Did you know, 1 in 3 women will experience bladder leakage at some point in their lives.
What we tend to find is that a lot of women don’t think that they have bladder leakage, when in actuality, they are dealing with a problem.We are going to share two different scenarios today where even if you don’t think you have a bladder problem, you may actually be experiencing it.
The First patient scenario is Susan. Susan came in to see us for a hip pain issue. She wasn’t coming for bladder leakage at all. As we are doing our health history and finding out what was going on with her, we started talking about any bowel and bladder symptoms.
As I started to ask Susan what type of activities that she likes to do, she admitted that currently and even prior to her hip pain, she had to decrease her activity and now, she mainly just walks for exercise or does strength training. So I asked, “Why did you decrease your activity?” And she replied, “If I try to do any kind of high-intensity workouts or plyometric workouts, I end up leaking. And so, I stopped doing them.”
So she stopped doing the type of workouts that she likes to do to avoid bladder leakage.
In Susan’s case, there is still an issue there. If she stresses her system too much, with the higher intensity activity like running, she ends up experiencing bladder leakage. In order to avoid that, she avoids the things that she loves to do.
And that to me is a form of dysfunction and there are things that can be done besides giving up activities she loved. We don’t want you to have to give something up because once we start doing less and less, we might continue to do less and less.
In Susan’s case, she wasn’t actually leaking, but she was avoiding activity to avoid the leakage, and that in itself is a problem not a solution.
The second scenario is more of a semantic thing, because bladder leakage is so common, people think that it’s a normal part of aging.Mary is a 67-year-old woman who’s doctor referred her to us to work on bladder leakage issues. At her first appointment, Mary came in and told us, “I don’t know why I am here. I don’t really have any type of bladder leakage issues. And I don’t know how you can help.”
When I talked to Mary more it turned out, it was all about her definition of what leakage was. In Mary’s mind, bladder leakage was only something that happened if you had a complete loss of urine. In her mind, you had wet your pants so badly you had to change your clothing and clean up the floor.
She had for several years been experiencing bladder leakage with coughing or sneezing, and when she would bend over to lift up something. But it was only a drop or two. It wasn’t enough that she really thought about it much. She just assumed that it was normal since she had a couple of babies and was getting older. Therefore, the amount she was leaking she thought was normal.
In her case, she truly was experiencing bladder leakage. Bladder leakage can be anything from a few drops to complete bladder emptying. If urine is coming out when it’s not supposed to be coming out, then that is considered bladder leakage.
Bladder leakage is not something that you have to live with. Many women falsely think that just because they’ve had a few kids that it is normal for them to just leak a little bit when they cough, laugh, sneeze, and get together with their friends for drinks. All of those are common scenarios that you can experience bladder leakage in, but it’s not normal.
If you identify with either of those situations, then I just want to let you know that there is hope and we would be happy to talk to you more about options for you to try and make a difference and be bladder leakage free!
Schedule a discovery visit with one of our pelvic floor physical therapists to learn more!