Experiencing light bladder leakage (LBL)? Here's what to do
If you find yourself leaking when you laugh, cough, exercise or have a full bladder, chances are you’re experiencing what is known as light bladder leakage (LBL for short).
LBL is more common than you think, and is estimated to affect up to 37% of Aussie women. The vast majority of those people never seek medical advice or treatment, which is crazy, as there is almost always something that can be done to help!
The more we educate and talk openly about LBL, the less shame people will feel about their leaks - and the more likely they will be to ask for help.
What causes LBL?
Having a weakened pelvic floor is the biggest factor contributing to light bladder leakage. Our pelvic floor often weakens as we age, and can also be weakened by factors like pregnancy and childbirth, being overweight, living an inactive lifestyle, or even from straining due to constipation. That’s why it’s so important for us to stay active and do pelvic floor exercises during all life stages.
Surgeries like hysterectomies (in females) and prostatectomies (in males) and some medications can also trigger light bladder leakage.
Treating Light Bladder Leakage
First and foremost, chat to your doctor to see what the underlying cause of your LBL is. They should be able to make some recommendations to help your individual case. It’s important to rule out any serious health conditions that may be causing your LBL, too.
Generally speaking though, most cases of LBL are a result of a weakened pelvic floor. If this is the case for you, there are many ways to regain pelvic floor strength and tone - and tools to help you along the way!
Kegel exercises are a great place to start (view our full guide to Kegels here). Start slow, and once you get used to doing Kegels, you can then add other tools to your level up your pelvic floor toning routine. Generally keeping active and doing activities like Pilates will also help you regain pelvic floor tone.
How to cope with LBL every day
Strengthening the pelvic floor
This is best done slowly, and you will likely start to notice results within a few months. Kegel exercises can be done with or without the aid of pelvic floor trainers or exercises. See our Guide to Choosing Kegel Trainers and Exercisers. for a more in-depth expiation of the types of trainers.
Kegel trainers fall into a few main categories;
Electronic pelvic floor trainers
In the meantime, if you’re experiencing LBL, there are ways to keep your clothes protected throughout the day.
With leakproof layers look just like regular underwear and are a discreet and super comfortable option. When you’re done, simply pop them in the washing machine with your other clothes, line dry and reuse! They’re eco friendly, comfortable and are available in a range of styles to suit most body types. Check out our collection of absorbent underwear to find the best option for you.
Pantyliners are another way to keep protected from leaks - you can choose from disposable liners, or there are reusable cloth pantyliners for those who want a more eco-friendly (and budget-friendly) alternative.
Avoiding LBL triggers
Avoid triggers and substances that can be aggravating for the bladder, such as caffeine, alcohol, acidic fruit juices, sugary drinks and nicotine. Be sure to drink plenty of water and keep your urinary tract in good health.
If you’re dealing with LBL, the good news is that there is almost always something that can be done to help! There is no shame in life’s leaks - it happens to so many of us. Avoid triggers where possible and start an exercise routine to build back strength over time. If you don't see any improvement in pelvic floor tone when talk to a doctor.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.