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Regaining Confidence: Addressing Stress Urinary Incontinence through Expert Care
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October 31, 2023
Dr Hina

Stress urinary incontinence is a condition that causes the body to leak urine whenever pressure is placed on the bladder, and affects as many as 1 in 3 women. Some women experience leaks when they cough, laugh or sneeze, while others leak more during physical exertion such as running, lifting heavy objects, or jumping.

However it affects you, stress urinary incontinence can feel embarrassing and stop you from partaking in normal activities and social events. We want you to feel comfortable in your body, which is why this article aims to shed light on urinary incontinence and its treatments so that you can get back to doing what you love.

Who is Affected by Stress Urinary Incontinence?

If you struggle with stress urinary incontinence, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one. But that’s simply not true. With 1 in 3 women affected, this condition is extremely common. However, very few people talk about it because it can feel embarrassing or shameful – even though it shouldn’t be!

Those most commonly affected by stress urinary incontinence are: 

Older Women: the most common age bracket for stress urinary incontinence is 40 years and above (or around the time of menopause). This is due to the hormonal changes that a woman experiences at this time and the weakening of pelvic floor muscles. 

However, it is important to note that stress incontinence can occur at any age and that pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened to prevent the condition from developing.

Pregnant Women: many women who are pregnant are prone to stress urinary incontinence. This is due to the weight of the baby pressing on the bladder during pregnancy. This is why it is so important to keep up those pelvic floor exercises during this stage.

Postpartum Women: urinary incontinence is common after childbirth, particularly in women who’ve had a vaginal or instrumental delivery. This is because the baby has to fit through a very small space. Unfortunately, this can cause trauma to the perineal and also weaken the pelvic floor muscles significantly. However, don’t be disheartened as this problem will go away if pelvic floor exercises are kept up and once the body has been allowed time to heal.

Obese Women: women who have a higher body mass index (BMI) are more likely to experience symptoms of stress urinary incontinence. This is due to excess body weight putting pressure on the abdominal and pelvic organs, causing urine to leak throughout the day. Women with obesity will often be encouraged to lose weight to help relieve this issue.

How to Address Stress Incontinence

If you suffer from stress incontinence, you’re probably keen to fix the issue! After all, it’s hard to feel confident and comfortable in your own body when you feel out of control. Not to worry though, there are numerous ways you can address the symptoms of stress incontinence so that you can live a healthy and confident life.

Treating stress incontinence involves a multifaceted approach to ensure symptoms are kept at bay for the long-term. Incontinence in women should never be considered a normal part of the ageing process. Incontinence is very much avoidable with the proper precautions, lifestyle changes, exercises, and medical treatments.

Let’s take a look at ways to address stress incontinence.

Pelvic Floor Exercises (every day, forever…)

We know it’s not a particularly exciting topic, however doing your pelvic floor exercises really does matter! The pelvic floor is a muscle just like any other in your body and it needs working to stay strong. Doing your pelvic floor exercises strengthens those all important muscles and helps hold everything in place (including your urine!)

You should aim to do your pelvic floor exercises at least once a day. It will be easier to remember if you get into a routine – for example, doing your exercises while brushing your teeth or driving to work. The convenient thing about pelvic floor exercises is they can be done anywhere.

How to Do Pelvic Floor Exercises

Strengthening your pelvic floor takes time. What’s more, it takes practice to get really good at the exercises. So, whether you know how to do them or you’d like a little refresher, here’s a quick reminder: 

  1. Sit comfortably on a chair. Imagine that you are trying to stop yourself from opening your bowel. Squeeze the muscles around your back passage and hold for 10 seconds. You should be able to feel the muscle lift as you squeeze it. Your bottom should not move from the chair and your legs should remain still. Repeat this squeezing and lifting multiple times.
  2. Now, imagine you are passing urine. Try to stop the stream. Many women find this more challenging and it does take some practice. However, we recommend you don’t try this on the toilet as holding back urine can cause bladder infections.
  3. As the above becomes easier, you can then try to squeeze your back passage and vagina at the same time without moving your legs or tightening your buttocks. Remember, it takes practice so be patient. 

You should do your pelvic floor exercises daily to ensure you’re building up that muscle strength and keeping your pelvic floor healthy. And don’t be disheartened if you don’t notice a change right away. According to the NHS, “it takes time for exercises to make muscles stronger. You are unlikely to notice any improvement for several weeks – so stick at it! You will need to exercise regularly for at least 3 months before the muscles gain their full strength.” 

Femilift Treatment

If you’ve been struggling with stress urinary incontinence for some time and you want a solution that offers immediate relief, try Femilift. This revolutionary incontinence treatment is making waves in the industry and providing incredible relief for women all over the world.

Femilift is an incontinence treatment that does not involve surgery or time off work. It works by supporting the urethra and thickening the vaginal walls in order to strengthen the pelvic floor structure. This helps to restore urinary incontinence, strengthen muscles, and reduce leaks throughout the day. It has provided relief to thousands of women and you could be one of them!

Control Your Fluid Consumption

Many women with stress urinary incontinence limit their fluid intake to reduce their symptoms. After all, the less liquid in the bladder the fewer leaks, right? Well, technically yes. However, reduced fluid intake can contribute to dehydration and when this is prolonged, bladder infections and other issues can arise. And these bring with them a whole lot of discomfort!

A great solution is to take care when you drink throughout the day. For example, you may want to avoid drinking anything right before you go to bed or before you play sports. Being mindful of when you have a drink by following a drinking schedule and avoiding caffeinated, carbonated, and alcoholic beverages can go a long way towards reducing bladder leaks throughout the day.

Train Your Bladder

Bladder training is an effective way to address stress urinary incontinence. It involves frequently emptying the bladder and then trying to extend times between bathroom breaks over a number of weeks.

According to the NHS, “bladder retraining should be carried out in small stages. For example, if you find you are going to the toilet every half an hour, try extending the time (or ‘holding on’) by 10 minutes for a week, then by 15 minutes for a week, and then 30 minutes, etc. Ideally you should aim to hold on for 3-4 hours between toilet visits.”

Many women find that bladder training is an effective way to reduce their symptoms of stress urinary incontinence, making things better over time until the bladder functions normally.

Wear Pads or Period Pants

If your symptoms of stress urinary incontinence are more of a minor inconvenience, you might consider wearing pads or period pants to catch any leaks throughout the day. Although this is not a long-term solution, wearing pads or pants can give you the confidence to get on with your day. This should be in addition to adjusting your lifestyle and practising those pelvic floor exercises so that you can regain full bladder strength and control once again.

Speak with Your Doctor

If you have tried the above suggestions and you’re not noticing much improvement, it is worth speaking with your doctor. There are medications available to help your bladder hold more urine and reduce the symptoms of urgency and the likelihood of bladder leaks. These medications are typically available via prescription, as such it is always important to speak with your doctor so they can advise on the best option for you.

Final Words

Stress urinary incontinence doesn’t have to be a negative part of your life. There are steps you can take to reduce symptoms and get rid of this condition altogether.

We hope this article has helped shed some light on this common condition. Remember, you are not alone! There are many other women who struggle with urinary incontinence and are working (just like you) to change things for the better. 

Hopefully the tips we’ve shared in this article will help you address your incontinence issues so that you can live your life with confidence.

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