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Honestly ... are you affected by this?

(32 Posts)
AndyMurraysBalls Wed 03-Jul-13 09:30:46

Hi. I have name-changed through embarrassment.

I am starting the menopause and sometimes don't have a period at all, but do have the crampy, bloaty type feelings beforehand.

In the last couple of months I have started to get real bladder urgency around this bloaty time. Actually (and I can hardly admit this to myself) I have actually started to piss myself. Oh God, I've typed it - you have no idea how long that took.

I went to my GP for something totally unrelated and mentioned it to her. As a mother of 3, I expected a bit more support, but all she said was to practice holding my wee while I'm on the loo in order to strengthen the muscles. I scuttled out because I feel so awful about it.

Moving on ...... So I was running last weekend. I ran a PB and was feeling epic. I was laughing, chatting with my clubmates afterwards and when I went back to my car I happened to look down as I sat down. Between my legs my running shorts were wet. I thought, don't panic... it's sweat. Nothing more, nothing less. Got home - avoided everyone and ran straight for the bathroom. Took off the shorts, sniffed ..... piss. All my clubmates might have noticed, not to mention how upset and embarrassed I felt for myself.

Pulled myself together yesterday and went to Boots. Stood looking at mattress-sized products for pissers. (Yes - I have lost all self-respect and am now the woman on Little Britain).

I couldn't stand it anymore and asked to speak confidentially with someone in their little room. A beautiful young woman in her 20s with poise and sophistication emerged and asked me how she could help. I was mortified. In the end I managed to explain, the tears came ... total drama.

She was wonderful and brought me in some products to look at in private. She opened up the packets so I could see them.

They are so BIG! Where does it all fit? I am a size 6-8. My running shorts are tight and my running tights are tight (obviously). The width of these things is wider than my undercarriage.

What the hell am I going to do? I am so upset. I know I could have a life-threatening illness and need to get perspective but I am sooooo upset by this.

How many others are affected by this and how do you deal with it?

Have you had to change your life? Give stuff up? I only started running a year ago and I bloody love it. I'm getting faster and further and entering proper races and doing well.

Self-respect gone. Help.

Yonihadtoask Wed 03-Jul-13 09:46:46

Go back to the GP.

in the meantime it won't hurt to do pelvic floor exercises, but sometimes the problem is bigger than that. it may be that you need a bit of an op to fix it.

I don't suffer with this - so can't imagine how you feel. I run too (not at the moment as am out of action with some other ailment) and do find that it increases my urgency to wee. When I get home I often barely make it to the loo. So it may be that all the jiggling about isn't helping.

But you need to sort it. You do not have to spend the rest of your life in Tena towels. See a different GP if you think you may get a more positive response from someone else. Let him/her know that it is really affecting your life.

harrap Wed 03-Jul-13 09:48:54

Sorry to hear about this, but I think I suspect it is all down to your pelvic floor. Running would put extra pressure on those muscles I should think.

As I approached menopause I really noticed a difference in my bladder control and had a view potentially embarrassing episodes.

I had been a bit lax about doing pelvic floor exercises but have had to start them in earnest because of a bad back (have to stabilise my core) and I have noticed a real improvement in bladder control very quickly so I'd go back to you gp and get some more specific pelvic floor exercises and also do Pilates.

There's also a pelvic floor trainer thing on the market which I've heard really works too.

MustTidyUpMustTidyUp Wed 03-Jul-13 09:50:05

Try and get a referral for women's physio. Some trusts offer it. Be pushy. You can buy very slim pads for exercise. Running is not good for a weak pelvis floor try and keep distances short and strides short. May be worse during period / that time because your cervix shifts a bit I think.
Have you looked? Do you have a prolapse?

Weegiemum Wed 03-Jul-13 09:52:23

You should be able to see a physiotherapist who specialises in this sort of thing - I did after dd1 was born, and am fine now 13 years and 2 more dc later.

cocolepew Wed 03-Jul-13 09:52:30

Go back to your gp. Ask for a referral to a continence clinic. You can get medication to help an over active bladder, I use Vesicare.

wantaholiday Wed 03-Jul-13 09:52:54

A friend of mine had this problem, she said she went to the GP and they first thing they said was that she "shouldn't have to put up with this, it can be treated" she was referred to a physiotherapist.

I second doing pelvic floor exercises, though, that's what my friend had to do.

AndyMurraysBalls Wed 03-Jul-13 10:07:04

I have heard that pelvic floor exercises are too little, too late if the problem has already started.

What is this operation and what do they do?

What the hell do I do if it happens at work in front of dozens of people?

I have rung the GP - no appointments available.

magimedi Wed 03-Jul-13 10:11:53

Google continence clinic in your area - where I live you don't have to have a GP referal to go to one.

magimedi Wed 03-Jul-13 10:12:25

PS - Love you name - hope he beats Verdasco today!

cocolepew Wed 03-Jul-13 10:12:53

I had aTVT operation. I had stress incontinence as well as urge, it was due to a bladder prolapse. My bladder was lifted back into place and held up with mesh. It was a day procedure but the recovery is about 6-8 weeks.

I now have really bad urge incontinence after a hysterectomy, I'm waiting for another gynae appointment but in the meantime I'm taking medication and I usually use Always Envive.

I work with a lot of women and the amount if them that cross their legs when they are going to sneeze is unreal!

cocolepew Wed 03-Jul-13 10:15:51

I've just realised you are menopausal. Are you on hrt? Lack of estrogen can cause this. I'm on patches ( no ovaries) but it is lack of estrogen in my vagina has caused vaginal atrophy and is causing my incontinence.
A gynae referral might be better.

mignonette Wed 03-Jul-13 10:19:56

My love, go back to the GP and tell them you expect them to refer you to a consultant urologist and/or physio. In the meantime google some pelvic floor exercises and relevant books to help you manage this/relieve it a little.

Nobody should ever tolerate urinary incontinence for whatever reason or cause. It is not an every day condition of womanhood. Please ask for help.

magimedi Wed 03-Jul-13 10:20:10

coco - I also have vaginal atrophy (vile term) & have been on vagifem for a couple of years. I take it twice weekly & it has really helped with leaks. And kept the dreaded VA at bay.

AndyMurraysBalls Wed 03-Jul-13 10:20:17

magimedi - sport is a major part of my life - work and leisure. I can't bear the idea of something as pathetic as this getting in the way. Am googling now.

5madthings Wed 03-Jul-13 10:24:47

is is the pelvic floor toner that is recommended, it was trial led on mnet and you can get it on prescription or you can just buy it.

cocolepew Wed 03-Jul-13 10:32:30

That's good to hear Magimedi, hopefully I will get an appointment soon!

magimedi Wed 03-Jul-13 10:38:25

OP - Hope you find something.

I am going to copy & paste my rant about Vaginal Atrophy, in case anyone who is not aware of it reads this.

It's something that is not talked about & many women don't know about & I am on a mission to make information about it more widely known!

I've been on Vagifem for 2 years now & all is good!

I am now post menoapuse & recently suffered from vaginal atrophy (VA). I had always thought I was a woman who knew about things & was aware of my body, but VA really took me by surprise & I am delighted to see that minty (OP) mentioned it.

It's not something that is common knowledge & I so wish it was - as it is a real curse of the late/post menopause for many women.

I've copied & pasted from another post I made about it as I do feel that women should be aware of it so they can recognize the symptoms.

Vaginal Atrophy (VA) is what happens post menopause & it is my mission to make more women aware of it.

Basically (& you can google for the finer details) the lack of eostrogen causes great dryness up your fanjo. It makes sex painful & also leads to itchiness that makes thrush seem mild. It is horrible & causes enormous discomfort. I had to rush to the loo just to scratch - the itchiness is almost unbearable. The itch is both inside your fanjo & all over your vulva

If you are menopausal or post menopause & get an itch and/or great dryness do look at the possibility that it could be VA & go to see your GP.

It is easily sorted out with topical eostrogen in the form of 'Vagifem', a small pessary that is inserted into the vagina with an applicator.

You need a 25mcg dose daily for 2 weeks & then twice weekly for 4 weeks & then a maintenance dose of 10mcg twice weekly.

There is a great deal of argument about giving women vagifem long term &, it seems to me, that many health professionals are not up to date with recent research.

I discussed this with my GP with this piece of research:

You do need to keep up to date with mammograms & smears but otherwise no side effects.

I tell a lie about the side effects - it has hugely helped my pelvic floor (this is well documented). I can now cough without fear of leakage.

I was lucky & had a GP who instantly diagnosed VA - but, sadly, it is not something that is well known or discussed.

IT NEEDS TO BE! (I know I am shouting!)

For post menopausal women it is a massive discomfort & indignity that they do not need to suffer, as it is easily managed, & women need to be

cheeseandchive Wed 03-Jul-13 10:39:03

I don't have any personal experience of this or much advice to offer, but just wanted to say please do keep going back to get it sorted. You obviously love sport and there will be a way for you to keep doing it.

Don't be embarrassed about talking to doctors or others about it either - AFAIK it's quite common and medical professionals will have seen and heard it all. Hopefully it will get easier to talk about once you start talking to a few people, and there is always MN for support!

AndyMurraysBalls Wed 03-Jul-13 10:39:50

No HRT. Have had "weird" periods all my adult life. I just seem to be having an early (ish) menopause at 45. This is self-diagnosed - hardly any bleeding, hot flushes and sweating at night.

Am googling VA - I don't seem to have those symptoms.

Have been looking at pelvic "devices" for a few days now after my unfortunate event.

Yes - local continence clinic is self-referral. Tried the number but it went to answerphone. Didn't feel I could leave a mumbling message so will re-try.

Thanks for all your advice. Anyone else out there struggling at the moment? Perhaps we could set up a help blog?

AndyMurraysBalls Wed 03-Jul-13 10:50:10

I am actually sobbing now. This is pathetic.

It is training night tomorrow at the running club and I am so worked up. My hormones must be total mush.

cocolepew Wed 03-Jul-13 10:54:59

By a decent sized pad and new shorts if needed for the meantime.
Phone the clinic again and leave your name and contact number, you don't need to say anything else.
Go to your go and ask for a hormone test to see if you are menopausal.
Don't suffer they're is plenty to be done to stop this, it affects thousands of women you're not alone smile.

cocolepew Wed 03-Jul-13 10:58:15

Even if you don't have the main, obvioys symptoms of VA, you could still be needing estrogen pessaries for this problem.

magimedi Wed 03-Jul-13 11:08:26

Don't suffer - thousands & hundreds of thousands of women suffer from this - you are not the only one.

As coco said - leave a contact number with the clinic so you can get an appointment asap.

You've started the process of getting this sorted by posting here - it's a big first step!

AndyMurraysBalls Wed 03-Jul-13 11:41:44

Thank you. I am a strong woman and this will not beat me. It is just a load of bollocks and with the right help I will overcome it.

I have just walked round to the doctors and insisted on speaking to someone even though they have no appointments.

The practice manager used to work in physio and said that thousands of women go through physio for this and that it can usually be cured by being shown exactly how to exercise - she said it's not always obvious or effective unless you are shown and your progress checked properly. In some cases the op is required and this is very common too. She urged me to make an appointment asap and tell the GP, firmly, that this is damaging my life and insist on action. The GP will examine me and assess where to refer me. She said "be pushy and pro-active and don't accept delays".

I feel a bit more empowered.

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