Poise® understands that the bladder weakness issues that affect women in one stage of their life, will be different from women in another stage. That’s why Poise® provides information specifically for the bladder control loss that is affecting you, as well as nutrition and lifestyle tips to help you manage your bladder control more effectively.
Women’s waterworks are more internalised than the male anatomy. While this has benefits, it also means the female bladder muscle structure is also internalised. This means bladder weakness (incontinence) can result from the other influences on the female body – Pregnancy, childbirth, illness and infections, and menopause.
Women’s bladder control loss most often occurs because the pelvic floor muscles, which are under your bladder and around your urethra, have been weakened and are now not strong enough to prevent urine escaping. To understand this information, it helps to familiarise yourself with the female anatomy:
- The kidneys filter urine from the blood and this is stored in your bladder.
- The bladder is a hollow muscular organ that holds the urine until you decide that you feel full (hopefully at about 300 ml).
- When you reach the toilet, you relax your pelvic floor muscles (the muscles under the bladder)and your brain gives permission for the bladder muscle to contract, squeezing the urine out through the urethra – the tube from the bladder to the outside.
- When the bladder muscle contracts, the muscle that holds the urethra shut during storage (called the sphincter), relaxes to allow the urine to pass through.
- The whole system is supported by the muscles of the pelvic floor that run from the tip of your tailbone through to the pubic bone (the front bone of your pelvis).
Woman who experience bladder leakage have weakened or damaged pelvic floor muscles, which under strain of other physical activity (exercising, coughing, lifting) cannot hold back the urine and may cause bladder pain.
Other women’s pelvic floor muscles may be weakened or damaged in a way that may not be able to sense when their bladders are full, or fully be able to control the sphincter muscle around the urethra. This leads to a difficulty in controlling urination and can come at regular intervals, or in a sudden gush.
One glass too many
Alcohol and Caffeine can seem to be essentials in a career girl’s life, but dehydrate the body and irritate the bladder.
Certain foods and drinks can irritate bladders. Citrus fruits, tomatoes or hot spices may be having this effect on you.
Take care, down there
Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement and wash the genital area after each bath or shower to avoid infections.
Keep up your fluids
It might seem annoying to go to the toilet every half hour, but concentrated urine can irritate the bladder and make things worse.
Pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic floor exercises performed throughout pregnancy results in improved bladder control and also can help during labour.
Get more fibre
With a growing baby, constipation can become a common pregnancy condition and can strain the pelvic floor.
Protein rich foods are used to rebuild and strengthen weak muscles, including your pelvic floor.
New Mums and exercise
Get back into exercising slowly but steadily. Losing the baby weight and getting all your muscles active will help your pelvic floor strengthen.
Pelvic floor exercises
It’s never too late to start repairing and strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, and get back in control of your bladder weakness.
Walking, yoga, and other regular exercise may ease some your menopause symptoms including your mood.
Keep your fluids up
Not drinking water can make the problem worse!
Watch your weight
Gaining weight can have a serious impact on your bladder and the supporting muscles of the pelvic floor.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek advice from a qualified health care professional with any questions regarding your concerns.