Well it does in my case anyway. Perhaps I shouldn't be broadcasting this, but I suspect that many fellow mummies that I know also have a bit of leakage but are too ashamed to admit it to friends and family. I'll start with my story and be prepared for brutal honesty!
I have always had a bit of a weak bladder, and memories such as weeing my knickers on stage in primary school, and having to be escorted to the toilets by my teacher are still vivid! I have a few amusing wee stories from my youth and I will leave those for another time (perhaps after I have had a glass of wine!). I was too ashamed to mention anything to my family so just lived with it through out my childhood and adult years.
After the birth of my first child, matters came to a head when I attempted to get fit. I went to a circuits class, and I was mortified to find that I was leaking Urine, even though I had been the loo right beforehand. By the end of the class, I was soaked. From that day on I was reluctant to take part in any exercise, and found that had to wear pads when I had a cough, and I dreaded the moment when someone made me laugh too hard etc. Even though I religiously did my pelvic floor exercises whilst pregnant with my second child, the problem got worse. At 34 years of age, I sat and thought about whether I just wanted to live with my leaky bladder, or whether was going to do anything about it.
I decided to pluck up the courage and visit my GP. The circumstances were less than ideal. I had an appointment with a male GP and had to take the 2 toddlers with me. As he had to do an internal examination, a chaperone from reception had to come in. I was told to lay down on the bed behind the curtain whilst the receptionist stood outside the curtain. Well of course having a one year old and a three year old in tow, they decided to run in and out behind the curtain, leaving me exposed to the female receptionist! Matters where made worse when the GP said I had very minor signs of stress incontinence, making me feel like I had wasted his time. Believe you and me mate, I wouldn't be lying down on a bed half naked, with your hand up my nether regions whilst a horried receptionist looks on, unless I had a problem! I got him to agree to refer me, but he referred my daughter in error which led to a long wait. Not a good start!
I finally met with the consultant who I have to say was very sympathetic and understanding. He arranged for me to have a test where a nurse would fill my bladder up and get me to jump around to see if I leaked. Again I didn't appear to leak, which I found quite frustrating. The nurse told me that there were no signs of stress incontinence so again I felt like I had wasted everyones time. To top it all off, I had to wee into a bucket and ended up kicking it over all over the floor. I nearly died of shame!
I had a letter through asking me to see the consultant. I nearly cancelled the appointment because I felt that maybe I was over exaggerating the problem, and wasting everyones time. I started to think I would have to live with it. I reluctantly attended the appointment and expected to be sent away after being told that there was nothing wrong. Thankfully the consultant again confirmed that he did find signs of stress incontinence from the tests and he also recognised that I wouldn't be putting myself through this if there wasn't a problem. He offered me two solutions. One was having a n operation where a sling would be input in my bladder to help stop leakage, which was the only option I expected. The second option was something I had never heard of. He asked if I would consider using Femsoft which was an insert I could use to plug my bladder at times I needed it. This sounded perfect for me as I only have bladder problems at certain times, such as when I exercise, or jump on a bouncy castle! He referred me to a nurse who would tell me more, and I have to say I was intrigued!
I met a lovely nurse called Tiff, who explained that she was a user of FemSoft and found them brilliant. The insert is placed directly into your Urethra and stops any leakage. They are single use, and if you are signed up, you get them delivered in the post each month. She asked me if I wanted to give them a try and I said Yes. I liked the idea of not having surgery, but being able to solve the problem quickly when I needed it.
I attended a follow up apointment and was shown how to use them. I won't go into the nitty gritty, but it is quite fidly to begin with, but once you get the hang of it, it's fine. A bit like Tampons I suppose. Here is the official blurb
'FemSoft is a small, single-use product, available by prescription and currently the only urethral insert for sale. Once you insert FemSoft into your urethra, it gives you immediate control over unwanted urine loss, odor, and wetness–without surgery or medication. A long-term FemSoft study showed that 93% of women were completely dry when using FemSoft, and 95% said they would recommend it to a friend. FemSoft consists of a narrow silicone tube that's encased in a soft, pliable, mineral oil-filled sleeve. To protect delicate tissue, the FemSoft Insert is smooth and seamless, with no hard surfaces. The insert conforms to your body, creating such a comfortable fit that users report hardly knowing it's there.'
I have since gone running, and worn them on a few other occasions and had no leaks at all. I am really pleased and finally feel like I have control of my problem. I understand that this option may not be for everyone, and that surgery may appeal more than using these inserts. My advice is, if you are suffering from a leaky bladder, don't suffer in silence. It's taken me a while but I am so much happier now!
* This is not a sponsored post and I have not been asked by anyone to write this.