Good news about leaking bladders and women over 50

September 3, 2011 at 9:03 am in Healthy Living by VN Editors

If you’re a woman over 50 suffering from a leaking bladder, an overactive bladder, or some form of bladder weakness, you are not alone. Millions of otherwise healthy women over 50 experience some minor form of urinary incontinence, often related to natural, normal events such as childbirth, weight fluctuation, or hormone changes during menopause.

In fact, according to Dr. Cynthia Hall, urogynecologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, as many as “1 in 4 women over 40 experience urinary incontinence symptoms, which can be anything from very mild leaks to a full release of urine.”

And yet this upsetting health issue continues to be cloaked in embarrassed silence.

As Dr. Cynthia Hall recently observed, “Women are particularly reluctant to discuss [bladder weakness], despite the fact that it is so commonly experienced. From my perspective as a pelvic health practitioner, we need to raise awareness and educate this aging population of women about the condition.”

Vibrant Nation, the leading online community of women over 50, offers its members a rare venue to address sensitive health topics such as bladder control problems. Here, the delicate subject of bladder weakness is often discussed by smart, health-conscious members with rare openness – and even humor. Vibrant Nation members share experiences that range from occasional leakage (the “I pee when I laugh syndrome”) to the urgent feeling of needing to urinate all the time, to not being able to make it to the bathroom in time:

“I’m only 50 but when I sneeze or cough, my bladder lets my urine all go. Is this normal?”

“Does anyone else pee when they laugh? At 52, this is new for me – and I love laughing! It also sometimes happens when I sneeze. What do women do about this?”

“As long as I can remember, I have had a problem with nocturia (getting up in the middle of the night more than two or three times to urinate). Now I’m getting to the point where I can’t get through the night and get good sleep.”

“I leak sometimes when I cough – and sometimes when walking to the ladies’ room I start to leak a little before I get there. I wear panty liners every day.”

If information is power, then open conversation is a great beginning – permitting women to counter harmful misconceptions such as the myth that bladder weakness is inevitable during the second phase of life. As Dr. Cynthia Hall pointed out, “Many Boomer women are still silently grappling with this embarrassing condition because they incorrectly believe their symptoms are a ‘normal part of aging.’ While aging does play a role in the weakening of the pelvic muscles, aging alone is not the diagnosis. Urinary incontinence, unlike some other age related conditions, is manageable.”

It’s true: Leaking bladders may be common among women over 50, but it is not an inevitable part of aging. The good news about bladder weakness is, it can be successfully managed and even eliminated using simple methods that do not involve prescription medications or risky surgery.

Here on Vibrant Nation, members exchange advice about effective treatments that have allowed them to manage an overactive or leaking bladder — without being slowed down either professionally or socially. As one Vibrant Nation member puts it, “I love the freedom of spending more time with friends or at meetings or movies without worrying about leaving dampening evidence!”

Very good news for vibrant women everywhere.

For more information about managing bladder weakness, download the FREE Vibrant Nation Special Report, 5 keys to manage a leaking bladder or overactive bladder for women over 50.