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Let’s talk about bladder leaks (and how incontinence underwear can make life easier)

Bladder leakage: it’s annoying at best, gut-wrenching at worst and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, it can be messy and unpredictable, but it’s also way more common than you’d think.

An estimated whopping 423 million people over the age of 20 deal with some form of bladder leakage worldwide. So wherever you are, you’re in good company.

The good news is that unexpected leakage is usually very manageable and shouldn’t stop you from doing the things you love.

Read on as we investigate the ins and outs of bladder leakage and share how incontinence underwear can help improve your quality of life, big time.

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a more formal term for bladder leakage. For some people, it looks like the total loss of bladder control, while others experience it as an occasional leak when they cough, jog or get the giggles.

While incontinence is often considered an older person’s condition, it can happen to anyone. Over half of all people who experience leakage in Australia are under 50.

What causes bladder leakage?

Leaking urine is often caused by weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. But it can also be the result of:

  • Damage to the pelvic floor
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Menopause
  • Kidney stones
  • Infection
  • Cancer

The 4 main types of urinary incontinence are:

  • Urge incontinence – when you suddenly really, really need to wee and then lose control of your bladder (sometimes before you make it to the toilet)
  • Stress incontinence when you lift an object, sneeze or walk and a small amount of wee comes out
  • Overflow incontinence – when you don’t empty your bladder all the way while on the toilet, and some dribbles come out later
  • Functional incontinence – when your bladder works normally, but you can’t get to the toilet in time due to a physical, cognitive or neurological barrier (like arthritis, dementia or stroke)
  • How can bladder leaks impact my life?

    While the act of weeing is nothing to be embarrassed about (even when accidental), ultimately, it’s something we’d rather do in private. This is one reason chronic bladder leakage can be a big source of stress for people. Its impacts (both practical and psychological) can be really tough to deal with – especially if you’re not sure how to manage it.

    Chronic bladder leakage can lead to feelings of:

  • Anxiety. You might worry about experiencing a leak when out and about, so you end up declining social activities like shopping and get-togethers.
  • Denial. You might find yourself ignoring the leakage due to underlying feelings of embarrassment or fear, or because you think the situation is hopeless.
  • Frustration. You might feel frustrated that the leakage is out of your control and interferes with your daily life.
  • Grief. You might feel a sense of loss due to the change in your life brought about by the leakage.
  • Depression. You might feel helpless (like there’s nothing you can do), which can lead to despair. If you think you might be depressed, please reach out to your doctor or Beyond Blue.
  • It’s okay to feel these emotions. Remember, an estimated 423 million people worldwide get bladder leaks just like you. You’re not alone.

    By the same token, everyone experiences incontinence differently and will therefore have different responses to it. All responses are valid.

    How can I manage unexpected leakage?

    Bladder leakage can be stressful to think about, but try not to bury your head in the sand and hope the issue will go away on its own. This can worsen its impact.

    Instead, try to be proactive about exploring management strategies, and seek professional support along the way. Discovering better ways to manage leaks will help you feel less stressed and more in control.

    When it comes to urge, stress or overflow incontinence, these might help:

    • Pads or incontinence underwear (more on this in a tick) to absorb leaks
    • Behaviour therapy, such as managing your intake of food and fluids or scheduling your toilet trips
    • Bladder training to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles
    • Building healthier habits, which may lead to weight loss and reduce pressure on your bladder
    • Catheter placement to help manage overflow or functional incontinence
    • Improving toilet access, perhaps by ensuring the path to your bathroom is clear and well lit
    • Medication, depending on the cause of your incontinence
    • Treating an underlying condition that might be causing or contributing to your incontinence

    Your doctor can help identify which management options could work for you.

    How does leak-proof underwear work?

    At Modibodi, we’re proud to be pioneering washable incontinence underwear around the world. Our high-tech yet undetectable absorbent underwear locks in liquid (wee, period blood, sweat … you name it) while also minimising odours, so you stay comfy and confident even on the leakiest days.

    If you’re dealing with light bladder leakage (LBL), our Light-Moderate styles can take care of that, while our Ultra-Incontinence Absorbency collection is ideal for moderate or heavy incontinence. Stash your chosen style in our handy Waterproof Bag for peace of mind on the go.

    With a variety of absorbencies available, finding the right incontinence underwear has never been so easy!

    Stay dry, stay confident with Modibodi

    No one should have to live in fear of leaks. Remember, they’re very common: many people’s bladders go rogue from time to time (or all the time), and there’s no shame in that.

    And now you’re at the hopeful part: looking into management solutions that might make life a whole lot easier. For many people, adult incontinence underwear is all they need to start feeling like themselves again.

    Interested in more articles on common health issues (like night sweats, PMS and endometriosis)? Head to our blog – we’ll see you there.

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