Bladder sensitivity? Let's talk

There's no need to be embarrassed about a weak bladder - one in three women experience it at some point. Here's how to start the conversation so you don't feel you're on your own.

Chances are that someone else you know has had a weak bladder too. After all, it happens to one in three of us at some time in our lives. But for an intimate issue like this, it can be difficult to talk about, so many of us suffer in silence and assume that we're the only ones. Three quarters of women don't even speak to their doctor about bladder sensitivity.

Staying silent takes its toll. More than 40% of women say they feel that bladder weakness makes them feel older and unhappy. It's no wonder if no one around them is discussing it, but we all know that sharing a problem makes everything seem easier to deal with. That's why it's a good idea to start the conversation with trusted friends, partners, family members or a health expert.

You can learn more about how to manage and treat bladder sensitivity and find out what products help the most. Plus, it'll give you the reassurance that you're not on your own. But if you feel a little awkward bringing the topic up, here are some ideas about how to get started.

Make the first move

With more than 12 million women having experienced a weak bladder at some point, there's a good chance that someone you know is in the same boat. If you spot some of the same signs in a friend - like carrying an extra-large handbag for her pads, always being on the lookout for a bathroom or avoiding long car journeys - that could be a great time to mention your own bladder sensitivity and see if she opens up to you.

Recommend products to friends

Four out of five women with bladder sensitivity mistakenly use their sanitary pads as their main protection from leaks. So if you've found the right dedicated product, such as Always Discreet Pads, why not let a friend know what a difference it makes? With a DualLock core to keep you dry for hours and OdourLock technology for long-lasting freshness, Always Discreet has all the benefits of dedicated protection.

Share tips and tricks

Once you've lifted the lid on your experience with adult incontinence, you may be able to swap suggestions for ideas that can help with a friend. For instance, you might find that it helps to avoid putting pressure on your bladder by lifting heavy objects - a great reason to get a bit of help around the house. Or you can try pelvic floor exercises - practicing them three times a day for just a minute or two can help to give you more control when you need it.

Talk to your doctor

It's important to share your feelings with a trusted friend, but when it comes to your health, you'll want an expert view too. If you find that you need to go to the loo very often and often get a sudden urge to pass water, let your doctor know. Dr Sarah Jarvis, a GP and Always Discreet ambassador, says doctors can help work out a daily schedule to gradually build up your bladder's holding capacity.

Exercise together

If someone you know is going through the same issue, it's great to spend quality time together. Since doctors recommend keeping up a low-impact exercise routine to help strengthen your core, why not try signing up for a class like yoga or spinning? You can have some fun together, share experiences and take care of your body all at once.

Keep talking

A bit of embarrassment is only natural, but don't let it get in the way. Be confident, have a giggle and you'll soon be reaping the benefits of having friends and family you can turn to for support when you need it.

Have you talked with friends about bladder sensitivity? Let us know how you got the conversation started in the comments.