Incontinence, one of Australia’s biggest health issues, is more prevalent than asthma (2 million), anxiety disorders (2.3 million) and arthritis (3.1 million), with 4.8 million, or one in four Australians over the age of 15, affected (Deloitte, 2011).
What causes incontinence in Women?
Incontinence and bladder leakage can happen for all kinds of reasons. Childbirth, menopause, stress, medications, stomach irritants, and other medical reasons.
What are the psychological effects of female incontinence?
Experiencing an accident in public can be mortifying to a sufferer. Even the thought of it cause women to cut themselves off from social events and occasions, some rarely leaving the house. Night incontinence can also mean that women refrain from going on dates, or having sex, as the thought of a night bed-wet can just become too much to bear. These constant worries build up and cause stress, anxiety, lack of sleep and depression. Imagine living your life every day by having to plan where the nearest bathroom is, how long the queues are, or monitoring your liquid intake?
How can you combat female incontinence?
Plenty can be done to combat and manage incontinence issues. The very first step is to visit your GP. Incontinence is such a large, if rarely spoken about, issue and they will be able to diagnose you, or refer you to a urologist.
There are also some easy steps, and lifestyle changes which can help sufferers improve their daily quality of life:-
Pelvic floor exercises strengthen and build bladder muscles
Avoid stomach irritants such as alcohol and caffeine
Weight loss may be a factor, look to reduce your calorie intake and hit a healthy weight
Try and get into a regular sleep pattern, this can train your body clock and bladder, so you don’t need to wake in the night and interrupt sleep
Daily meditation and yoga exercises can reduce the effects of stress and anxiety
Try not to take in any liquids an hour or two before bed and go to the bathroom just before you sleep.
Use quality incontinence products which are discreet and give you extra protection and comfort in social situations.
There may be a stigma, or opinion that incontinence products are unreliable, ugly, and uncomfortable to wear, but you can buy a range online which is discreet and feels just like regular underwear. These products can give you a boost in confidence, taking away the worry so you can enjoy your work day, or time with friends and family.