We tackle the tricky topics around periods, pee and other unpredictable female fluids
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.
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