PATIENT PERSPECTIVE: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE OLD TO HAVE INCONTINENCE
What do you think of when you think of someone who has bladder leaks? Is it an elderly woman sitting in a nursing home? An older gentleman experiencing prostate issues? Those are the common images that come to mind for most people. But I have suffered from bladder leaks for 5 years, and they started when I was just 27.
That was when I had my first child. About 6 weeks after I delivered, I was diagnosed with a prolapsed bladder. That’s when your pelvic floor muscles are so weak that your bladder caves in to your pelvic region. It causes a lot of discomfort – heaviness and even pain after long days on my feet. My doctor said it would get better as I healed, and it did, but not nearly as much as I had hoped.
To make matters worse, because my pelvic floor was so compromised, I started having bladder leaks almost immediately after the birth of my son. They were embarrassing, and hard to deal with, especially as I was learning to care for a baby. I felt like I was too young, that this shouldn’t be happening to me.
Finally, after years of suffering, I started physical therapy. I had no idea there were PTs who treated these specific types of condition. PT has done me a world of good, although I still experience some leaks. But I am brave enough now to seek treatment and know, from researching the condition and learning more about it, that there are many treatments out there that I can try.
Don’t let bladder leaks hold you back. And don’t think they can’t happen to you if you’re young. Incontinence is a condition that too few of us talk about it. Maybe if more of us did, it wouldn’t be so hard to find the courage to seek help. It took me 3.5 years to finally talk to someone. Don’t be like me. Get educated. Seek treatment. Get your life back.
Sierra P., Orlando, FL