Incontinence is still a taboo topic, even in 2021.
When we talk incontinence, we often think about the elderly or disabled dealing with the indignant issues of wetting oneself.
We also discuss leakage after having babies. It is often considered normal to experience leakage in this phase of our lives. Remember, not all new mums will be left with incontinence when they welcome their new bundle.
Incontinence, even just a few drops is not “normal”, however, on average, 1:3 females are dealing with Light bladder leakage.
How are we dealing with this? In many cases we accept incontinence as an expected occurrence during phases of our lives. We almost accept some incontinence when we have babies. However, in discussion recently with five new mums we found some disturbing statistics. Out of the five, one stated no one had discussed the possibility of incontinence at all, one said that it had been touched on but in no detail. This lady had a 4th degree tear and is still incontinent of urine and faeces 18 mths out. She felt overwhelmed at the magnitude. Two had been told it’s a possibility and to do Pelvic floor exercises and it would resolve. Sadly, no one told them how to do the exercises and the fifth person had good amounts of information as well as Pelvic floor training and support.
It is also important to discuss the myth that its woman who have natural births are the ones who become incontinent. However, its not just the birthing process but also the added weight on the Pelvic floor from a baby for 9 months, so C section mums are not immune.
Often those with very light urinary incontinence will take some time to accept incontinence. Often, they assume the damp underwear is due to discharge or sweat, and therefore don’t seek a solution. Over time questions start to arise: Did I just wee?
Many women will just accept their damp underwear and deal with it by wearing a pad or panty liner, after all,” its to be expected!”
Many people don’t know how to correctly do pelvic floor exercises and either won’t do them or won’t do them correctly.
So, lets start the movement of “Know your Pelvic Floor” and plan for success.
If you have any concerns or questions on urinary leakage, reach out to your GP, Pelvic floor Physiotherapist, Continence Nurses as well as the Continence foundation of Australia.