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Don't Ignore Bladder Problems

Life Without Limits Week
Continence Awareness 3-9 Sept 2006
“Understanding your pelvic floor”

“Don’t Ignore Bladder Problems”

It wont go away. Left untreated, it will most likely get worse.

One of the most common causes of bladder weakness in women is the effect of pregnancy and childbirth on the pelvic floor muscles and nerves – which in turn can adversely affect bladder function.

Before, during, and following menopause are other times women may experience bladder weakness. This may be due to reduced oestrogen levels affecting the tone of the pelvic floor muscles.

As there are many causes of bladder weakness it is important to ensure that other medical conditions or prescribed medications are not the cause of the bladder weakness.

Urine leakage is never normal, and women should be aware of the telltale signs. Some women may lose a small amount of urine when they cough, laugh, sneeze or with exercise. Some may experience urgency in reaching the toilet in time.

One in three women who ever had a baby wet themselves but only one third will seek professional help. Most think nothing can be done.

However with help 70-80% can become dry again or significantly improved.

For free information pamphlets and a list of free continence services please phone 0800 650 659 or go to

The NZ Continence Assn has produced a CD titled “Understanding your pelvic floor” that every women should hear. It includes Introduction, Good bladder habits, Types of incontinence, Healthy bowel habits, Pelvic floor training for women and men, Prolapse of the pelvic organs, Role of the pelvic floor in sexual function and commonly asked questions along with a booklet of basic anatomy diagrams to assist the listener.

These will be available for $10 (incl p&p). For an order form please email jan[at]


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