Thank you to Poise for sponsoring this post and keeping me confident!
When I was younger, I used to laugh at the commercials about leaky bladders, and I even mocked my Mom when she would talk about wearing a liner ‘just in case.’ I mean, who really has that problem?! Just old ladies right? I mean, my thoughts were it was liners to diapers. Boy, was I mistaken! I found some interesting facts online after researching when I started experiencing my own issues with urine leaks. Let’s just say having 3 kids and some weight gain has made this Mama be extra careful with coughing, exercising or lifting!
Urinary incontinence (UI) is the involuntary loss of urine and “it’s a common condition” in women (and men) of all ages. The two main types of urinary incontinence are:
- Stress incontinence, which can cause leakage when you cough, sneeze, exercise, laugh, or strain to lift something heavy.
- Urge incontinence, which is an unexpected, sudden urge to urinate, one that’s so strong it can be hard to reach the bathroom in time
*Research reveals that 1 in 4 women over 18 experience episodes of leaking urine involuntarily
*One in eight 18 – 23 year-olds experience urine leaks
*Between one third and a half of pregnant women experience female incontinence due to the pressure of the growing baby on the bladder
*An American study found that incontinence problems are experienced by over 18% of women who’ve had one child, nearly 25% of women who have had two children, and 32% of women who’ve had three or more
*Around 40% of menopausal women have female continence
*Around a third of women over 60 years old are incontinent
WOW! I did not realize that female incontinence was so common. So I did some research and put together a list of tips for dealing with bladder leakage.
1. Take Care of Your Skin.
If you’ve got OAB, you may also have a higher risk of rashes and skin breakdowns.
There are several reasons for that. To keep harmful bacteria at bay, skin is slightly acidic, but when urine touches flesh, skin becomes moist and more alkaline. The result is an inviting environment for bacteria and yeast , which can lead to rashes and infection.
Prevention can be simple:
- Check your skin daily, looking for rashes or other signs of irritation. Be sure to separate and check any skin folds, too.
- Wash carefully after every accident, using mild soaps or perineal washes; additionally, avoid hot water, which can make irritated skin even worse.
- To avoid skin tears and even more irritation, let skin air-dry; don’t rub.
- Apply a cream, ointment, or film-forming skin protectant regularly to help keep urine away from tender skin.
2. Minimize Odors.
When you have an accident because of OAB, odor may be one of your first concerns. Though you can’t prevent it completely, you can curb odor. Here’s how:
- Stay hydrated — without going overboard. The more concentrated your urine is, the stronger it smells.
- Consider taking urine deodorizing tablets, such as vitamin C, or supplements made for this purpose. You can also help reduce urine odor by drinking apple, pear, cherry, and other noncitrus juices.
- To remove odor from clothes or your mattress, try using one part white vinegar to two parts water, baking soda, or commercial cleaners made to remove urine. Bleach kills bacteria, but it isn’t as effective as vinegar at dissolving urine crystals.
3. Carry Extra Clothes.
An extra set of clothes at work or in the car are an obvious must if you have had — or fear you’ll have — OAB accidents.
Include a large, waterproof storage bag for your wet clothes, too. And to help cope with accidents, some people get in the habit of carrying or wearing long coats or favor darker colors.
4. Stay Sensibly Hydrated.
It seems so simple: Drink less and you’ll have fewer OAB accidents. Yet that’s not how your body really works.
Drink too little and you can end up with urethra and bladder irritation, constipation, concentrated urine (which has a stronger smell, if accidents do occur), or even an infection.
So how much should you drink daily? There’s no one right amount for everyone, but aim for about 6 cups (about one and a half liters) of liquids per day.
If you have accidents at night, stop drinking fluids 2-4 hours before bed.
5. Watch for Bladder Irritating Food & Drinks
Lots of things — including caffeine, alcohol, acidic foods and drinks, sweeteners, hot spices, and fizzy drinks — can irritate your bladder. Although many foods and drinks can make OAB symptoms worse, you don’t necessarily have to avoid all of them.
Instead, take the time to discover exactly what triggers your OAB. Is it the acids of citrus and tomatoes? The lactic acid in dairy products like aged cheese, yogurt, or sour cream? Or is it the caffeine in dark chocolates, sodas, tea, and coffee?
Start by excluding a food or drink you think may be aggravating your symptoms, then add small amounts back to your diet slowly.
6. Make Simple Changes.
You don’t need to completely overhaul your life to get a handle on overactive bladder symptoms and avoid accidents. Simple changes may be all you need to prevent most mishaps, including:
*At home, keep the path to the bathroom clear (and light the path at night, if you need to). You might even consider removing the bathroom door.
*Wear easy-to-open clothes.
*Empty your bladder before bed, a big meeting, or a trip.
7. Strengthen Your Pelvic Muscles
Learning where your pelvic floor muscles are and how to isolate them can help you make the most of pelvic floor exercises called Kegels
You can do Kegels anywhere, without anyone noticing. With a little practice, Kegels can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles — and that can help reduce feelings of urgency, the need to frequently urinate, and accidents.
8. Use the Right Absorbent Products.
Coping with accidents is much easier if you use the right tools for the job. After many, many trials, I finally found a product that works for me – and I would recommend for anyone dealing with
bladder leakage of any sort – Poise Microliners. These shockingly thin and surprisingly absorbent liners feature SAM (Super Absorbent Material) to provide discreet Light Bladder Leakage (LBL) protection that helps keep you dry and comfortable all day long so you can manage life’s little leaks with confidence. Poise Microliners are the thinnest liners in the light incontinence category and are designed to absorb wetness, neutralize odor and stay three times drier than period liners.
Want to try them for yourselves? Go visit Poise and get a sample – on them! The kit includes:
Poise Liner Sample Kit — featuring our all-new Microliner!
Ideal for women with lighter bladder leaks, this kit includes:
- 2 NEW Poise® Microliners (1 regular, 1 long)
- 1 Poise® Long Liner
- 1 Poise® Ultra Thin Pad
- Exclusive coupon and informational brochure