What is it?
It has a lot of different names, but basically if you sometimes find you have an uncontrolled bladder leak of a few drops or more of wee from time to time – you have light bladder leaks. Don’t be put off by the word ‘incontinence,’ we’re not talking about a problem that you just have to accept – but one you can improve or even stop altogether.
There are two main types of light bladder leaks, but many of us experience a mix of both. Click a type to learn more.
If it happens when you cough, sneeze, laugh, lift something heavy or even exercise. Stress incontinence is the most common and is caused when weakened pelvic floor muscles can’t tighten enough to keep the wee in. It can happen at any age but is more common after childbirth and over 40. However around 40% of young women also experience it when playing sport.
You get a sudden urge to go to the loo, but before you know it, some wee leaks out. You usually have no warning and you find yourself going to the loo a lot during the day and even at night time. The exact cause isn’t known, but it’s thought that maybe the bladder muscles send the wrong messages to your brain. The good news is that in some cases you can train your bladder not to do this. (See 'Regain control')
Sometimes it's Stress and other times it's Urge. But there will always be one that dominates and that's the one you need to attend to first. You can't do everything at once.