Why is LBL so difficult to discuss?
For thousands of Australian women, their deepest, darkest secret doesn’t revolve around their age, dress size or undercover botox treatments, but rather an experience that is common among females of all ages: light bladder leakage, known as LBL.
Why is Light Bladder Leakage so Difficult to Discuss?
For some, the embarrassment of a leaky bladder—whether it’s a few drops escaping when they sneeze, cough or laugh out loud, a small trickle when they hear the tinkling of running water, or a tell-tale wet spot after gym or tennis —prevents them from talking to their friends or partner about it, let alone looking for answers or seeking help for what is a fairly easily managed and treated problem.
Yet in a society where commercials for toilet paper, tampons and impotence cures interrupt our favourite TV programmes on a nightly basis, and sex helps sell everything from magazines to real estate, many bladder treatment experts are aghast as why this issue isn’t talked about. Women need to know the facts about bladder leakage , including the causes such as prolapse and the triggers .
But why are females so coy about their bladder’s problems and the fact that they tend to leak because of normal life events such as childbirth, menopause and aging?
Female plumbing is still a taboo subject
The reality is that many females happily discuss their menstrual cycles, childbirth experiences and their sex lives – sometimes with people they barely know – but are uneasy or shy about discussing their bathroom habits even with those closest to them. Perhaps they’d be more inclined to share their experiences if they knew that light bladder leakage is much more widespread than they realise.
It’s such a common problem
While many women feel as if they’re the only one with this problem, the truth is that their friends and workmates may very well be living with it, too. In fact, one in four women over the age of 18 experience episodes of involuntary leaking of urine or female incontinence as it’s known, with 40 percent of menopausal women suffering the condition.
Perhaps the lack of girly chat about leaky bladders has something to do with the words themselves. ‘Leaky’, ‘bladder’ and ‘urine’ not only sound blokey and so decidedly unfeminine but also rather impolite. They are not words that women commonly use when talking amongst themselves or even with their partners.
We are inclined to use euphemisms when talking about our bodily functions. Especially as, in many social circles, it’s considered crass to discuss what goes on behind the closed door of one’s bathroom. Hence grandmothers use the expression “I’m going to powder my nose’, and a colleague might announce she needs to ‘use the bathroom’ when they need to urinate.
Older women may also be unaware of how far the treatments for light bladder leakage have come in the last 30 years and so believe they have no choice but to just silently put up with it.
For some, it’s a cultural thing, while other women simply don’t have a good understanding of the female anatomy. Or they may not feel relaxed talking to a male doctor about it. This is where finding a female gynaecologist, urogynaecologist, continence advisor or physiotherapist that specializes in bladder rehabilitation can make a big difference.
This country’s culture could also be at fault. Australia is one of the more reserved countries when it comes to this topic. But in Europe, organisations band together for educational purposes—and there’s no privacy barrier to break through. This is where the younger generation can step in and talk openly about the problem. Women in their late teens and twenties are famously more confident and upfront than their mothers and grandmothers when it comes to discussing their bodies and how they function or malfunction.
Look forward to a healthier and more active lifestyle
At the end of the day, bladder experts urge any woman who experiences light bladder leakage to get more information or consult her doctor. Although bladder leakage itself is not life threatening, it can affect your quality of life if it isn’t treated and managed. Not taking action could lead to depression, isolation, or even breakdown of an intimate relationship. What’s more, in rare cases, it can be a symptom of something more serious than a minor prolapse, so it’s important for women to pluck up the courage to talk it over with their medical practitioner or local continence advisor.
Start by reading the useful and enlightening online articles Poise provides about the subject, including details about the quality support teams available to you.