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Video

Dr Dawn:
There’s no question, people who suffer with urinary incontinence are embarrassed about it. They don’t tell their friends, they often avoid going out socially and some even keep it secret from their partners. Silent sufferers can spend their lives hiding the tell-tale signs that they have a bladder problem but it’s estimated that up to six million people in the UK have urinary incontinence. It’s twice as common in women as men, and affects many women who have had children.

There are different types of urinary incontinence but the most common is called stress incontinence. Sufferers find any physical activity like coughing, laughing or sneezing can trigger urine to leak. For some, even having sex of just stretching up to get something off a shelf will result in a leak.

Regular pelvic floor exercises can stop you from getting stress incontinence, and will actually cure the problem in three out of four cases. If you suffer, and are unsure how to exercise your pelvic floor muscles, your GP can refer you to a physiotherapist or incontinence advisor who will show you how to do this properly.

If after six weeks there is no improvement, they can offer you specialist techniques including vaginal cones or electrical stimulation which may help. Occasionally physiotherapy alone isn’t enough to cure incontinence in which case surgery may be an option. Recently a surgical procedure using tension-free vaginal tape has been used. It’s non-invasive and can be done under local or general anaesthetic. The operation involves placing a U-shaped piece of synthetic tape underneath the urethra, the tube leading out from your bladder. This gives the neck of the bladder and the urethra the support they’re missing so the leaks stop and recovery times are quick.

Urinary incontinence is a common problem and if you’re suffering in silence then stop, go and speak to your doctor. It’s confidential, they will have heard it all before, probably that week and most importantly, they’ll be able to help.

Read the video transcript

Quick Health Advice: Stress Incontinence

It is estimated that 6 million people in the UK suffer from urinary incontinence, and it is twice as common in women as men. In this exclusive guide, Dr Harper explains the causes of this surprisingly common, but distressing, condition and advises on the exercises, techniques and surgery that can help alleviate the problem. Suffering in silence is the only option no longer available.

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I'm 46, and have recently found myself wetting without having any knowledge of it, or urge to go o the toilet (and often after I've already recently been) This doesn't seem to be mentioned in either stress or overactive bladder problems. Can anyone advise please?





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Hi I wondering if you could help me I have a cough and I'm having shortness of breath and I'm on my period every other week Its embarrassing and I'm scared





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I'm 21 and I've recently begun having issues holding my pee, especially before my period. If I sneeze, I pee. If I sneeze 3 times in a row, I have to change pants. I sometimes pee myself a bit before I can reach the toilet. I don't know what to do about this.





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Hi, I am 19 and get UTIs quite often, but even when I don't have them I find myself wetting myself unexpectedly and I can really need to wee but when I go to the toilet hardly anything with come out at all. This is really embarrassing and hinders what I do on a day to day basis and is also really quite painful for me. I drink lots of water constantly and take cranberry tablets, but I have to also take painkillers for how much pain I am in most of the time. Hope someone can give me advice. Thanks





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Hi there, My problem with wetting seems to happen when I'm ill. Right now I have a throat infection that has gone around. Today is my first day ill and I have the fever yet cold chills, inflamed glands and an all mighty sore throat that makes swallowing uncomfortable. I still have to go to work this week, I cannot afford to miss work so I was taking my uniform out of the washing machine I just started urinating while walking across my kitchen. I couldn't stop it and I kept going until I reached my loo. My pyjama bottoms, knickers and slippers were wet through and it's upset me greatly. I have often had a wetting problem when I've been ill but usually from vomiting forcefully. I have one child who is 18, I'm 37 by the way, and I've had the odd mishap while sneezing and coughing since then but nothing like this. Any help would be appreciated. I've recently had a trapped static nerve and slipped disc with caused uncontrolled wetting but was told that is common for the severity of my condition at the time. Thank you for looking.





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I pee my pants every time I have to hide from my boyfriends mom. Is it my kidneys or nerves. And its always soooo much more then normal. Help





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Am 34 and 3 kids wen I jump or sneeze or laugh or shout / cough I wet myself I have to wear old lady pads I can't enjoy going on the tripling WIRH the kids as I wet myself a lot I also had a 3 degree tearR after last baby I can't do pelvic floor as I can't feel it much no more





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I'm 15 and I wee myself when I laugh really hard it's not even a little, I often find it gushing down my legs! Should I go to the doctors? How do I stop this?





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Hi I had a very over active bladder and constantly had accidents si nce the age of 4. I moved around a lot and no doctor seemed to take me seriously. As I got older it got worse and more embarrassing.I could be running to the toilet up to 4times a hour and still leaking. I would try the tablets the doctors recommended but this did not help. I was doing pelvic floor muscle exercises at the age of 12 which causes problems for me now as I can get to tense. I would not recommend this to anyone so young. Finally at 22i had enough and my doctor finally refereed ome to a specialist. I had many test and 3years ago at the age of 24 had a sacral nerve stimulator fitted. This helps my bladder control itself. It's the best thing that ever happened. Please always make your doctor listen. I believe they could of done something when I was younger. Saving me years of bullying.its not a normal procedure of someone my age but was the best thing I ever done.





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Hi I'm mike, I'm new to this Facebook thing but hello to all. Most people don't understand us who wear adult diapers, hard to find a girlfriend who wears them too, most won't admit to wearing them. But I keep on looking :-)





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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