Bladder Weakness - The Facts
First published July 2006
Bladder Weakness - The Facts
What is bladder weakness?
Bladder weakness, also known as urinary incontinence, describes the
condition when the bladder leaks involuntarily. The problem can vary
and people with bladder weakness can lose relatively small to large
quantities of urine at any one time. The condition can affect both
women and men.
Causes and types?
There are a number of triggers for bladder weakness:
Weakened pelvic floor muscles - pelvic floor muscles support
the bladder. When these muscles lose their strength and
flexibility, everyday activities such as laughing or
coughing may cause urine to escape. Pelvic floor muscles can
be stretched and weakened during childbirth and being
overweight can also put a strain on these muscles.
Menopause - the reduction of oestrogen in the body affects
the abdominal muscles resulting in the bladder shifting
position. The bladder muscles become less effective.
Other causes - damage to the nerves, certain drugs,
constipation or even infection can also lead to bladder
There are four major types of bladder weakness. Each one has
a different cause and different symptoms. They are:
Stress - unexpected leakage when you laugh, cough, sneeze or
exercise. Weakened pelvic floor muscles are the main cause
of this type of bladder weakness, which is most common in
women especially during pregnancy and after childbirth. It
is therefore vital to exercise your pelvic floor muscles
Urge - a strong and sudden urge to pass urine. The bladder
tries to empty itself despite efforts to restrain leakage.
Overflow - when the bladder does not empty completely, urine
builds up and in the end may drip out as if it was
Mixed - it is fairly common to have more than one type of
How can I manage my bladder weakness?
Bladder weakness is often easily treated and managed. The first
recommendation is to visit a GP or nurse, who will be used to
talking about it and will be able to advise on a suitable course
Pelvic floor exercises, known as Kegel exercises, may be
recommended as a way of strengthening the weakened pelvic
floor muscles. TENA has in collaboration with
physiotherapists put together a medically approved exercise
routine to build up pelvic floor muscles, which can
dramatically improve bladder control. The exercises can be
accessed online at
TENA also suggest keeping a diary of times when the urge is
apparent, and then try to put it off for a little big
longer, which involves distracting yourself and recording
the length of time between trips to the toilet.
TENA offer a variety of bladder weakness products, which
give both women and men the freedom to enjoy their daily
routine without worrying about the threat of bladder
weakness. The TENA range features the ‘Dry Fast Core’
offering improved security, dryness, freshness and
Over four million people in the UK experience bladder weakness,
making it as common a condition as hayfever!
Women can enjoy their lives without the threat of bladder
Being careful about the underwear you wear is key but so is
Women who require protection, the key is a fit for purpose
product - TENA have a full range for all types of bladder
It’s more common than you think!
More than 2/3 of women visit the toilet before leaving the house
just in case, even if it’s a short trip!
1/2 of men do the same thing!
2/3 individuals think that it’s a condition that is only
experienced by older women & men
1/4 of women over 35 have experienced bladder weakness
1/4 of women would use a feminine sanitary product above a ‘fit
for purpose’ product
Who would they speak to:
1/2 of women & men would consult their GP
1/5 women say they would tell their partner
But are these the most reliable sources of information?
Who/where can they access the most practical advice?
Practice nurses, continence advisors, or patient groups are
often better placed to give appropriate / adequate advice &
12,000 community pharmacies across UK currently selling
large amounts of bladder weakness products
– at heart of community
– staffed by caring, trained, healthcare professionals
– female support (pharmacy assistants)
– environment for health education
TENA Live & Enjoy Life!
TENA offers a wide variety of bladder weakness products and
gives both women and men the freedom to enjoy their daily
routine without the threat of bladder weakness
The new, TENA Lady Mini Magic is a small as a pantliner but
eight times drier.
Call the TENA confidential Advice Line 0845 30 80 80 30 to speak
to a trained advisor and receive a free TENA sample.
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