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Bladder weakness help

(125 Posts)
Olivesandwine Mon 30-Jul-18 18:43:35

I have never really had a real problem with wetting myself when I sneeze or cough, but about 6 weeks ago I wet myself a little bit when I was walking back from a night out. I was desperate for the loo and was laughing so just put it down to that. Then the same thing happened again 2 weeks ago, needed the toilet and whilst walking same thing happened. I was going to start doing some pelvic floor exercises but didn’t get round to it.
Then today at work, I needed the toilet and again a little bit of wee came out. I was/am mortified.
It’s as if my bladder can’t hold things in when I am on the move and need to go. Has only happened while I have been walking and on my way to the toilet so far.
Is this stress incontinence? I don’t know what to do. Do I start doing the exercises and see if things improve? Or go to the doctors first. I’m quite horrified and embarrassed.

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo Mon 30-Jul-18 22:00:00

If it's just started it could be a UTI so it might be worth seeing the GP or practice nurse to get it tested.

You can get thin pads to catch small leaks so it might be worth wearing those until it improves. Watch out as some are scented which is a recipe for thrush and UTIs in my opinion.

There used to be a fantastic poster called gussiegrips who was a woman's health physiotherapist. I haven't seen her for a while so I don't know if she still posts. She was passionate about pelvic floors so it's worth searching for her posts about how to do the exercises correctly. Even if it turns out to be an infection it's worth doing the exercises daily anyway. They only take a couple of minutes. I do them while I brush my teeth.

I had my rectum removed a while ago so my pelvic floor was a bit of a disaster. But I just did those exercises daily and within a year of surgery my GP did an internal examination and my pelvic floor was stronger than most women my age. So they really do work if you are persistent. I started out using some gadgets another physiotherapist recommended but I couldn't get the hang of them.

But I'd wait until you've checked for a UTI before starting just in case you do have one and the exercises aggravate it.

All the best flowers

Olivesandwine Mon 30-Jul-18 22:23:33

Not sure if its a uti because this first happened 6 weeks ago. I dont know much about uti's tbh but i have been feeling like i want to pee all the time today, but its probably just me thinking about it too much. I have made an appointment next week at the docs anyway.
Going to try the exercises if I can figure out how to do them.
Thank you for your advice smile

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo Mon 30-Jul-18 23:55:03

Sorry I misread the timescales blush but I'm sure the GP will check anyway. I'm glad you got an appointment. Try not to be embarrassed. They'll have seen and heard much worse!

This is what I do (with credit to gussiegrips)

1. Pull up and hold for 10 seconds
2. Do ten quick clenches (pull up and release immediately)
3. Imagine your pelvic floor is like a lift - pull up to the first floor, then the second and then the third, pausing at each level. Then release back down to the second floor, then the first, then let go. Releasing back down gradually is really tricky! You can add more "floors" once you've mastered this one, and pause a bit longer at each. I still find the three floors plenty challenging though.

Then repeat all of those twice more.

Don't be tempted to do more than that to start with. You can build up the number of repeats gradually if you want to, but start off with just three of each type. It turns out you can overdo it and strain the muscles, and it's not very comfortable blush

Olivesandwine Tue 31-Jul-18 07:14:15

Thanks. I’m going to do the exercises. I find it quite hard to do them properly without tensing other muscles and holding my breath. I’ve been trawling the internet and I’m not sure how many sets to do and how many times a day. Each site advises something different.

I really am quite upset about it. My first thoughts were to cut right back on my fluid intake and just go for a wee every hour to prevent any accidents but I know that’s not advised. People make jokes about this kind of thing but it’s not funny. Tena ladies for me then ☹️

RunsforCake14 Tue 31-Jul-18 07:22:08

I had a similar problem recently. I went to the docs who said I'd possibly had a UTI that had cleared up. But now my bladder was sensitive. She recommended going for a wee no more than once an hour. Sometimes I felt I was desperate to go even though I'd just been. It took about a week to get it back under control.
But you need to see the docs first to rule out anything else.

Olivesandwine Tue 31-Jul-18 07:54:30

Thanks Runs. I'll see what doc says next week.
Its probably just my age and another delight of the menopause. Its more than I can't totally hold it in when I need to go. I'm not flooded but just a bit escapes. Its happened 3 times now but that's 3 times too many!
I'll have to try and not become obsessed with this though. I suffer from anxiety and this could easily become the "thing" that I latch on to.

Mabelface Tue 31-Jul-18 08:03:14

Sounds like your bladder is a bit overactive. Go and see your gp, as there's loads they can do. I take daily medication which has made a massive difference to me. Cutting out caffeine will help too.

CantankerousOldSod Tue 31-Jul-18 09:58:42

Definitely start doing pelvic floors. I do them 4 times a day and have noticed a BIG difference. I can now cough and sneeze when standing and do not have to cross my legs! I have had 3 very large babies vaginally and a total abdo hysterectomy. I saw a women's physio and I do

10 fast squeeze and releases
10 lots of holding for 10 seconds
10 lots of the "lift" ones

over a period of about 9 months, the muscles do feel stronger and dare I say it, sex and orgasms are a lot bettergrin

Olivesandwine Tue 31-Jul-18 17:57:34

I’ve being doing the exercises today. I’m finding it quite hard to start with, especially the lift thing but I suppose I’ll get better as I go on. Hope I’m doing it right.
Well at least I got through the day without pissing myself so that’s a bonus.

Olivesandwine Wed 01-Aug-18 08:15:52

Just one more question. Does it only take a few minutes to do all these exercises? Don't want to overdo it but then again want to be doing enough. Thanks.

Itsonly5oclock Fri 03-Aug-18 07:26:44

gussiegrips did a guest post on here a few years ago which was very good. Have a look. Don't think she's here any more but it would be great if she did another one, it was very helpful and I have questions too.
She has a website but there doesn't seem to be much info on there, unless its my stupid iPad acting up.
Perhaps one of us could start a support thread on here, maybe on women's health?

Olivesandwine Fri 03-Aug-18 08:19:40

Yes a support thread for all things bladder and pelvic floor would be wonderful. Such a common problem and not talked about enough.
I'll start one later.

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo Fri 03-Aug-18 11:28:43

Olives I do them while I'm brushing my teeth and they're finished before my two minute toothbrush timer goes off. The lift one is the hardest, I find, but it will get a bit easier. If you can afford it it might be worth paying to see a physiotherapist privately (one the specialises in women's health) so they can check you are doing the exercises correctly. Don't hold your breath while you're doing them and try not to clench your buttocks or any other muscles. It might be easier to do them lying down at first.

daffodildelight Fri 03-Aug-18 11:32:32

Tena lady!

Olivesandwine Fri 03-Aug-18 16:09:13

Thank you Whatwould. I’ll see what doc says next week and maybe look into a private physio.
And not funny daffodildelight.

rainbowruthie Fri 03-Aug-18 16:17:38

Definitely cut out caffeine, that has really helped me, I also take d-mannose and try to do those exercises

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo Fri 03-Aug-18 16:44:24

Also if you think you're about to have an accident, resist the urge to tense up. Breathe out and relax as much as possible. Take slow, shallow breaths. When you hold your breath it puts more pressure on the pelvic floor.

Olivesandwine Fri 03-Aug-18 16:58:36

Thanks. The first thing I do is tense up and that makes things worse.
I’ve already cut out the caffeine but I’m feeling like I need to wee all the time but not a lot is coming out. Going to try and drink plenty of water and flush the bladder and see if that helps.

Hopefully the doc will have some answers for me next week.

Toofle Sat 04-Aug-18 07:29:01

Not sure if anyone has mentioned her already , but google Michele Kenway. Australian physio with all the info you need ( short of one to one live help ) on pelvic floor exercises.

MN discussions on these topics have been one of the best sources of info over the years. There's also a good booklet available online by the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists. You are not alone!

Olivesandwine Sat 04-Aug-18 07:53:45

Thanks Toofle I'll take a look.

Its good to know I'm not alone and you are right, MN is brilliant for stuff like this and has been such a help to me over the years for lots of things smile.
I'll report back after my doctors visit. Hope I don't cry blush. I visited DM the other day and burst into tears after making a dash to the toilet when I arrived. Not good. Poor DM was great though.

Toofle Sat 04-Aug-18 13:39:34

Do post after you've seen the GP. To me it sounds like a bladder weakness , maybe a cystocele ( prolapse ) combined with a UTI. I'm just an amateur btw! Good luck!

Olivesandwine Sun 05-Aug-18 08:53:13

Thanks Toofle I will update when I've been.

Peggyandkitty Sun 05-Aug-18 18:31:58

Sorry to hijack this but what does a prolapse feel like? Would I know if I had one?
I’ve been feeling like I want to pee a lot, which gets worse as the day goes on. No burning or stinging when I go so don’t think I’ve got cystitis and no pains so don’t think it’s a uti. I’ve had a few small leaks on the way to the toilet and I’m getting a bit paranoid about it so was wondering if it’s all in my mind and if I’m making it worse by thinking about it all the time.

Olivesandwine Mon 06-Aug-18 07:27:10

I don’t know Peggy. I’m new to all this and I’m wondering myself.
Had an awful day yesterday, I just felt that I needed to wee all day long and it did get worse as the day progressed. What’s all that about? Was trying to hold on as long as possible but I was scared if I left it too late I would wee myself before I got to the toilet. It was very uncomfortable.

However, I am an anxious person at the best of times, and I don’t know if I’m making things worse for myself because I have been focusing all my attention on this tbh.

Hopefully the doctor will have some answers on Wednesday.

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