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It’s embarrassing…so we don’t talk about it. And because we don’t talk about it, it keeps on being embarrassing. I’m talking about stress urinary incontinence, S.U.I. for short. For those of you who need it spelled out: leaking urine without warning…peeing your pants. That’s no fun at my age. I mean…it’s not fun at any age but especially at my age.
I’m 48, I’ve sort of made my peace with getting old. Older. Oldish. Whatever. Things aren’t as firm, tight and perky as they once were. I have to squint to see the menu and the font settings on my Kindle are embarrassingly gigantic. I don’t bat an eyelash over springing for the really good moisturizer and try as I might, phrases like “when I was your age” and “no way is Whitesnake classic rock” escape my lips. All. Too. Often.
It is what it is.
But one thing I can’t get used to is S.U.I. or, as I like to refer to it: sneeze-pee fusion. It cramps my style and makes impromptu…um…wardrobe changes a part of my everyday life. The older I get, the more I find myself losing urine when I sneeze, cough, laugh or during exercise.
If you’ve ever been pregnant, the sneeze-pee fusion is familiar to you. The small human hanging out in your uterus squishes your bladder. Things get cramped in there. An extra hearty laugh or a really good sneeze makes you pee your pants. Not fun. I won’t make this a science lesson but the pelvic floor muscles are pretty important little parts of a woman's anatomy. Pelvic floor muscles can weaken with age, inactivity and childbirth which can lead to S.U.I. For me, it’s just been a part of getting older.
It’s no fun to have that “Did I? Will I?” moment when you sneeze, cough or laugh too hard. For me, the combination of sneezing and bending over seems to be especially lethal…I know that sounds really weird, but you know what I mean…that really ferocious sneeze that makes you double over.
This stuff gets in the way of life, people.
I took up running in my forties. It helped me to manage my stress, helped me to be able to eat those extra cookies without worrying about whether my jeans would zip and honestly…I really just enjoyed it. I'm not very fast, but you don't have to go fast…you just have to go. I don’t typically run with headphones and longer runs give me some quiet time to be alone in my own headspace…maybe that sounds cheese ball but it’s really true.
I also like the opportunity to just see stuff. When I run through my neighborhood, I notice things that I miss when I’m driving my car. Some people have told me stuff like “if you see me running, it’s because something terrible is chasing me,” but I’ve found it to be a welcome addition to my life and I miss it when I don’t do it.
S.U.I. has really jacked with my running. I can handle a mile…maybe two…but more than that is uncomfortable. I leak. Are you picking up what I’m throwing down, people?
I PEE MY PANTS WHEN I RUN.
And I hate it. Who wouldn’t?
Poise Impressa has helped. Let me tell you about it.
Poise Impressa are bladder supports that are inserted like a tampon. They look very similar to a tampon but I need to warn you that you can’t use them for that. Please use a tampon or other sanitary product designed for menstruation if you’re on your period. Poise Impressa is designed to prevent leaks, not stop them.
I bought my Poise Impressa at CVS. They are easily found in the aisle clearly marked “bladder control” near the feminine products.
Since Poise Impressa is worn internally, it fits your unique shape. You might think size or weight is a factor but nope…it’s not. In order to help you find your best fit, you can purchase the sizing kit, which contains two of each size…this is enough to let you get the feel for the product and see what works for you. You can find the sizing kit in the feminine products/bladder aisle at CVS…it’s clearly marked so if you’re shy about asking “hey, where’s the bladder stuff,” not to worry. You will be able to find it…and trust me, this probably isn’t the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever thrown in your shopping basket.
It’s gonna be okay.
Start with the size one. It will expand to support your urethra and guard against that dreaded sneeze-pee fusion that no one likes. If you still experience bladder leakage, go up a size until you find the fit that works for you. They’re easy to use and can be worn up to eight hours in a 24-hour period. You can use the restroom like you normally do without having to remove the Poise Impressa.
Once you’re comfortable with what size works for you, you can buy a full-sized package and keep them discreetly tucked in your purse or gym bag…it looks exactly like a tampon.
I am up to four miles again. It’s going to take me a while to train up because I’ve been slacking on my mileage a little bit, but I can now work up to longer distances without fear. With confidence. I’m going to run out of excuses to sign up for that December half marathon if I keep this up!
Let’s stop making this embarrassing. This is a part of life. Let’s get over ourselves a little bit and stop being ashamed of what’s…well…normal. There are products out there, like Poise Impressa that are made to help us gals that suffer from stress urinary incontinence get back out there and do the stuff we like to do.
If S.U.I. is getting in the way of life, do something about it. Hop over to your local CVS and grab a starter kit. It’s about as eventful as buying tampons. Then walk around the store and treat yourself to some sparkly nail polish or scope out the wine section.
There's life after leaks…go out and live it.
Get the real scoop from other women like me who are already using Poise Impressa. You can read inspirational stories about #LifeAfterLeaks and join in the conversation! Seriously, check this out if you're feeling shy or embarrassed about your S.U.I. or needing to use bladder support products.
It’s really not just you.
And ever cooler, ff you’d like to knock a few pennies off your first purchase of Poise Impressa, CVS has awesome coupons…check it out HERE.
Thanks for reading! If you're dealing with the dreaded “sneeze-pee fusion” like me, I hope this helped you out. Get social with Poise Impressa by checking out the channels linked below!
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