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Wise women will want to know

31 August 2005

Life Without Limits Week Continence Awareness 4 ~ 10 September

Wise women will want to know …

A "misbehaving bladder" can be made to behave! Urine leakage is common during pregnancy and after childbirth - about 1 in 3 women who ever had a baby wet themselves. It's nothing to be sneezed at. And it's no laughing matter!

The message of the NZ Continence Assn to the many women in New Zealand who are hiding the problem, or thinking that nothing can be done, is to talk to a specially-trained continence advisor or pelvic floor physiotherapist. For contact details free phone (0800 650 659), or your GP.

The NZ Continence Association’s CEO, Jan Zander, says, "There are many simple and effective measures people can try at home, including pelvic floor muscle exercises. With the help of a specially trained pelvic floor physiotherapist these exercises have now been clearly shown to be a generally effective, risk-free and low-cost alternative to surgery for women, with a recent Australian study showing a startling 84% cure rate."

The Association says that healthy, fit pelvic floor muscles before the baby is born will recover more easily after the birth. The National Bladder Helpline (0800 650 659) has free leaflets on how to correctly exercise pelvic floor muscles.

It's not just about "leaking". Also associated with incontinence is toilet frequency and urgency, constipation, or perhaps haemorrhoids. If you're organising your day around the nearest toilets, or suddenly having to rush to a toilet, then you should seek help. No problem is "too small" - small problems have a habit of getting bigger! These days, an incontinence problem can be treated, improved and frequently cured.

Importantly, incontinence can impact on quality of life and often worsens slowly over time. If you are starting to cut back on sport or healthy exercise, avoiding social activities or family outings, or if your more intimate relationships are being affected, then talk to a doctor or a specially-trained continence professional. Incontinence won't get better on its own!

"Bladder or bowel problem? Don’t let it hold you back!"



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