Bladder leaks? Four ways to take action
Keep waking up in the night to pee? You’re not alone. If your precious sleep is constantly disrupted by bathroom trips and you dread long car journeys or being caught short, then you’re in good company with a third of UK women.
You could be experiencing a very common condition called Overactive Bladder (OAB), which affects as many as one in three women in the UK. But you don’t need to suffer in silence.
This is where healthcare brand Jude can help – it’s here to smash bladder taboos, open up honest conversations about incontinence, and help you get on with your life, leak-free. And you can start today with these four simple steps…
1. Strengthen bladder health with good nutrition
Certain foods and drinks can aggravate symptoms, but a few dietary changes can reduce them. If you suffer from bladder problems, limiting or avoiding alcohol, spicy and acidic foods, as well as caffeine, can help.
In fact, nearly 50% of people over 60 who drank more than 300mg of coffee a day (around three cups) suffered from overactive bladder symptoms, according to research. A 2016 study published in Current Urology found that this percentage was ‘significantly higher’ than that of people who didn’t consumer excessive amounts of caffeine.
Fizzy drinks, chocolate, citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato-based products such as ketchup, as well as artificial sweeteners, can also cause flare-ups. Plus, sugary foods, honey and raw onion can put you in a world of pain, so it’s worth limiting or avoiding these irritants.
2. ‘Retrain’ your brain’s bathroom associations
If you suffer from an overactive bladder, then you probably assume that one way to deal with it is to go to the bathroom as often as possible “just in case”. Wrong!
These last-minute toilet breaks when you don’t need to go could be making the problem worse – it’s actually “retraining” you to need the loo more often. Instead, it’s important to listen to your body’s, and bladder’s, cues.
When it actually comes to peeing, avoid straining your muscles and forcing the stream. Instead, place both feet firmly on the ground, and elbows on your knees. This specific position helps the pelvic floor muscles relax and lets the bladder fully empty.
Out and about when you need to go? While public toilets might not be the cleanest, it’s better to cover the seat with toilet paper than hover over it, as hovering can stop the bladder from emptying completely, causing damage to the pelvic muscles.
3. Try Jude bladder control supplements
Oestrogen plays a key role in bladder strength, and a lack of it can have a negative effect on urinary health. During menopause, your body produces less and less of this important hormone, which can weaken the bladder and pelvic floor. But supplementing your diet with plant-based oestrogen can reverse this, strengthening bladder function and improving overall urinary health.
And surprisingly, research has found that pumpkin seed oil is particularly efficient at improving bladder control. These clever seeds are packed with essential nutrients including magnesium, potassium and zinc – all of which help relax the bladder muscles naturally.
That’s where Jude’s Bladder Strength Supplements can be a game changer. Just one daily dose has 96 pumpkin seeds worth of nutrients, along with soy germ extract, a high-quality plant-based compound that mimics oestrogen. Together, these two natural ingredients are clinically proven to strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce that feeling of urgency.
It’s so effective that 9.2 out of 10 participants in a clinical trial said taking Jude’s formula had improved their quality of life, with 66% reporting fewer daily leaks, and 70% fewer night-time bathroom visits.
Developed with urogynaecologists and Harvard Medical School professor Leena Pradhan-Nabzdyk, PhD, MBA, Jude’s Bladder Strength Supplements have been tried and tested by more than 15,000 people in the UK.
Leena recommends a course of at least three months for best results. She says: “I strongly recommend at least a 12-week treatment to significantly reduce urination urgency, plus daytime and night-time frequency.”
Jude customer testimonials
Jude products can be a welcome relief for people experiencing bladder problems, but don’t just take our word for it. Here, some Jude customers explain how taking the supplements has improved their quality of life.
Desiree says: “Jude has changed my life. I have been taking it for a few months now and I no longer feel uncomfortable about going out for long periods of time. I don’t worry about having an ‘accident’ either when I’m out or in bed. I feel so much more comfortable.”
Meanwhile, Elizabeth says Jude’s supplements have helped her take back control of her life. She raves: “I have now been taking Jude for over a year and life is amazing. I am still doing my long walk, have a 116-mile walk in September, with no worries about finding toilets on route. I usually sleep through the night now as well.
“I would recommend Jude to anyone who experiences bladder problems, it can literally change your life!”
4. Try Kegel exercises
If you’ve ever been pregnant, you may remember your midwife telling you to do your Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles ready for labour.
Well guess what, they also really help with bladder health. Studies suggest that pelvic floor muscle training could also improve your sex life. Win, win!
Here’s how to do Kegel exercises:
Identify the right muscles
To find your pelvic floor muscles, stop peeing midstream. Once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles, you can do the exercises in any position, although it is easiest to do them lying down at first.
Hone your technique
To do Kegels, pretend you’re sitting on a marble and imagine tightening your pelvic muscles as if you’re lifting the marble. Try it for 2-3 seconds at first, then relax for a count of three.
Repeat three times a day
Aim for at least three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions a day. Pilates is also worth a try. It strengthens your core muscles, which can help reduce leaks.
Saga Exceptional reader offer*
Enjoy 20% off Jude Bladder Strength Supplements and save up to £15 on your first order! Use code SAGA20 at checkout for the 20% discount, or click this link to the Jude website and 20% off will automatically be applied at the online checkout.
*T&Cs: Single use discount code. For new customers only. Offer valid until December 31 2023. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
Written by an Exceptional journalist, in partnership with Jude. The content was written in response to a brief and fact-checked by our commercial partner.
Written by Maddy Biddulph she/her
Maddy is a freelance journalist specialising in fitness, health and wellbeing content. With 25 years of experience in consumer media, she has worked as a writer and editor for some of the bestselling newspapers, magazines and websites in the UK and US.
She is also a qualified L3 personal trainer and weight loss advisor, and helps women navigate menopause by improving their physical and mental strength. At Maddy Biddulph Personal Training, she runs one-to-one and small group training for menopausal women who want to get fit to ease symptoms and feel like themselves again.
Maddy has always had a keen interest in health and fitness, and has recently become addicted to cold-water swimming and its mental health benefits. She trains weekly with her mentor and personal trainer Alexa Hunn-Phillips, who used to play football for England.
Maddy lives in Oxford with her two daughters, Daphne and Esther.