Why it happens - lights by TENA

Why it happens

The first thing to remember is that the majority of women experience light leakage at some time in their lives, so you’re not going through anything that isn’t happening to thousands of other women.

Little leaks may affect women of all ages, but is more common after childbirth and over time. They occur due to weakened pelvic floor muscles and may be experienced during f ex exercise, sneezing, coughing or laughing. Leakage amounts are usually small. Below we have described some situations when little leaks might happen.

DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY

The physical and hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and childbirth increase the risk of experiencing leakage, and the risk of leakage, as you may have found, is higher when you sneeze, cough, laugh or even whilst you exercise.

Whilst you’re pregnant your bladder is under increased pressure from your uterus and you’ve got less room to store wee. During pregnancy your body is also producing progesterone, a muscle relaxant which weakens the effect of your pelvic floor muscles. It becomes more difficult for your pelvic floor muscles to stop the flow, so it’s certainly not uncommon that a little leak may catch you unawares.

Is it therefore any wonder that unexpected little leaks are so common during pregnancy?

During the first 1-2 weeks after the birth you’ll wee much more frequently as your body is ridding itself of all that extra fluid you retained during your pregnancy. Your pelvic floor muscles will have been stretched during pregnancy and not every part of us ‘instantly bounces’ back to the way it was pre-pregnancy, unfortunately.

Understandably, you’re going to be frustrated and, at times, embarrassed - after all, you can’t pick and choose the times you experience an oooops moment. You can of course mention your urinary leakage to your midwife or GP at your antenatal check ups. There are steps you can take, both to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and to deal with the leaks that commonly occurs during pregnancy and after childbirth.

For more information, visit How you can help yourself

WHILST EXERCISING

We do get a raw deal sometimes don’t we? We should be proud of ourselves for embarking on a regular exercise regime to keep our minds and bodies healthy, but it can come with the odd side effect – unexpected little leaks may occur for the first time when we increase our level of activity.

The increased exertion associated with the commencement of a new training schedule  may evoke the otherwise latent risk of little leaks in women who previously have not experienced this problem. This is due to the additional pressure on the bladder, caused by running or pounding the cross trainer.

But don’t let it get in the way of your good intentions. Don´t stop exercising!  Ensure you’re wearing a lights by TENA ultra-thin liner – the Long Liner is great for extra security - while you exercise to ensure you’re protected and add a couple more exercises to your regular routine. You can also perform pelvic floor exercises in order to strengthen those muscles and prevent leakage occurring during exercising.

And it’s crucial that you drink plenty of water while you exercise –depriving your body of water will not help, as your body craves more fluids during exercise to cope with the fluids you lose as you burn the calories. 

For more information, visit How you can help yourself

PRE / POST PERIODS

Busy lifestyles, constant demands and high pressured workloads can affect more than our stress levels – it can affect our menstrual cycle and our hormones, and – worse still – even our bodily functions.

Hormone levels change throughout your menstrual cycle, with oestrogen levels at their highest during ovulation, and at their lowest right before, during and after a period. There is also an increase in progesterone after ovulation, a hormone which relaxes smooth muscle.

Little leaks can occur at any time during the menstrual cycle. Leakage in association with exertion or when coughing, sneezing or laughing is possibly more common after ovulation reaching a maximum approximately one week prior to the start of menstruation. This has been explained by an increased amount of circulating progesterone after ovulation.

Luckily its nothing to worry about, as lights by TENA’s range has been specifically created to be ultra slim and discreet, enabling you to feel fresh and confident all day long.  Why not pop a couple in your bag for that extra reassurance.

That said, you’re here because you want to know how you can avoid oooops moments in the first place. Get into the habit of exercising your pelvic floor every day to keep the area strong, and cut back on caffeine, fizzy drinks and alcohol – they can exacerbate the problem.

If, in spite of our assurances, you’re still concerned, keep a diary to see if there’s a pattern to your urinary leakage – it might help you uncover its cause or at least give you a heads up on when to expect your next oooops moment.

For more information, visit How you can help yourself

LAUGHING, SNEEZING, COUGHING, JUMPING

It’s coming to something when you can’t even laugh at your children’s antics, or your friends’ jokes, or sneeze or cough without the fear of experiencing that ‘leaking’ sensation. And forget jumping!

It’s not uncommon for women to experience an increase in oooops moment when they’re laughing at something, caught short by the urge to cough or sneeze, or even when they jump up and down, but it shouldn’t prevent you doing any of them. Just as well, really – have you ever tried to stop yourself sneezing?!

These oooops moments happen because of an increased pressure on your bladder -  a result of your stomach muscles contracting during laughing, coughing, sneezing or jumping. This will cause an increase in pressure within the abdomen leading to an increased pressure on your bladder and your pelvic floor muscles.

You’ll notice it happens less when you have a sustained bout of sneezing – such as hayfever or ‘flu – because your body’s adjusted and prepared for the onslaught, than it does when you’re caught unawares.

Like other causes of minor leakages, it’s easily overcome – as well as practicing clenching and releasing your pelvic floor to make it stronger, keep a couple of discreet, ultra-thin lights by TENA pads in your purse so you have them to hand when you need them.

For more information, visit How you can help yourself