Accidental leaking. Light bladder leakage. Incontinence. A bladd-ey hassle. Whatever you call it, the fact is that leakage can happen to anyone who has a urinary tract - and it’s far more common than you think.
While bladder leakage is more prevalent in women (one in three), one in ten men will experience it over the course of their lifetime for various reasons (click here to read about the common causes of male incontinence).
It’s inconvenient. It’s frustrating. But there are ways you can mitigate it so you can get on with life without holding back.
It's our pelvic floor muscles that are responsible for all things urine. Located between the hips, the pelvic floor is made up of muscles and tissues, which act as a hammock to support the bladder, the small intestine and the rectum. When the pelvic floor is weakened because of prostate cancer, diabetes, surgery or other conditions, annoying little leaks can result.
The good news is that, like any muscle in the body, the pelvic floor can be strengthened to improve bladder control – and in some cases, regain it completely.
The exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor are called kegel exercises. They work for men and women, they're super easy (some would even say quite pleasant!) to do, and can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. Here are four simple steps to get you started:
1. Locate your pelvic floor muscles by stopping your stream of urine mid-way through, or by tightening the muscles that stop you from passing gas.
2. Contract these muscles for three seconds, then relax them for three seconds. Repeat this sequence ten times, three times a day.
3. At first you may find kegel exercises easier to do lying on your back, but as your muscles strengthen, you’ll be able to work them out while sitting, standing and even walking. For best results, tighten your pelvic floor muscles only. Try not to incorporate your abdominals, thighs or buttocks and remember to keep breathing as you work out.
4. If you're having trouble locating your pelvic floor muscles, or aren’t noticing any change in the strength of your muscles after six weeks, see a doctor, physio or health professional – they’ll be able to ensure you're using the right muscles and give you personalised advice. Guard against little accidents in the meantime by wearing Confitex every day - just in case.
With commitment and regularity, adding kegel exercises to your daily routine will give you confidence to keep living the lifestyle you want. Plus, a strong pelvic floor can improve your stamina in the bedroom - and even lead to more intense orgasms. So the only question is - what the bladd-ey hell are you waiting for?