence?

Types of Incontinence