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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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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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Hi, im 13 years old and when i want to go to the toilet i hold my self and then i feel nervous that i cant hold it for to long so i piss. Lol it sounds like a weird thing but this is what actually happens all the time.





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im a 14 year old female and i have the same problem like exactly the same you should definitely tell your mom and definitely get a doctors appointment i know i have to but it definitely should be cheeked out

Hi.i'm 18 in college and recently i have wet myself twice in public. i always feel like i'm leaking and it gets to a point where i can't control it although i don't hold it in and i rather use the bathroom very often. how do i make this stop? i wear pads 24/7. please help. :( i've felt so ashamed..





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I am 17 years old and I keep weeing my self, when I get excited I wee myself or when I sneeze or sometimes when I realise I need to wee by the time I get to the bathroom I wee myself omg pls help it happens in school to sometime when im in the gym and I do exercises I wee aswell like anytime I do a jumping jack or an exercise in general





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I'm 18, female and have noticed as of recently sometimes when I cough or sneeze I pee a little. I've heard of this happening to people older than me but not for a teenager. Is this normal? I've even pooped myself a little when I've done this as well but I do have IBS.





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Hello, I am fifteen and I wet myself. It's so frustrating and embarrassing this happens to be a common occurrence for me and I haven't told my mother or peers about this problem, because a fifteen year old wetting themselves? Come on. But it's becoming a real problem, when I get home I am stuck in this routine of immediately going to the toilet unless I wet myself and I don't even feel the urge to go to the toilet. Could this be due to an over sensitive bladder? If anyone has the answer please help!





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Hi when I laugh too much I wet myself sometimes in public or at home can you please advise me. This has been happening since I can remember as a child. Thanks





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I'm 45 yofm every time i go pee i wet the back of my pant legs is this normal





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





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