Fewer leaks? What are you talking about?
Actually, I’m talking about incontinence and perimenopause because the percentage of women who experience meno related bladder leakage is huge, but nobody wants to talk about the need for fewer leaks.
It’s as taboo as menopause.
According to a 2011 study by the Medical University of Vienna in Austria this issue is ‘considered significantly more embarrassing than depression or cancer’.
Indeed, the World Health Organisation recently listed incontinence as a major health issue.
Here are a few numbers:
- Three to six million people in the UK suffer incontinence
- 80% of Australians who live with incontinence are women
- 175,000 adult Kiwi women are bothered by a leaky bladder
- Globally, over half of the female population will experience leakage at some time in their lives
- An Australian study found that over a three month period, 50% of women aged 45-59 years of age experienced some degree of mild, moderate or severe urinary incontinence.
And guess what? Of those people, only about 30% seek treatment. So, can you see the need for fewer leaks?
Those are some pretty big numbers and while the problem isn’t life threatening it can certainly affect quality of life, self-esteem, sexual activity and depression – combine that with other meno signs and it’s not much fun at all.The World Health Organisation recently listed incontinence as a major health issue. Click To Tweet
How Does The Bladder Work?
The diagram from Continence.org.au above shows us the bladder is a storage organ that sits in your pelvis. They explain that urine is made by your kidneys and stored in the bladder until you are ready to empty it. When you go to the toilet your bladder outlet muscles (urethral sphincter and pelvic floor) relax and your bladder contracts (squeezes) emptying your bladder of urine. Your brain controls your bladder by sending messages to tell it when to hold on and when to empty.
Common Signs Of Bladder Issues
Passing urine frequently and rushing to the toilet (urgency) to pass urine are the most common signs.
- leakage of urine with coughs, sneezes, or exercise
- leakage of urine on the way to the toilet
- getting up twice or more overnight to pass urine
- frequent urinary tract infections
- being unable to control wind
What Happens During The Meno Years?
With age and perimenopause, the pelvic floor muscles begin to weaken. As your pelvic floor is crucial to controlling your bladder a weakness may cause more regular urges to go to the loo and less of an ability to ‘hold on’.
Over time the bladder also becomes less elastic so it doesn’t ‘stretch’ easily to accommodate the urine as it fills and may become irritated bringing on the urge to urinate.
Gaining weight can also create issues, as a significant amount of weight gain can put strain on your pelvic floor muscles and exacerbate their weakened ability to support your bladder.With age and perimenopause, the pelvic floor muscles begin to weaken. Click To Tweet
My Life With Elvie
I had no idea of all of these possible changes so when I began having untimely urges to go to the loo (when it was incredibly inconvenient). I didn’t know why. I tended to put it down to infection but it got worse and worse.
I tried doing Kegel exercises but I frequently forgot. Then I discovered Elvie. I was searching for some sort of help because I knew I was hopeless when it came to Kegels.According to the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, you need to do one hundred Kegels a day (it’s the movement you use to stop your urine midstream). Click To Tweet
Enter Elvie. A beautifully designed, state of the art pelvic floor trainer with app. It’s part of a new wave of feminine-tech offerings coming on the market designed by women for women. 😀
I can honestly say my Elvie changed my life. I used it religiously at first and as my signs improved I used it less often to keep toned. The good news is I’ve conquered my problem.
This is a great thing.
In fact, it’s a wonderful thing.😀
I read this on Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop
“We’re huge fans of Kegels here at goop and huge fans of the Elvie tracking device that makes getting to one hundred a day way easier. “It’s a wonderful little device,” gynaecologist Carolyn Delucia, the executive medical director at the VSpot MediSpa in New York enthuses. “Most women don’t know how to do Kegels correctly. They bear down, which doesn’t engage the muscles. Instead, they need to be lifting up. The Elvie teaches you how to do a Kegel correctly. Childbirth or no childbirth, the vaginal tissue naturally weakens over time; collagen and elasticity degrades.”
So I figure I’ve got a survival kit going on 😀. See below (you’re welcome)!