Around 37 per cent of Australian women have some form of bladder condition compared to 13 per cent of Australian men, but there are easy ways to address the issue.
Here are some of the more common bladder issues and ways you may be able to fix them.
Urine leakage (bladder incontinence) is more common in older women, but it’s not necessarily a natural part of ageing. You don’t have to ‘just live with it’. You can take action to help regain your bladder control.
The number one thing to try is pelvic floor exercises. These bladder training exercises can help you regain muscle and bladder control. If problems persist, and your incontinence interferes with your daily life, it is worthwhile seeking professional help. A continence professional will assess your personal situation and create an appropriate continence management plan for you.
With an overactive bladder, you may:
- Feel a sudden urge to urinate that’s difficult to control
- Experience urge incontinence – the involuntary loss of urine immediately following an urgent need to urinate
- Urinate frequently, usually eight or more times in 24 hours
- Awaken two or more times in the night to urinate.
To address the issue, you can start by cutting back on food and drinks that can irritate the bladder. Common culprits include coffee, tea, alcohol, carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, citrus and spicy foods. Another strategy involves emptying your bladder on a schedule, starting with smaller intervals, like on the hour, then working up to every two to three hours. Pelvic floor exercises can also help regain control of an overactive bladder.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Drinking plenty of cranberry juice is a great way to keep your urinary tract clean and healthy. Other measures include drinking plenty of water and not trying to hold back your need to pass water. You should avoid wearing tight undies. There are also vaginal estrogen creams available after menopause that help keep tissues healthier and less prone to infection.