There is such a stigma attached to loss of bladder control and the shame of it is that there is almost always something that can be done. It is not discussed openly among sufferers, and as a result there are a lot of myths surrounding the problem.
Myth 1 – Having a problem with bladder control is a disease
Light bladder leakage is not a disease; it is a symptom or side effect of another medical condition. That’s why it is so important to check with your doctor/health care professional if you experience any type of LBL problem. Treating the ailment often alleviates light bladder leakage.
Myth 2 – Only old ladies have it!
Over one million women over the age of 35 in Australia and New Zealand experience LBL, yet the topic is still found to be difficult to discuss. Women are affected 8-9 times more often than men. Approximately 10% of men over 65 suffer from bladder leakage.
While the prevalence of LBL does increase with age, it most often starts in young women after they have a baby.
About 7% of children aged 5-11 experience bed-wetting! Without proper management, some of these children might develop urge incontinence later in life.
Myth 3 – “This is as bad as it will get” or “It will get better by itself”
Women who suffer from light bladder leakage generally report their symptoms to be worsening over time. The symptoms cannot simply go away by themselves unless you do something to help them do so!
Luckily there is almost always something that can be done for LBL. It’s just a matter of knowing where to go for help. Your doctor or health professional is always a good person to start with. If simple measures don’t seem to help, they can refer you to a physiotherapist or nurse continence advisor.
Myth 4 – Drinking less fluid will help
In fact, urine becomes more concentrated due to lack of fluid intake, which can then irritate the bladder and cause more serious problems such as infection and dehydration. In addition, inadequate fluid intake can cause constipation, which may also make matters worse.
Myth 5 – Protection for bladder control loss can’t be discreet
Advances in absorbent technology have made it possible to change big and bulky products into thin discreet pads and panty liners. Poise® Products are specifically designed to absorb urine, naturalise smell, and keep your skin dry. Ordinary sanitary products do not offer this type of protection.
Myth 6 – It’s time to slow down or alter routines
The last thing you want to do is let light bladder leakage get in the way of doing the things you love.
Bladder control loss can often be cured and is always manageable. It is really important that you strive to continue your usual sport and recreation activities. Maintaining your current physical activity levels will help you avoid putting on weight which can make LBL much more difficult to maintain.