Light bladder leakage (LBL) happens to every woman at some stage, unless you have pelvic floor muscles made of steel. It could be because you're simply a bit on the chunky side, have consumed one too many coffees, have given birth, have had a spinal cord injury or find yourself a bit stressed out. Whatever triggered your light bladder leakage, don't freak because you leaked.
Kris Jenner, mum to the Kardashian sisters, admits to having light bladder leakage. Whoopi Goldberg calls it "the spritz" and has been vocal about her issues. Even Dancing with the Stars contestant and former Cheers actress Kirstie Alley admits to experiencing "the drizzle" while on the treadmill. One in three women over 35 experiences light bladder leakage. The good news is there are ways to cope with LBL and it certainly doesn't mean you're destined for a future of wearing adult nappies.
Caffeine acts as a diuretic causing you to urinate more. Giving up caffeine can be just as hard as stopping smoking. It may be easier to wean yourself off your morning coffee and cola drinks gradually than trying to go cold turkey. Caffeine is also found in energy drinks, chocolate and tea. You may also need to cut out alcohol and stop smoking. No-one said it would be easy.
Keeping your bowels healthy is important. Constipation can exacerbate LBL, so it's important to make sure you are eating plenty of fibre-rich foods, vegetables, fruit and wholegrains to keep you regular. Avoid taking laxatives if you are clogged up, as this can turn up the dial on your symptoms.
Being chunky can make LBL harder to counteract. It's important to put down the doughnuts and keep up regular exercise routines even if you do experience LBL during workouts. Any embarrassing leakage occurring mid-squat, lunge or bench press can be avoided with a discreet range of products designed for LBL.
No more dashing to the loo just in case. Wait until you really need to go. There aretips and tricks for hanging on a bit longer, including distracting yourself by checking your email or reading a really interesting SheKnows article. Contract your pelvic floor muscles and count backwards from 100 or you could try sitting on a small towel. Draw in deep slow breaths and curl your toes.
Pilates is one of the best exercises you can do for LBL. Every moment your core and pelvic floor muscles are engaged helps strengthen your floor and vaginal muscles. Poise Australia has put together a series of video clips showing you how to do LBL exercises properly. Check them out and have a go!
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