Home Aging Well Physical & Mental Health 8 Surprising Myths About Bladder Leaks

8 Surprising Myths About Bladder Leaks

I’m thrilled to present a guest post today from Sydney Larson of Lily Bird. Lily Bird is helping solve the problem so many women our age deal with – bladder leaks – by providing a variety of pads and underwear shipped directly to your home. During these times when we’re encouraged to stay home, this service is more valuable than ever. I normally don’t allow guest posts from companies unless they want to contribute to a sponsored post but I thought the service Lily Bird provides was so worthwhile, I wanted to introduce it to my readers. I am an affiliate for the company which means if you purchase from the company via a link in this post, I will receive a small commision at no extra cost to you.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

I still remember the first time I experienced a bladder leak — vividly. I remember exactly where I was, who I was with, and what I was wearing. I was in high school and hanging out at a friend’s house, which of course meant a lot of giggling. And in one of my giggle fits, there it was. A big splat of a bladder leak.

I was mortified and immediately wondered if anyone could tell as I awkwardly squeezed my legs together and limped off to the bathroom to assess my clothes. Thank goodness my shorts were black, I thought. At the time I had no idea that bladder leaks happen to a huge number of women. But now, with the wisdom that comes with age, I think it’s high time we start talking about bladder leaks: to tell you what Lily Bird is doing about them, to smash stigmas around the female body, and to bust some common myths about bladder leaks (aka incontinence).

Myth #1: Only my great Aunt Matilda is old enough to get bladder leaks (and I’m not old!)

You may associate bladder leakage with people who are much older than you. But the truth is, leaks don’t discriminate (see above). You can sometimes blame bladder leaks on the hormone changes around menopause. (And unlike hot flashes, the vaginal and urinary symptoms associated with menopause only get worse over time). But there are so many reasons for bladder leaks, including pregnancy, childbirth, and neurological conditions, that plenty of younger women get them too.

Myth #2: Bladder leak products will make me feel like I’m wearing a diaper or in a nursing home

Ok, I actually sort of agree with you on this one. There are a lot of terrible products out there. And a lot of marketing that implies women with bladder leaks are all decrepit centenarians instead of women in midlife who still have a lot of life to live. All this is exactly why I started Lily Bird. Because you aren’t old, broken, or alone and you don’t have to buy products that say that you are. Women of all ages get bladder leaks and, regardless of our actual age, none of us want to feel decrepit. So at Lily Bird we’re keeping things real and being a little cheeky while we smash taboos about the female body and hand out 10-product trials for only $1.99.

Myth #3: Grab whatever is under your sink; a pad is a pad.

Not so fast. You may think that a pad is a pad is a pad but let me tell you: a pad is not a pad! Pantyliners and menstrual pads are not designed for bladder leaks. Think about it for a moment. Blood and urine are pretty different. They flow at different rates, for one. And while blood touching your skin is unlikely to irritate it, urine likely will. You wouldn’t use a spoon to eat a salad (right?), so don’t use a menstrual product for bladder leaks. Make sure you have the right tool for the job. Your bladder and your skin will thank you for it.

Myth #4: Tightening your pelvic floor will fix all your problems.

If I hear someone say “just do Kegels” one more time, I might scream. Yes, Kegels, pelvic physical therapy, and pelvic floor exercises can all help with bladder leaks if your problem is that your pelvic floor is too loosey goosey. But, most women do these exercises wrong. And they are usually not a silver bullet. Even worse, sometimes bladder leaks are caused by a pelvic floor being too tight. In this case, Kegels are only going to make things worse.

Myth #5: Pee whenever you’re near a restroom, just in case

Moms are full of all sorts of wisdom. But if your mom said  “just go try” when you, as a kid, declared that you didn’t have to pee, your mom may not have been up to speed on the latest and greatest in bladder health. Peeing when you don’t need to go (i.e. “just in case peeing”) actually breaks down the communication between your brain and your bladder which can put your bladder in charge of your urges and make an overactive bladder even worse. 

Myth #6 Holding your pee is a bad idea

Within reason, holding your pee is actually fine. Done too much and for too long it’s not a great idea. But holding your pee is an important technique in bladder training, where you can train an overactive bladder to feel the urge less often. If you find yourself headed to the bathroom more frequently than every 2-4 hours, try holding the urge for a few minutes before you give into it. It may even subside completely!

Myth #7: Taking medication or going under the knife are the only ways to really solve the problem.

This myth is unfortunately pedaled by some of our friends in the medical profession. Bladder sling surgery can be very effective for stress incontinence and medications can be helpful for urge incontinence. Don’t get me wrong. But there are also many other remedies you can try before popping pills or going under the knife, which a lot of women don’t want to do except as a last resort.

Myth #8: I have to buy a giant packet of products while standing in the most embarrassing aisle of the drug store

Isn’t it the worst when you buy a large package of something just to realize 2 products in that it is definitely not for you? Not to mention that, when talking about bladder leak products, you have to puzzle over dozens of products while standing in a drug store aisle you’d rather not be seen in. All that is why, at Lily Bird, you can start with a 10-product, 10-day trial for only $1.99. No need to buy a 100-pack of a bladder leak pad you’ve never tried before. No need to go to the drug store. We deliver discreetly to your door. And no need to puzzle over dozens of options. We’ve picked out the cream of the crop and our customer service is top notch (if we say so ourselves). We’re always happy to extend your trial period, send you a sample of something extra to make sure you have the right thing, or adjust your shipment schedule to make sure everything is perfectly tailored to you. It’s time to say goodbye to the mountains of products that don’t fit and don’t work, to embarrassing drug store aisles, and to unhelpful customer service people.

Ready to tell your bladder who’s boss? Get pads and underwear for leaky laughs and dribble dilemmas delivered straight to your door from Lily Bird. Try 10 products today for $1.99.

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Sydney Larson
Sydney Larsonhttps://mylilbird.com
Sydney is passionate about solving real problems for real women and about de-stigmatizing women's midlife health issues. She founded Lily Bird -- a subscription service for midlife women for products we don't want to buy in the store -- to do just that! Her favorite part of the job is hearing from happy customers. When she's not working, Sydney enjoys baking sourdough bread, hiking with her dog, and skiing with her husband.

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