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One of my favourite people on Twitter is MammyWoo, firstly for her hilarious Tweets but also for her VERY accurate profile: I used to be cool, then I had a baby. Now I wee when I sneeze…
Because it’s true. When you have children so many weird and wonderful (but mostly not so wonderful) things happen to your body and you know what? They don’t get spoken about. At least not unless you’re with your absolute closest friends, you’ve had three glasses of wine and start speaking in hushed embarrassed tones. But these are our amazing bodies – our bodies that grew, maintained and birthed life – the biggest miracle of them all.
We shouldn’t worry about talking about the effect this has on our bodies. I’m happy to hold up my hands and say that I drink so many sodding green juices because post pregnancy I was left with persistent piles (though I draw the line at putting this on my Tinder profile), or hey, as I’m getting older my bladder seems to be getting tinier. That’s OK because we all have bodies with niggles and though mine is slowly creaking along it also birthed two brilliant children. I’m happy with those statistics.
A new study conducted by Always Discreet – revolutionary products for bladder leak protection – has revealed that 1 in 3 women in the UK suffer from bladder sensitivity. That’s a whole lot of us and is certainly not a consistent ratio when I think about the friends with whom I’ve had honest and frank conversations about our health.
Bladder issues have the consequence of making those who suffer feeling older than their age; in a study commissioned by Always nearly half of women with bladder sensitivity said they felt this way with 42% women reporting they felt less attractive or feminine and 44% saying they couldn’t remember the last time they had sex.
Always are on a mission to bring these issues to light and have enlisted the help of Campaign Ambassador and GP Dr Sarah Jarvis. I’ve picked my favourite of Sarah’s top tips to help take care of a sensitive bladder:
IT’S GOOD TO TALK (my favourite tip!)
Share how you are feeling with someone. If you feel too embarrassed to speak to a loved one then set up an appointment with your GP. Millions of women in the UK suffer from sensitive bladder, you are not alone and there is help available.
SET A SCHEDULE
Your bladder is trainable: if you’re troubled by needing to pass water very often and needing to rush to the toilet, talk with your doctor about a daily schedule to build up your bladder’s holding capacity. Remember; allow your bladder to empty completely each time you go to the toilet.
DRINK JUST ENOUGH
There’s no need to avoid drinking in order to reduce the urge to visit the bathroom. Limiting your water intake makes your urine more concentrated, which boost your chances of bladder irritation.
BYE, BYE BARISTA
Caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks could be your new worst enemies– they can irritate a sensitive bladder. Everyone with sensitive bladder could benefit from cutting down on alcohol. If your symptoms include needing to rush to the loo, try limiting those coffees, teas and carbonated beverages for a week or two to see if it helps.
If you experience anxiety, worry and concern because of your sensitive bladder, mental relaxation can be a very valuable aid. Avoid worrying about problems excessively. Deliberately include activities in your daily life that bring you pleasure for example meeting friends, going to the cinema or taking a walk.
Always have launched a new site to help break down the barriers and get people talking about women’s issues such as bladder sensitivity. This brilliant space has loads of info as well as honest and uplifting stories from women such as Elaine, above. Let’s continue this conversation – we shouldn’t be ashamed. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a wee…
This was written in collaboration with Always Discreet and is a cause I’m proud to support.