Managing Bladder Leaks

So you have tried to ignore it, but it didnt go away??

You are not alone! Did you know that, 1 in 3 women, and 1 in 10 men, worldwide know the feeling too!  The great news is that in most cases bladder leaks can be managed!  It’s time to recognise what is happening and start doing something about it, and we are here to help!

These 7 tips could make a big difference today!

1. Understand your body and your symptoms

It’s time to get to know yourself a bit better! Everyone is different, and understanding your own body is step 1.

  • Keep a Bladder Diary (click on the right to download ours!) This makes it easier to figure out what is happening, when it’s happening and sometimes even why it is happening! You will be able to identify patterns, triggers etc which makes managing bladder leaks easier. As you start to make adjustments you will see what it working and what isn’t.
  • Know how much you leak. This sounds easier than it is, and many people under- and over -estimate how much they leak at a time. If you want to be sure, you can test using a pad. Weigh an unused disposable incontinence pad using a kitchens scale, as soon as you feel a leak, weigh it again. 1g = 1ml! Repeat this test a few times and doing different activities to better understand your leaks!

2. Know the effects of fluids and food


  • How much you drink is just as important as what you drink. Did you know that drinking too little fluid during the day can worsen bladder leaks? Drinking too little leads to a much more concentrated urine with a higher percentage of waste products. This urine is irritaing to the bladder and makes bladder control more difficult. On the other hand drinking too much fluid will result in increased urine production which puts strain on the bladder.
  • What you drink can play a big role in managing bladder leaks.  Avoid or limit drinking caffeinated (tea, coffee, cola), carbonated (bubbles!) and alcoholic drinks. Acidic drinks like fruit juices are also known to irriatants.


  • Many foods have been identified as possible bladder irritants, but this doesnt necessarily mean that they will all cause trouble for everyone! Keeping the bladder diary will help indentify which affect you. The bladder irritant food list includes spicy foods, acidic fruits (eg oranges), tomatoe based products and chocolate (bad news, I know!)

3. Meet your Pelvic Floor!

You may have heard of this before, but do you know what it is?

Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles that form the base of your pelvis. Think of it as a muscular hammock that holds your pelvic organs. The pelvic floor has openings for the anus, urethra and it ladies the vagina. Both weakness as well as muscular over activity can leak to problems with bladder function. Seeing a medical practitioner that specialises in pelvic health will help not only identify the problem but also help with the solution!


4. Know the side-effects of medication you may be taking.

If you develop any changes in urination after starting new medication discuss this with your doctor. There are a few medications that are known to add to bladder troubles!

These include:

– Certain anti-depressants

– Diuretics

-Certain medications for high blood pressure

– Certain muscle relaxants

– Certain heart medications

– Certain medications used in the management of Parkinsonism


5. Body Weight and General Strength

There are many reasons to have (and maintain!) a healthy body weight, and here’s another one!

An increased body weight leads to increased pressure and potential weaking of the pelvic floor (see above!). General body strength and fitness helps to ensure that each area of your body works the way it should- this includes your pelvic floor. Many of our body’s stabilisers work as a unit, so the whole system needs to be strong to work optimally!

Active Seniors Exercising

6. Manage a chronic cough and stop smoking!

A cough is a very forceful muscle contraction, and this force creates a sudden increase in intra-abdominal pressure, which in term places pressure on your bladder! It’s important to identify the causes of chronic coughing so that the correct treatment and management can be started. Reasons for coughing include seasonal allergies, asthma, and smoking.

While smoking can lead to coughing there are a few other reasons that smoking is linked to bladder control trouble. Smoking irritates the bladder making control more difficult. Smoking has also linked to bladder cancer and kidney stones!

7. Know the management options for Bladder Leaks

There are options! Don’t let bladder leaks get in the way of living a full and happy life! Get your confidence back!

– Talk about it! Make an appointment to see your doctor or pelvic health physio (use our bladder diary above and take it along!)

– Make the changes! Follow the advice you get, and make the changes to lifestyle and nutrition that are related to your symptoms

– Get comfortable, good quality absorbent products. Our Washable Absorbent Underwear looks and feels like regular underwear but offer built-in protection against leaks! 

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Managing Bladder Leaks

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