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What causes a weak bladder in menopause?
The drop in oestrogen levels during the menopause can cause pelvic floor muscles to naturally become weaker. There are two different types of weak bladder:
Stress incontinence – where unwanted leakage occurs when you laugh, cough, sneeze or exercise.
Urge incontinence – when you experience sudden urges to urinate. This is also referred to as an overactive bladder.
Tips for Managing a Weak Bladder
– Wearing leak proof knickers can give you the confidence to go about your day to day activities without any worry.
– Planning ahead for your days out and knowing where and when there will be toilets for toilet breaks, you can prevent any unnecessary worry. Pilates is one of the best forms of exercise that focuses on working the pelvic floor muscles. Participating in regular Pilates classes can help strengthen these muscles.
– Regularly exercise your pelvic floor muscles. There are numerous products available on the market that are made specifically to strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
– Reducing your alcohol and caffeine intake could help as they are both diuretics, meaning they make your kidneys produce more urine, resulting in an increase in your need to go to the toilet.
How to exercise your pelvic floor muscles
Products to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles range from weighted balls to exercisers that set simple routines for you to follow that are tailored to your individual needs. These exercises can be completed in as little as 5 minutes per day.
A lot of women choose to use products for strengthening their pelvic floor muscles as they ensure you are doing it correctly, and therefore you will notice results more quickly.
However, you can try and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles yourself. You do this by following these steps:
Identify your pelvic floor muscles
- Think about when you are going for a wee, now think about having to stop that wee mid-flow. That is your pelvic floor muscles.
- Now, think about your back passage and when you are trying to stop passing wind. That is also your pelvic floor muscles.
Exercise your pelvic floor muscles
- Now you’ve found the muscles, combine the two moves together and think about trying to lift the muscles up.
- Hold this for 2 or 3 seconds, then release.
- Repeat this exercise until you can hold for the count of 8.
- Do this up to 8-10 times a day
The great thing about exercising your pelvic floor is that you can do it lying down, siting or standing and it really doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes.