October 9, 2015
Your teen years and all the insecurities of being a pubescent young woman are long gone (Amen for that!), but now you face a new problem– BLADDER LEAKAGE. For perimenopausal and menopausal women, having stress urinary incontinence can make them feel like an awkward teen saddled with wearing daily bulky pads.
The medical term for this condition is Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) and experienced urogynecologist, Dr. Toni Harris says, “1 in 4 women experience it”. Maybe these ‘oops moments’ started when you were in college, or perhaps after you had your first kid, but the problem is– they never left. You thought that it was just one of those things that will go away with time, but those little dribbles of pee continue. You avoid seeing funny movies in fear that Tina Fey’s contageous humor will make you laugh too hard before you can cross your legs. You’ve stopped going on hikes with your girlfriends and opted to workout at home where you can change your pants after a workout. You’ve even made it a point to always get your flu shot, because a cough or emptying of the stomach contents are surely to leave you with wet pants!
What Causes Bladders Leaks?
All you want to know is, “Why now?”. You didn’t have leaks this often before, but now they are controlling your life. According to Dr. Toni, these are 3 common causes of stress urinary incontinence:
1. Child birth: Bladder problems are a result of weakened or stretched pelvic floor muscles. This is why child birth is the leading cause of stress urinary incontinence. While vaginal delivery increases the risk of suffering from SUI, getting a caesarean section (c-section) doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. The simple fact is, the amount of pressure placed on the pelvic floor during pregnancy in and of itself can lead to unexpected bladder leaks.
2. Menopause: The normal age for menopause can start any time from 40 years of age on, with 50 being the average age in the U.S. Coincidentally the average age of women seeking help for urinary incontinence is 50. Simply put, aging doesn’t just mean getting wiser. As you age so do your organs and their functions. During menopause the loss of estrogen production causes the pelvic muscles in charge of bladder control to weaken, resulting in SUI.
3. Weight gain: While it is well known that child bearing and menopause are common reasons older women begin to experience bladder leaks, it is less known that SUI can also be the product of being overweight. For this reason, SUI is not restricted to women ‘past a certain age’, but can affect women as young as in their 20’s.
Now that you know why you are experiencing these embarrassing and inconvenient leaks, what are you going to do about it? Dr. Toni explains that “women are often reluctant to seek care for urinary incontinence because of embarrassment, non-acceptance that UI is ‘natural’, not wanting surgery and poor knowledge of treatment options”.
Skip the Pad, Surgery and Try Finess
The good news is there are options that don’t require surgery! Finess is a small, soft, disposable patch that you place over the urethral opening to block leaks before they happen. Super lightweight, discreet and comfortable, you can enjoy all your activities without even knowing it’s there. Finess stops the urine from escaping, so there’s no fluid to absorb. If your symptoms are debilitating and changing the way you want to live your life, take charge. Dr. Toni encourages all women suffering from SUI to, “talk to your doctor, research the Internet, talk to your friends and find a solution that allows you to lead your life as happy and healthy as you can.”
Discreet, comfortable and compact, Finess is available in a 6 or 36-pack. With Finess, women are able to enjoy their daily activities without the stress of stress urinary incontinence.
How to place Finess using the girl scout salute:
Want to learn more about stress urinary incontinence? Watch our interviews with Over50Feeling40’s Pam Lutrell and Dr. Toni Harris: