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Bladder weakness

Bladder weakness

Bladder weakness is a daily reality for a surprising number of women. At least 60% of women will be affected at some point in their lifetime. If your feeling embarrassed about having bladder weakness, don’t despair. You are not alone and there are some excellent options that really work to provide an effective solution.

What is bladder weakness?

Bladder weakness can be as much as the odd 'leak' of urine when you sneeze, laugh or cough, to really restricting your lifestyle and enjoyment of life. Many women find they can no longer engage in physical activity such as running or jumping on the trampoline with your kids.

Bladder weakness at any stage is annoying and ongoing can become extremely frustrating and upsetting. None of us needs the stress that experiencing bladder weakness can bring to our lives, and no one deserves to be restricted in enjoying life to the full.

Who does bladder weakness affect?

Women of all ages can be affected by bladder weakness although it most commonly affects women post childbirth and during menopause. Pregnancy and childbirth challenge the pelvic floor muscles and focused toning is required to strengthen and tone these muscles.

There can be an inherited factor to weak pelvic floor muscles and this can explain why some young women, who have not had children, experience bladder weakness.

Physical fitness does not eliminate bladder weakness as many exercise regimes do not develop core and pelvic floor muscle tone. If you are a physically active woman you still need to strengthen your core and P.C. muscles

Why does bladder weakness occur?

The hormonal changes during pregnancy, breastfeeding and then later during menopause also have a huge effect on these muscles. These normal hormonal changes in your body cause the pelvic floor muscles to relax resulting in bladder weakness.

The physical strain of pregnancy and giving birth can weaken the pelvic floor muscles, and if a woman does not strengthen them after childbirth, the problem is compounded with each pregnancy and subsequent birth. Many women find it difficult to locate and activate their pelvic floor muscles after giving birth as the neural pathways can be affected during pregnancy.

Pelvic organ prolapse or POP, where the pelvic organs fall out of place, can also lead to bladder weakness. This can affect the bladder, uterus, bowel and rectum.

Straining from heavy lifting and constipation can weaken your pelvic floor muscles as well as holding on for too long before going to the toilet- this commonly affects women working in hospitality.

As we age, our pelvic floor muscles will weaken if we do not exercise them.

What do pelvic floor muscles do?

The Pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles that surround the bladder and urethra and also support the uterus and internal organs. The pubococcygeus (PC) muscle attaches to your public bone in the front and your sacral bone at the base of the spine. This muscle acts like a supporting hammock and holds everything up internally. These muscles also control urine flow and contract during orgasm. If weakened the muscle cannot perform its function and bladder weakness results.

The reality is that the majority of women will be affected by bladder weakness at some stage during their lifetime. Maintaining good pelvic floor tone throughout your lifetime is a very important for optimum health and ongoing enjoyment of life.

Pelvic floor exercises (also known as Kegel exercises)

There are a few options available in terms of maintaining optimum pelvic floor tone. The key is to find the best choice for you and to integrate it into your lifestyle on an ongoing basis (for your lifetime). It is never too late to begin toning your pelvic floor and you may choose to combine a few different methods to ensure effective toning.

It’s important to assess your pelvic floor muscles so you can gauge a realistic time frame in terms of actually experiencing a change. Having realistic expectations means you can set achievable toning goals and be motivated to persevere. It is well worth the effort as the result can be life changing.

What are the options for a weak bladder?

Pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises are a series of voluntary contractions of all the perineal muscles and are designed to strengthen all the striated muscles in this area.

They are often referred to as ‘Kegels’ named after the physician who invented them, Dr Arnold Kegel. Kegel exercises are often prescribed post childbirth and to treat urinary incontinence in both sexes. Simply put, the exercise involves contracting of the muscles used to stop a flow of urine. Practice doing this while on the loo and you will soon learn how to isolate these muscles.

The great thing about Kegel exercises is that they can be done anytime/anywhere. Try clenching while brushing your teeth, talking on the phone or even watching T.V. Find out more about how to do pelvic floor exercises

Smart Balls are an easy way to tone and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles as the weighted balls stimulate the muscles to contract…doing the work for you. Smart Balls are worn vaginally as you go about your daily business. They are easy to use, non-intrusive and most women don’t even notice they are wearing them! You will notice a reduction in bladder weakness after 2-3 weeks of using your Smart Balls and after 8 weeks of regular use you should have control of your bladder again. Find out how to use Smart Balls.

NatraTone is a great natural way to target and re-train the pelvic floor and lower abdominal muscles, the prime cause of urinary leakage in healthy women. Overcoming mild to moderate urinary symptoms and gaining back the control for an active and healthy lifestyle is easy with NatraTone. NatraTone has a sensory bio-feedback training aid called the NatraToner that you use while you do a very specific exercise program which is based on the latest research. Consider NatraTone (especially if Pelvic floor exercises haven’t worked for you in the past) as the latest research recommends that the lower abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor muscles (inner core) need to be strengthened and toned together while breathing correctly for effective long term elimination or reduction of urinary leakage. Find out how to use NatraTone.

Core strengthening focused exercise will aid in toning your pelvic floor muscles. Options include pilates, yoga and pelvic floor focused physiotherapy exercises. We suggest doing some research to find out which form of exercise will suit your body and lifestyle. Make sure that practitioner you choose to guide you through an exercise programme is experienced in pelvic floor strengthening and aware that you want to focus on that area.

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