Women are pretty amazing at talking and sharing life experiences when we need to debrief or feel understood. Isn’t it funny though, that while we might be happy to share details about the colour of our baby’s poop or embarrassing moments with strangers, experiencing unexpected leaks is not often shared?
Over 70% of women have problems with unexpected peeing as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and natural ageing.
Yep — that’s a lot of us. Two in three women over 35, post-childbirth, leak a little bit when we run, laugh, bend, lift, sneeze or jump, yet hardly anyone talks about it. We don’t need to put up with “oops moments” or stop doing the things we want to do, like jumping on the trampoline with our kids, running for the bus, or simply having a good laugh.
For most women, it starts with a surprise pee that, in most cases, can be resolved with a quick change of undies and a pad. However, left untreated, urinary incontinence may worsen with time; but it does not have to be this way. Urge and stress incontinence may be common, but that doesn’t mean you should accept it as just part of being a woman!
Common Causes of Incontinence in Women
What your body typically goes through is mind-boggling. Can you imagine if men had to get pregnant, give birth or go through the symptoms women often have to cope with during menopause? It’s easy to dismiss all of these things and leaks that may occur as a result, but you shouldn’t, and you most definitely shouldn’t feel embarrassed if you are experiencing incontinence. After all, your body does amazing things, so it isn’t surprising that many women experience leaks over the age of 35.
Giving birth puts the body through extreme change, and the weakening of pelvic floor muscles during natural childbirth increases the risk of incontinence. Incontinence following delivery can also happen with a caesarean section and is associated with weaker bladder and pelvic muscles due to the weight of your uterus during pregnancy and hormonal changes (no surprise!).
Post-partum incontinence is also referred to as post-pregnancy incontinence. Urinary incontinence is very common after childbirth and is thought to affect one in two women. What you may not know is it can happen months or even years after childbirth. The two most common types of incontinence resulting from giving birth are urge and stress incontinence.
Incontinence and Menopause
A known cause of incontinence is hormonal changes that occur during perimenopause and menopause. These changes usually start between ages 40 and 50 and as oestrogen levels drop, urethral and vaginal tissues become thinner and pelvic floor muscles weaken.
The two main types of incontinence which usually begin during perimenopause are:
- Stress Incontinence — urine leaks when you put your bladder under pressure, such as when you laugh, cough, or during high-intensity exercise.
- Urge Incontinence — also called overactive bladder, which causes both frequent and sudden urges to urinate and leaks due to difficulty reaching the toilet in time.
How Can You Improve Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is not something you should put up with or accept as part of ageing. It is always advisable to approach your GP if you have experienced any leaks, no matter how small or infrequent. Leakage of urine may indicate another medical condition and should be investigated. When any other underlying causes are ruled out, there are several things you can do that may help to reduce incontinence, including:
- Pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor can be done with or without using kegel weights.
- Fibre intake can help prevent constipation which can put pressure on your bladder.
- Fluids are essential to prevent constipation and urinary tract infections which may worsen urinary incontinence.
- Avoid coffee and alcohol as they can cause dehydration and irritate your bladder.
- A healthy weight is important as being overweight adds extra pressure on your bladder.
- HRT oestrogen replacement therapy is available through the NHS and has been shown to improve both urge and stress incontinence during and following perimenopause.
- Pessaries, silicone rings, and medications are available through the NHS to help reduce urinary incontinence.
- Surgical procedures can be performed if all of the above fail.
The Emsella Treatment
The Emsella treatment is an FDA-approved treatment that has been clinically proven, with 95% of users reporting a considerable improvement in the two most common types of incontinence. The treatment is simple, painless and, best of all, it is non-invasive; you don’t even need to get undressed. All you have to do is sit in the Emsella chair for less than 30 minutes. The revolutionary technology uses high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy (HIFEM), stimulating your pelvic floor at a supramaximal level. In just one session, your pelvic floor experiences the equivalent of 11200 kegel exercises.
Completely safe with no known contraindications or recovery time, you can typically reduce or cure urge and stress incontinence with one weekly session for six weeks. An occasional top-up treatment may be required to maintain the results and remain leak-free. This revolutionary treatment is not available through the NHS, which means finding a private clinic. We spoke to Louise White, Director and Co-Founder of Body Lipo Lincoln, a medically led clinic that was one of the first in the UK to provide the Emsella treatment.
“When I started to suffer from stress incontinence, I knew I didn’t want to risk the side effects of medication or the risks of surgery. The Emsella treatment is recommended by Dr. Kohil a Urogynecologist with a specialist interest in the treatment of urinary incontinence and vaginal laxity. Although six treatments are normally enough, sometimes additional sessions can be beneficial. I am proud to say we are the only medically led clinic that will provide additional treatments without any extra cost.” Louise White
Find out more about the Emsella Chair at Body Lipo Lincoln, a medically-led aesthetic clinic. Offering a wide range of treatments using the most advanced technology, we are here to support your health and well-being.