Creator of the internationally popular Squeezy App Myra Robson gives her expert advice on keeping your bladder happy...
It is estimated that 2.5 to 3 million women in the UK alone suffer with incontinence, from those little 'leaks' to much worse and unfortunately a lot of women think it is just part of getting older or having a baby. Incontinence is not something you should live with whatever your age!
There are different types of incontinence, including:
- Urge - Your body says you need the loo now but urine leaks before you're ready, this is usually due to an overactive bladder.
- Stress - This happens when your muscles weaken and are no longer able to support your bladder meaning wet knickers and padding the problem!
- Overflow- This is when you can't fully empty your bladder leading to the overflow of urine, often the bladder doesn't feel 'full' so you are unaware that you need the loo, which can cause dribbling during the day and wetting the bed at night. You can also suffer with a mixture of these!
What Can be Done?
When you are suffering with incontinence, it really knocks your confidence and as it isn't really talked about you can feel alone. Here Myra shares her expert advice on how bladder training can help you.
"The purpose of bladder training is to learn to control the desire to pass water, so that a more normal pattern is achieved, without urgency, frequency or leaking. It should be possible to get through the night without getting up more than once to go to the toilet. (Twice is normal after 70 years of age). Plan your trips to the toilet to be regular and timed. Choose the length of time you are comfortable waiting before going to the toilet. This may be as little as 20 minutes, for example. If you have completed a bladder diary then choose the smallest time interval on your diary sheet between trips to the toilet. Go to the toilet first thing in a morning, regularly at each set time interval and last thing at night. Every three to four days, increase the gap by 15 minutes until you are comfortably going to the toilet every 3 -4 hours."
Vitamins for Pelvic Health
Here at Kegel8 we have been researching different supplements and the benefits they have on the pelvic floor alongside pelvic floor exercise. Founder and Managing Director, Stephanie Taylor tells us more:
"After months of research we are delighted to be able to provide some fantastic supplements that work alongside your Kegel routine.
- Vitamin D3 protects against muscle wastage, helping the pelvic floor stay strong and healthy, it has also been shown to increase skeletal muscle efficiency and with the pelvic floor muscles being part of the skeletal muscles it helps with disorders like incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
- D - Mannose is a simple sugar molecule found in fruits like cranberries and when it is present the bacteria attaches itself to it rather than to the bladder wall and can flush out 90% of urinary tract infections!
- Calcium is hard for the body to absorb and gets worse as we age, and for women during and after the menopause. Calcium helps muscles to contract and relax, and reduces muscle spasms making it an ideal supplement for pelvic floor disorders."
Myra Robson is a Senior Women's Health Physiotherapist in London. She specialises in women's pelvic health issues including pelvic organ prolapse (POP), pelvic floor dysfunction, chronic pelvic pain and bladder and bowel dysfunction. Myra shares the same passion for pelvic health as us here at Kegel8 and is keen to spread the word about how important pelvic health is for both women and men. In 2013 Myra released the Squeezy App, which is an app designed so that women will remember to do their Kegel exercises and since its release over 65,000 apps have been sold internationally!