Facts on bladder leaks

accreditation

You sneeze, or cough, or laugh hysterically at someone's very funny joke – and the next thing you're running for the loo. This is a very common condition and is generally referred to as bladder weakness. Here's what you need to know about it.

Bladder weakness is an umbrella term for a number of conditions that all result in involuntary leakage of urine as the primary symptom.

4 different types of incontinence

1. Stress or effort incontinence, where the pelvic floor muscles are not strong enough to prevent urine leakage during coughing, sneezing or jumping, for example.

2. Urge incontinence or overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) where there is urine leakage for no apparent reason, while suddenly feeling the need or urge to urinate.

3. Overflow incontinence, where people cannot stop their bladders from dribbling after they have passed urine.

4. Nocturia, where sufferers typically need to wake twice or more often to urinate at night.

Interesting facts on bladder weakness

  • Bladder weakness is widespread and affects women and men of all ages, but is twice as prevalent in women.
  • Bladder weakness becomes more prevalent with age in men.
  • On average, bladder weakness affects one in five women, and one in ten men.
  • Ten to 60 percent of women report bladder weakness at some stage in their lives, while 40 percent of women have experienced it related to pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Twenty-five percent of women aged 35 or older have experienced bladder weakness problems, while it affects 15 percent of women older than 40 regularly or daily.
  • Obesity is the single most modifiable risk factor when it comes to managing bladder weakness. Excess body weight puts strain on the pelvic floor. Maintaining a healthy weight through good eating habits and regular physical exercise can result in improved bladder control.
  • Exercise and dietary changes are a vital part of managing bladder weakness properly, and exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor, where indicated, result in a marked improvement of symptoms.
  • Under-hydration is as much of a factor as over-hydration in managing bladder weakness. Incontinence experts recommend 30ml of fluid per kilogram of body weight as a healthy fluid intake.
  • Eating a healthy diet can also contribute to better bladder health. Common bladder irritants include alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, sugar, sweeteners, corn syrup, honey, citrus fruits, tomato-based foods and spicy foods.
  • Treatment depends on what is causing the problem. Behavioural training, lifestyle changes, surgery, medication, physiotherapy and medical devices may all be used separately or in combination to treat symptoms.
  • Daily management of symptoms can be supported by the use of purpose-designed bladder weakness products, as sanitary towel and other home-devised methods don’t provide adequate leak protection, skin protection and odour control.

(Press release from TENA, a division of Nampak products, October 2012)

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 623 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 3414 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 715 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.20
-0.1%
Rand - Pound
21.30
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
18.70
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.22
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Platinum
1,012.08
0.0%
Palladium
1,618.86
0.0%
Gold
1,928.39
0.0%
Silver
23.60
0.0%
Brent Crude
86.66
-0.9%
Top 40
74,766
+0.4%
All Share
80,791
+0.4%
Resource 10
77,871
-0.4%
Industrial 25
103,872
+0.7%
Financial 15
16,281
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE