(This post is in collaboration with The Continence Foundation)
Ladies, we need to talk!
There is a ‘wee’ matter that needs to be discussed right now, and there is a very good chance that you are one of the 4.8 million Australians that suffer every single day with incontinence. If you are one of the lucky ones that do not have an issue with bladder leakage it is more than likely that someone near and dear to you does.
Is that information you share with others, or do you keep it to yourself?
Have you made a joke of your condition to hide your embarrassment?
It’s no laughing matter, but an actual medical condition that you do not have to put up with for the rest of your life. There are plenty of women who have all but given up on exercise and even hesitate to accept social invitations due to bladder leakage concerns.
I was quite lucky that both of my two daughters decided to escape the oven and join the world 5 weeks prematurely so they were not very big and no damage was done. The only time I noticed that I did not have full control over my bladder was if I coughed or sneezed first thing in the morning. So many years ago I started doing pelvic floor exercises, not quite as regularly as I should, but never the less, I am fortunate that now in my early 50’s I have no issues with bladder leakage.
The same can’t be said for my little run in with a fibroid the size of a tennis ball that caused an enormous amount of grief including almost going in to renal failure from excessive blood loss. All because I would not book myself in for a hysterectomy as I was worried about how the girls would get to school, who would cook dinner and clean the house. Such trivial excuses for putting off an operation that I really needed. My stupidity could have had dire consequences, but thankfully did not and surprise, surprise the girls got to school everyday, we ate dinner every night and even the sheets got changed thanks to friends and family that were happy to help out.
Whilst bladder leakage is not life threatening, 72% of women will not seek help to overcome this issue as they are always putting others before themselves. We are so good at making sure everyone around is well cared for, but why is it that our needs get put on the backburner?
Around 85% of women who live with incontinence everyday believe that it is simply the price we pay for getting older or for having children. You simply have to walk into the supermarket today and see that an ever expanding range of products is now available to help with catching the flow and reducing the risk of odour release. Every female spends a large amount of money on sanitary products every year and then add a selection of incontinence pads to the mix and we are doing a really good job of boosting the profit margins of the producers of these items.
The really good news is that there are treatments for bladder leakage that are very successful and don’t require surgery. With a few easy to manage life style changes and pelvic floor exercises done very regularly, so many women could throw those incontinence pads into the bin for good. You can start doing your exercises today and if you don’t know how, here is a handy guide to help you.
Today marks the start of World Continence Week, why not make this the week you start taking care of yourself for a change. There are plenty of ways to start the ball rolling. Make a call to the National Continence Hotline on 1800 330066, visit the Continence Foundation Of Australia website or make an appointment with your GP.
Please make this week that you take action and get this ‘wee’ issue under control!
Be honest, do you have a ‘wee’ problem?