Your guide to health, wellness and how to manage life’s inconvenient little leaks
Does your heart sink when your trainer calls for star jumps? Do you avoid lifting heavy weights? Does your golf swing make you anxious ?We might talk about having a ‘weak bladder’ but in fact it’s often not the bladder that’s weak – it’s the pelvic floor. Located between the hips, your pelvic floor is an area of muscles and tissues that act as a hammock to support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum.It makes sense that what you drink can affect how much you leak – but did you know that what you eat is just as important? Firstly, your pelvic floor is responsible for managing the mechanisms that make you pee. It’s made up of tissues and muscles that support the bladder, rectum and small intestine.It seems to make sense that restricting your intake of fluids would reduce the occurrence of bladder leakage. But does it? Well no, and maybe yes, because it all depends what kind of fluids you’re talking about.Having a wee accident while having sex can and does happen – and worrying that it might can cause severe anxiety and put you off having sex at all. But there are ways to keep it on the to-do list!“Being constipated and having to strain to poop can reduce your pelvic floor strength.” Turns out that when your bowel isn’t working properly your bladder can be affected. Who knew?Bladder leakage (aka urinary incontinence) affects one in three women and one in ten men, often as a result of surgery, childbirth or other trauma. So why don’t we ever hear about it? Why are we afraid of talking about one of the most common medical conditions affecting people around the world today?Sneezing. Lifting. Running. Laughing. Stretching. Do any of those words give you, or someone you know, a touch of anxiety that you might accidentally wee a little? For many people, the onset of incontinence brings with it symptoms that are not dissimilar to depression.Bladder retraining is an action plan recommended by health professionals for incontinence and bladder leakage. It’s a form of behavioral therapy that works to change your bathroom habits by altering the cognitive pathways responsible for telling your body how often you need to use the toilet, and how much liquid you expel.From enuresis to Menorrhagia...Our glossary of everything you've ever wanted to know about leaksProstate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in men. But how much do you know about what it means for thousands of men each year? Read on for our beginner’s guide…One man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, and although it can usually be treated, it’s not uncommon for men to end up living with some degree of urinary incontinence afterwards. David Bateman from the Prostate Cancer Centre in Calgary, Canada, answers our queries about the diagnostic process, why incontinence can happen after treatment and what you can do to manage bladder leaks.Former pro rugby player Tony Marsh is encouraging men to talk more openly about their health worries following his own brush with testicular cancer. Marsh, who played professionally in New Zealand before joining the French national team, says many men are still reluctant to talk to anyone, even their doctor, about their health – especially problems ‘down there’.Our new men’s health and wellness ambassador Tony Marsh played professionally in New Zealand before joining the French national team. A brush with testicular cancer saw him reassessing his priorities and returning to New Zealand, where he works as a personal trainer and men’s health advocate. This is his story...There’s no escaping the fact that our bodies change as we age. When you’re young it’s all about pushing your body as hard as you can. When you get a bit older you can still push yourself but sometimes it’s more about listening to your body.
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