The health problem most women over 50 face

A couple of years ago, I finally admitted I had a problem.

You see, I had been ignoring a big issue… in fact, it might be more accurate to say that I was hiding from it. It was embarrassing, so it wasn’t something I wanted to think about… much less talk about… but it was affecting my life. It had even started affecting my kids.

The problem?

Urinary incontinence.

Yep, now you can see why I wanted to pretend like it wasn’t happening. But it was.

I was scared to death to cough, sneeze or even laugh because more than once I’d had to leave a room with a jacket tied around my waist. I’d had to tell my kids that I wasn’t able to play basketball with them or jump on the trampoline because all of that bouncing was sure to cause an accident.

Finally I got to the point where I refused to live my life that way anymore.

I learned something very important — I was not alone.
There were many, many women out there just like me going through the same problem.

It’s something you need to know if you’re living with urinary incontinence because it’s a health problem that can make you feel isolated. That’s why I wanted to share the results of a brand-new survey with you.

A common issue that shouldn’t be overlooked

New findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging reveal something that might surprise you.

Nearly half of women over 50 say they sometimes leak urine. The problem can range from nothing more than a minor nuisance to a major issue that can severely affect quality of life.

The survey was conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, and it was sponsored by AARP and Michigan Medicine, UM’s academic medical center.

The poll of more than 1,000 women between the ages of 50 and 80 found that 43 percent of women in their 50s and early 60s have experienced urinary incontinence. And the number jumps to 51 percent in the over 65 group.

Carolyn Swenson, M.D., a urogynecologist at Michigan Medicine and IHPI member who helped develop the poll questions and analyze the findings said, “Urinary incontinence is a common condition that may not be routinely screened for in primary care, yet it can impact a woman’s quality of life and health, and is usually treatable.”

Of the women who experienced issues with urinary incontinence, a third of them said they dealt with an episode almost every day. Close to half were worried that the problem would get progressively worse with age.

The women were living with many worries since there were a number of triggers for accidents, like:

• Sneezing — 79 percent

• Not being able to get to the bathroom in time — 64 percent

• Laughing — 49 percent

• Exercising — 37 percent

The problems were so bad that 59 percent had bought special pads or undergarments to catch leaks. Sixteen percent had stopped drinking as much liquids. And 15 percent had changed what they wore (like wearing darker clothing) to hide accidents.

Yet two-thirds hadn’t talked to their doctor about their problem either because they didn’t view it as a health problem or were embarrassed by the issue. Only 38 percent were doing exercises to strengthen their pelvic floor and stop leakage.

Yet, according to Dr. Swenson, “It’s not an inevitable part of aging and shouldn’t be overlooked.”

Stopping leakage

So, if you’re living with urine leakage, know that you’re not alone and there are things you can do to overcome the problem — I know because I did it.

Here’s the process I used to overcome my urinary incontinence and feel confident enough to laugh and play with my kids again.

#1 — Do kegels

OK, we all know we should do them, but you do actually have to do them for it to work.

And the good news is that they’re simple.

To figure out the muscles to work, practice by stopping your flow of urine once. Now that you know what muscles to squeeze, work them by contracting and holding for five seconds, followed by five seconds of relaxation. Work your way up to 10 and 10.

#2 — Take bladder-supporting supplements

When it comes to stopping urine leakage, there are two ingredients I look for in a supplement. Together, they help strengthen your pelvic floor and bladder and help you empty your bladder more completely when you “go.”

The first is EFLA 940. It’s a water-soluble pumpkin seed extract that offers superior bioavailability to help with urine flow and to decrease leftover urine.

The second is SoyLife® soy germ isoflavones that help naturally help balance your estrogen levels to help support stronger bladder function.

Two separate studies of women age 35 to 84 found that the combination of these two supplements resulted in 100 percent improvement of overactive bladder and uncontrolled urge to “go” after just six weeks.

Peak Bladder Supportcontains these two ingredients as part of its patented formula. It helps strengthen bladder walls and calm an overactive bladder so you can empty it completely.

#3 — Double Void

After you pee, wait for a minute or two and then try to “go” again. It helps to ensure that there’s no leftover urine in your bladder that could result in accidents later.

I found that these three steps were the most important in stopping the leaks that were so embarrassing to me and I believe that they will help you too.