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Stress Incontinence

Do you leak when you laugh?

Stress Incontinence or Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) (also known as Exercise Induced Urine Leakage EIUL) happens when your muscles weaken and are no longer able to support your bladder in place to keep you dry. It’s a ‘warning shot’; your body's way of telling you that you need to strengthen your muscles and this must not be ignored.

Don’t pad the problem and don’t pretend it didn’t happen as you consign your wet knickers to the laundry basket, because damp urine soaked panties are smelly, uncomfortable and bad for your self-esteem!

Dr Dawn Harper, resident GP of Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies spoke to us about stress incontinence and how, even though it affects more than 1 in 3 women, (that's nearly 10 million women in the UK), incontinence is still the last taboo. Because of this, the real figure about how many women are suffering could be much higher - Dr Chris Steele says that it takes a woman on average five years to speak to her doctor about incontinence but you don't need to suffer in silence.

Even though stress incontinence is so common, many women don't realise how easy it is to treat, and that there are a wide range of options available to them.

Watch our video to hear Dr Dawn's advice and learn more about stress incontinence.

What can cause stress incontinence?

  • Pregnancy – carrying your baby for nine months takes its toll on your pelvic floor muscles and the extra weight can make them weak. Hormones released during pregnancy can also make your pelvic floor muscles weaker.
  • Childbirth – you can sustain nerve damage during childbirth. If you have a vaginal tear or episiotomy you are more likely to suffer from incontinence.
  • Ageing and the menopause – hormone changes means the muscles, ligaments and fibres supporting your pelvic organs are not as ‘elastic’ as they once were.
  • Overweight – if you are overweight you are TWICE as likely to suffer from stress incontinence. The extra weight is just too much pressure on your pelvic floor.
  • Medication – some medication can contribute to stress incontinence. Statins help to relax your muscles – Woops there goes your pelvic floor again and leaks galore. Anti-depressants can also have the same affect.
  • Smoking – as well as having a 3x higher chance of developing cancer of the bladder, the coughing plays havoc with your pelvic floor. Constant coughing makes your pelvic floor weak which means it will be unable to support your bladder properly resulting in more leaks.

What can you do about stress incontinence?

  • Kegel Exercises – Kegels or pelvic floor exercises will help strengthen the muscles in your pelvic floor so they can continue to support your vital organs giving you greater control.
  • Vaginal Pessary – A pessary device inserted into the vagina presses against the bladder neck and urethra so you have less leakage.
  • Prescription Medications – Some drugs can treat stress incontinence. Anticholinergics can help to control bladder contractions. A tricyclic antidepressant may sometimes be prescribed to help relax the bladder muscle. Side effects from these drugs can include dry mouth, fatigue, and blurred vision. Some people may not be able to take these medications, however.
  • Surgery – Various surgical operations are used to treat stress incontinence. They tend only to be used when pelvic floor muscle exercises have not helped and they aim to tighten or support the muscles and structures below the bladder.
  • Tension-free Vaginal Tape (TVT) Procedure – This is a sling of synthetic (man-made) tape surgically implanted to support the urethra and bladder neck. However recent lawsuits in the US and mounting complaints about pain and tape erosion are concerning to say the least. Colposuspension is another operation to support the urethra and treat stress incontinence.

Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is a sign you need to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and this is where a Kegel8 pelvic toner can help, even if you opt for surgery your weakness will still be there and other organs within your pelvic area are likely to prolapse!  Take a look at our range of Kegel8 pelvic toners and specialist pelvic floor exerciser products to help you regain control of your bladder.

Alleviate the symptoms of bladder weakness & strengthen the pelvic floor in just 12 weeks, with the help of the Kegel8 Ultra 20 & Amanda Savage!

Amanda Savage is one of the UK’s leading specialist pelvic floor and women’s health physiotherapists, who has worked in the field for over 20 years offering supervised pelvic floor muscle training and support for the recovery of pelvic organ prolapses, incontinence and pelvic surgeries. With post-graduate qualifications, including a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge, she has also gained full membership of the Professional Network of Pelvic, Obstetric & Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP). As a Kegel8 ambassador, Amanda Savage has worked alongside us for many years in the development of our best-selling device, the Kegel8 Ultra 20 V2 Electronic Pelvic Toner, to ensure its efficacy. In addition, she has been integral to ensuring all supporting information and instructions are medically accurate so that the device is used correctly/effectively, and treatment is tailored to the specific condition of the user.

Find out more about Amanda Savage, her qualifications, experience, knowledge, and affiliations here.

Amanda Savage

Comes complete with an easy exercise plan, created by Amanda Savage, to get results in just 12 weeks!

If ‘laughter leaks’ are making you want to cry, you are by no means alone! Indeed, more common that you may realise, bladder weakness and stress incontinence affect millions of people worldwide. And, here at Kegel8, we are all too familiar with the impact it has on both physical and emotional well-being, as well as on life in general. It’s true that, left untreated, symptoms of bladder weakness will simply worsen over time. However, it should by no means be accepted as an inevitability! Indeed, regular pelvic floor exercise, much like any other type of exercise, will strengthen the muscles over time, enabling them to perform their role much more effectively and offer the right amount of support to the bladder to ensure there are no leakages. In addition, it can calm ‘overactive’ nerves for those experiencing ‘jumpy’ or ‘irritable’ sensations in their bladder. That means you can get back to doing all the things you love!

The included 12-week exercise plan has been specifically developed by Amanda Savage to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and enable them to provide optimum support to the neck of the bladder, thus preventing any leakages. In addition, it will calm the ‘overactive’ nerves that are responsible for ‘jumpy’ or ‘irritable’ sensations in the bladder, thereby reducing bladder sensitivity. In addition, it prepares the user for ‘real life’ scenarios where they don’t have access to the machine.

So, why opt for an electronic pelvic floor exerciser rather than performing your Kegels independently?

It is thought that many women push downwards when performing independent pelvic floor exercises, which, rather than strengthening the muscles, can lead to further damage. In addition, it can be difficult to locate and target the correct muscles, making exercise less effective. As such, many women opt to use an electronic pelvic floor toner to ensure effective exercise and optimum results. The Kegel8 Ultra 20 V2 Electronic Pelvic Toner removes the guesswork and essentially acts as a Sat-Nav for your pelvic floor muscles, correctly targeting and stimulating a contraction within them using a small electric current. These contractions build strength and tone in a matter of weeks! With 20 clinically proven pelvic floor exercise programmes which vary in frequency, intensity and duration, the Ultra 20 is proven to treat a variety of different conditions, including bladder weakness and stress incontinence. And, in addition to tailored programmes, the specific 12-week exercise plans created by Amanda Savage advise exactly how the device should be used, depending upon the condition, to ensure the very best treatment.