Leading a healthy lifestyle after 50 is at the top of mind for most women. Eating right and exercising are keys to staying healthy and fit as we get older. Physical activity can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other conditions as well and alleviate some of the common symptoms of menopause like sleep disturbances, joint pain and weight gain.
But despite its many benefits, engaging in physical activity can be a burden for many women because of the very common problem of involuntary leakage of urine that can occur during workouts.
Stress Urinary Incontinence, or SUI, occurs when the muscles that support the bladder and hold the urethra closed become weak as a result of childbirth, menopause, the natural aging process or other health conditions. These weakened muscles result in the accidental leakage of urine when any pressure or “stress” is placed on the bladder, for example, a cough, sneeze, laugh, heavy lifting or other physical activity including exercise.
It is estimated that approximately 1 in 4 women over the age of 40, and perhaps 1 in 3 over the age of 50 experience SUI. The severity of SUI can vary, depending on each individual person — while some women may only experience a drop or two of urine during a ‘stress event,’ others may release a considerable amount. And although SUI is extremely common, living with the condition can be embarrassing, inconvenient and may significantly impact a woman’s confidence and quality of life.
Some women deal with this problem by turning to the old familiar pads or folds of other absorbent material like toilet paper in their underwear. These have the obvious disadvantages of smell, wetness, bulk and the fear that urine can still overflow the protection. Currently, the most common treatments for SUI have been pelvic muscle exercises with or without physical therapy (Kegel exercises), internal vaginal bladder supports and surgery. Although these treatments can be effective, none are a one-size-fits-all for the majority of women with this condition. Surgery has associated risks, failure rates and downtime, devices designed to support the bladder have to be inserted internally and can be uncomfortable, and exercises require diligence and patience which may be challenging to busy schedules.
A new solution that recently became available is Finess, a first-of-its-kind product that is worn over the urethra – the opening where urine passes out of the bladder – to stop bladder leaks before they occur. Finess is a soft, disposable patch that creates a seal over the urethra using a gentle hydrogel adhesive. It is comfortable, easy to place and remove and allows women the ability to participate in their everyday activities – even exercise – with the confidence that they will stay dry, regardless of their workout regimen.
Finess is the most clinically tested, FDA cleared solution for bladder leakage available directly to women, and can be worn during the day or night, as well as during physical activity or exercise. It is easily removed for urinating. The product should be removed before showering, swimming or sexual intercourse.
SUI is different from urge incontinence, also referred to as overactive bladder, which can also impact a women’s daily life and her physical activity. Although not intended for overactive bladder, Finess may provide help for women who have both this condition and SUI (referred to as mixed incontinence).
The benefits of exercise can be achieved whether a woman has been active her entire life or wants to get healthy and begin now. Since SUI is a common part of the aging process, it should not get in the way of embarking on a physical fitness plan. There are solutions to help make exercise and daily activity more comfortable for women with SUI so I encourage all women troubled with SUI to seek help and not let SUI discourage them from rewards of being active.
For more information on SUI and Finess, please visit www.havefiness.com.
This is a BA50 sponsored post.