Five tips to tackle the first signs of bladder weakness

If you're struggling with little leaks when you laugh, cough or exercise, you're not alone. Take back control with the help of our expert advice.

It happens to more of us than you might realise: you're laughing, sneezing, coughing or exercising and you notice the first signs of light leaks.

Many of us naturally prefer to keep it to ourselves, but that means it can feel like you're all on your own. In fact, bladder sensitivity happens a lot, with one in three women in the UK experiencing it at some point in their lives.

What's more, help is at hand — with the right advice, you can tackle bladder sensitivity and get your confidence back. "Simple lifestyle changes can help you regain control over sensitive bladder," says Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and campaign ambassador for Always Discreet.

Here are her tips for anyone experiencing bladder weakness for the first time.

1. It's good to talk

Getting a confidence boost starts with reassurance from someone you trust. Try talking to a close friend or female family member — with more than 12 million women in the UK who've experienced a weak bladder, you'll be surprised by how many women you know who will say, "Me too!". It's important to see your GP as well: they'll have plenty of good advice and can make sure there are no underlying health problems.

2. Keep moving

You might be tempted to put a stop to your exercise routine if all that physical effort can trigger leaks. But strengthening your core muscles can help put you back in control. So instead of cutting out your workout, swap high-impact activities that can give you a jolt for low-impact exercise like swimming or cycling. Yoga and pilates can also help to build strength in the right places without putting your bladder under too much strain.

3. Stay hydrated

When you first experience a weak bladder, it might seem like a good idea to cut down the amount you drink so you don't go to the loo so often. But not drinking enough can make things worse and lead to bladder infections. Staying well hydrated can also help to reduce odours, so keep your bladder healthy by drinking plenty of water and cranberry juice.

4. Do your pelvic floor exercises

With a bit of practice, you can build up the strength of your pelvic floor muscles, which help to support your bladder and give you control when you urinate. It only takes a minute or two, but learning how to exercise these muscles three times a day can dramatically reduce leaks - find out how here.

5. Use dedicated products

Many women make the mistake of reaching for their usual sanitary pads or panty liners when they experience bladder sensitivity for the first time. But a dedicated incontinence pad like Always Discreet can deal with urine leaks in ways that a period pad can't, with full-length Leakguard protection and OdourLock technology to keep you feeling fresh and dry all day.

What was the most helpful advice you received when you first had a sensitive bladder? Help us to tackle the taboos by sharing your experience in the comments.


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