What is it?
This is the unintentional passing of urine and is a very common problem amongst men and women of varying ages. There are two types: The first is stress incontinence which is when urine leaks when your bladder is under pressure, like when you cough or laugh. The second is urge incontinence which is when urine leaks when you feel a sudden urge to go to the toilet, or soon afterwards. You can also have a mixture of the two types.
There can be many causes of stress incontinence including damage during childbirth particularly if the child was born vaginally, increased pressure on your tummy e.g. pregnancy, damage to the bladder or nearby area during surgery e.g. hysterectomy, neurological conditions that affect the brain and spinal cord, e.g. Parkinsons or MS, certain connective tissue disorders e.g. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and certain medications.
Pelvic floor exercises are very helpful for weak bladders. The pelvic floor muscles are located between your legs and run from your pubic bone at the front to the base of your spine at the back. They are shaped like a sling and hold your pelvic organs (uterus, vagina, bowel and bladder) in place. You can also purchase incontinence pads and liners over the counter. There are good treatments for both types of incontinence so please see your GP regarding this.