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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 am 14 years old I have started peeing when I sneeze laugh and cough for the last 2 years I don't know if this is normal what should I do





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I have recently begun having bladder control problems, if I need the toilet I can not hold it and have wet myself on a couple of occasions, luckily this has been just as I reached my front door. The other day I felt like I needed the toilet, when I looked down I saw that it was already happening but could not 'feel' anything, if you know what I mean. I have tried pelvic floor exercises but can not feel anything when doing them, I have no idea why this has suddenly started happening





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I am 9 and me and my friend laugh a lot and I pee my pants at school!!! One time it was so bad I told the teacher of course my mom brought me back some different clothes but I pee my pants everyday.What should I do plssss help.

Im a 24 year old girl and everytime I laugh or sneeze or cough i pee myself alot. I change my pants and clothes about 3 times a day and its very embarressing





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hi guys I'm 13 now and I am constantly finding pee in my pants when i dont feel like im doing it, do i need to go to the loo more often or is it an infection, etc...





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Hi can someone help pls im really starting to worry now.. i have birth to my second child on Thursday morning and ever since then iv not been able to control my bladder properly.. i have a viral infection and every time I caugh i wet myself.. I'm now wearing incontinence pads and feel like I'm in nappies but I'm also in agony as i tore in labour but haven't been stitches so every time I pee it kills and I'm in pain and embarrassed.. how can I stop myself from peeing.. pls help iv tried pelvic floor exercises and I'm scared as my baby is 4 days old now :( xxx





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i have been having trouble with my bladder for years the doctors are useless everytime i sneeze, cough bend over etc or even just standing up after i have been to the loo i wet myself all im tols is i have irritable bladder and do pelvic floor they dont work help im so sore from been wet all the time i have chafing between my legs





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Please help me anyone I keep feeling like I need to wee it's been going on for 2 months now and is really putting me down at home with my kids and partner. I am 35 year old male and I have never had this condition before I pay awake some nights trying to hold it in witch just makes it burn I'm so scared this is some crazy messed up illness. Before it came on I was masturbating a lot and having sex more than I would usually when ever I talk to doctors they say it's caused through anxiety. But I was normal untill this started all I can say is it's like when your bladder is completely full and you feel the urge to go and I can constantly feel the tip of my penis almost like its dripping have I broke a nerve please help !!!! I have had all STDS all negative urine checked all negative I'm so confused about this feeling please help





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I frequently have problems controlling my bladder at night if I don't wear pajama pants or shorts, and I don't wake up in time to realize what's happening until it's too late. It's often to hot at night for too much clothing, and it only just started a few nights ago. I was hoping someone has an answer for me?





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I have urinate problem I have to urainate manny time day or night same, some time I go to the bathroom and come back and sit on my table to work in my office and the onather one is on his way this make me embarrassed front of my onather co. worker. And at night time I have to go to the bathroom to many time some time I can,t make it to the bathroom almost half urin make my pajama wet. Please help me.

Hi my daughter is 17 years old and anytime she laughs really hard she will go into a full blown pee, not just a little I mean the whole thing. Its strange to me because she doesn't even know she has to pee prior to these bursts. It happens at least once a week and had been going on for years. She has UTI's a lot and is constantly taking cranberry azo pills. She drinks nothing but water daily so I don't know why she is having so many UTI's. I'm worried because if she can't hold it now what is going to happen when she gets her first serious job or starts a family? The outside world isn't going to be so forgiving as family and friends. Please help. She's been doing this for the past 5+ years. I've taken her to the hospital numerous times and they always just throw it off to be a UTI. I don't believe she has a UTI as frequent as they say and I think they don't know so they just put it as that.





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Hi, Are you dealing with incontince yourself too?

Yes, I do as well. I thought it had to do with the fact that I was getting older but she's 17 & going through the same thing. I have more of a little leak so throughout the day though. She has a different problem where she starts laughing and will pee a lot.

Hi every month when I have my period which is a 6 day cycle. The day after my period I use tampax when it's the time of the month when my cycle finishes I find myself walking and I leak my pants are wet.can someone help me or will I have to go the doctors and explain it to him.





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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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