Best Health - - COVER STORY -

Stress uri­nary in­con­ti­nence (SUI) is the med­i­cal term for in­vol­un­tary urine leak­age. It oc­curs when in­creased pres­sure is placed on the blad­der from run­ning, jump­ing or even laugh­ing.

Whether it’s due to a ge­netic pre­dis­po­si­tion, preg­nancy and child­birth, ex­cess weight or a chronic cough, as many as one in four women strug­gles with SUI. What’s worse, many are too em­bar­rassed to talk about it, even with their doc­tors, so they self-treat, ei­ther avoid­ing ac­tiv­i­ties or us­ing men­strual pads (which aren’t de­signed to han­dle urine).

Women don’t have to suf­fer in si­lence, though, as there are ef­fec­tive ways to deal with SUI. “Some women think this leak­age is nor­mal,” says Dr. Dean El­ter­man, a urol­o­gist from the Uni­ver­sity Health Net­work in Toronto. “There’s a dif­fer­ence be­tween be­ing ‘nor­mal’ and be­ing ‘com­mon’: Some­thing can be com­mon, but that doesn’t mean it is nor­mal and has to be ac­cepted.”

Mild ver­sions of SUI, known as light blad­der leak­age (or LBL), can of­ten be man­aged with life­style changes such as weight loss and Kegel ex­er­cises, along with spe­cially de­signed lin­ers and pads. At the other end of the spec­trum, surg­eries to the blad­der or ure­thra can be op­tions for ex­treme cases of SUI.

And now there’s a third op­tion for women with mod­er­ate SUI: Poise Im­pressa Blad­der Sup­ports. These over-the-counter, non-ab­sorbent de­vices work by gen­tly sup­port­ing the ure­thra through­out the day to stop leaks. “They don’t absorb; they ac­tu­ally stop leaks from hap­pen­ing,” says Dr. El­ter­man. The non-in­va­sive op­tion is eas­ily in­serted and re­moved at home (think tam­pon in­ser­tion) and won’t im­pact your abil­ity to go to the bath­room nor­mally. You can wear it daily for up to eight hours or just dur­ing times when leaks are ex­pected, like when you head to the gym.

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