“It’s amazing, two sneezes I’m fine, three… it’s game over.” – Kate Winslet.
Turns out Mrs Winslet and I share more than just a first name and curvy hips. We have both suffered from the less than glamorous condition of incontinence.
But it isn’t just Kate and I, it’s a massive 1 in 3 women that experience light bladder leakage.
I’d assume that many women who deal with this problem have also had feelings of shame, humiliation and depression, just as I did. Hell, I’m even embarrassed to write this blog. I ummed and ahhed about it, asking myself ‘does everything have to be an open book?’, ‘do I really want everyone to know I use to wet a little when I laughed to much’ and ‘shouldn’t we just keep these things private?’. Well maybe, but I came to the conclusion that this might actually help someone else. So if that means I’m the poster child for incontinence for the next 5 minutes, I’m cool with that.
My condition got to the point where I stopped playing my beloved sport because I just couldn’t deal with the anxiety around leaking any more, and that’s not ok!
If your bladder control is affecting your lifestyle, your work, your social life, your exercise or what you wear; then PLEASE seek help – sooner rather than later.
Lots of women believe there is nothing that can be done and that doing Kegels till your blue in the face is the only option.
While pelvic-floor exercises are absolutely essential and everyone should do them regularly to keep the muscles toned, just as you would for any other muscles. Sometimes, a little help is needed, especially if it is affecting your mental state and the way you live your life.
Visit a women’s health physiotherapist. Don’t be embarrassed (you’ve seen the stats above; they deal with this stuff all the time). They will make sure you are doing your pelvic-floors correctly and advise you of several other options of treatment that are available depending on your condition. You could also have an ultrasound or be referred to an urologist for further investigation into the cause of your leakage.
For me, I was referred to an urologist, who told me ‘all the Kegels in the world won’t help me’, I needed to have surgery. It was a big decision for me and my family because the recovery is 6 weeks – not negotiable! I am so glad I did it. My mental state has improved and I can cough with confidence, sneeze safely and laugh without leakage. What I’m most happy about is getting back to playing the sports I love!
So please, if you are like me and Kate Winslet take action and take your active lifestyle back today.
Kate Cranston - Ambassador 2016