Why is this happening to me?

What is LBL? And why does it happen? Let's start with the basics.

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Why is this happening to me?

So you've started to have the occasional leak - and you're ready to do something about it. The first step to managing LBL is understanding it, so here's some basic info to get you started.

1

What is LBL?

It stands for Light Bladder Leakage, and it affects millions of women. In fact, you can expect a third of your friends to know what you're going through - which is frequent involuntary leakage of urine. Or, in simple terms, you can't control your bladder.

2

What causes LBL?

Just as no two women are alike, there's no single reason that LBL happens. Some of the most common things that lead to uninvited leaks include:

  • Physical changes from childbirth, pregnancy, hysterectomy or menopause
  • Being overweight
  • Complications from surgery, stroke, or chronic diseases like diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS) or Parkinson's disease
  • Bladder or urinary tract infections
  • Bladder irritants (certain foods and beverages)
3

What are the types of incontinence?

While there are several kinds of urinary incontinence, the three most common are:

Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI): The involuntary loss of urine that occurs when pressure is suddenly placed on your bladder. This could happen when you cough, laugh, sneeze, exercise or lift a heavy item.

Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI): A sudden, intense urge to urinate, followed by a loss of urine. With this condition, the bladder muscles squeeze at the wrong time and cause leaks.

Mixed Urinary Incontinence (MUI): When you experience both Stress and Urge Urinary Incontinence, it's called Mixed Urinary Incontinence.

4

What's a Kegel?

A Kegel is an exercise that helps tighten pelvic floor muscles - the muscles used to stop urinating. Kegels are easy and can be done anytime, anywhere, without anyone noticing. Here's how:

  • Locate the pelvic muscles by pretending to stop the flow of urine
  • Squeeze and hold these muscles for three seconds, then relax for a count of three
  • Try to do 10 tightening/relaxing exercises for a set (aim for 3 sets per day)

Looking for more information? Check out our expert articles and answers.

Am I the only one?

No way! We have hundreds of stories from other women just like you.

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Am I the only one?

Sometimes the best way to cope with LBL is simply to know you're not alone. From exchanging tips and sharing stories to cheering each other on, women have been talking with us about it for years. So take a look and learn from others experiencing the same changes you are.

 

Patrice

"If I'm going to laugh... I know I'm going to leak."

Andrea

"I used to feel like I had to sit on the sidelines of life…"

 

What should I do now?

Tips and tricks to help you live with confidence.

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What should I do now?

Our Light Bladder Leakage (LBL) expert Marilyn Suttle is here to help with you incontinence

Hi! I'm Marilyn Suttle — LBL expert, life coach, and blogger at Poise.com. I first experienced LBL while bouncing on a trampoline with my kids. For years, I've been talking with women about how to enjoy life while managing unexpected leaks. Are you new to LBL? If so, check out some of my top tips for taking on every day with confidence.

1

Track Your Triggers

Every woman has her own triggers that can bring on leaks. Certain spicy and acidic foods (like tomatoes and citrus fruits) can aggravate the bladder, along with alcohol, carbonated and caffeinated drinks. There are other triggers, too, like chronic coughs, smoking, and certain medications. To discover what may be triggering your LBL, look for patterns by tracking your food, drinks, and activities.

2

Exercise Right

One helpful way to reduce leaks is to strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor. You can do this with yoga, Pilates, tai chi, walking, and kegels. The trick is to make sure you have the correct form - it takes practice to find and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles correctly.

We know that carrying extra pounds can weaken pelvic floor muscles and lead to LBL, so making time to exercise can help keep your weight in check. In fact, research shows that women with an average weight of about 200 pounds who lose 10 percent of their body weight can reduce leaks by 70 percent.

3

Talk to Your Doctor

Since every woman's body is different, getting advice specific to yours offers the best chance of reducing or even eliminating leaks. Remember, LBL is very common, so it's nothing new to your doctor. To make the conversation easier, write down and share the following things: when you leak, how often you leak, how much you leak, and any triggers that cause you to leak. This will help your doctor determine the best treatments. You may want to ask if pelvic floor physical therapy is right for you as it's a non-medical, non-surgical option that's highly effective.

4

Be Prepared

After an embarrassing LBL moment, it's easy to retreat from activities you once loved. But sitting on the sidelines isn't the answer. Stash your favorite Poise products in your purse, and pack a "just-in-case" bag (with underwear and pants) should a leak happen away from home. Even if you use Poise* Impressa* Bladder Supports, you could still keep a few of your favorite Poise pads or liners around. These will come in handy after using Impressa for the maximum eight hours. It also helps to make a practice of emptying your bladder before doing any activities that tend to bring on a leak.

5

Monitor Your Fluids

When you have LBL, you may be inclined to decrease your fluid intake. But actually, to keep your bladder healthy, you should try to drink six to seven 8-oz glasses of water a day (this could vary slightly depending on your size and physical activity level). When you drink less water, your urine becomes more concentrated and may irritate the lining of the urethra and bladder - which can cause spasms and unexpected leaks.

6

Listen and Learn

Marilyn keeps the LBL conversation going with her popular podcast here at Poise.com. In this episode, she talks with Physical Therapist Kristen Maike about the importance of a healthy pelvic floor and how it can impact your LBL.

Other ways to listen

Listen on iTunes Download

Check Out Marilyn's LBL blog and podcast.

How can I best manage my LBL?

See how Poise® products are designed specifically for LBL.

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How can I best manage my LBL?

Poise gives you one less thing to worry about any time of day or night. Whether you prefer absorbent pads and liners , or Poise* Impressa* Bladder Supports, a non-absorbent solution that helps stop leaks before they start, we have an option for you. Our products are specifically designed for urine, which makes them an easy choice for the 1 in 3 women with bladder leaks.

Absorb Leaks With Pads & Liners

Poise® pads and liners offer Light Bladder Leakage (LBL) protection for your incontinence

Stays 3X Drier

Absorbs wetness better than leading period-only pads and liners.

Neutralizes Odor

Happens on contact for discreet protection that outlasts your day.

6 Absorbency Levels

Makes it easy to find the protection that's right for you.

Help Stop Bladder Leaks With Poise* Impressa*

Poise* Impressa* Bladder Supports help stop leaks before they start

PREVENTS LEAKS FROM HAPPENING

Easily inserts into the vagina and supports the urethra to help prevent leaks.

LONG-LASTING SUPPORT

Can be safely and comfortably worn for up to eight hours every day, while allowing you to use the bathroom normally.

AVAILABLE OVER THE COUNTER

Can be purchased in store or online without a prescription from your health provider.