There are at least 34 symptoms of the menopause - and whilst we openly discuss and even laugh about hot flushes - there are still many taboos around discussing a lot of the issues we women face. There's the chin hairs, sudden brain fog and not remembering someone's name, painful sex or loss of libido and urinary incontinence for starters.
With November being Bladder Health Month I was asked if I would be willing to share some information about urinary incontinence on my blog. In the UK around 7 million women have some degree of incontinence and find it embarrassing and hard to talk about. It is a condition that can leave them feeling debilitated, embarrassed and unable to engage in day to day activities. For these millions of women the physical and psychological impact upon their lives can be huge.
So what can we do about it, what help is available?
Menopause doctor, Dr Shahzadi Harper from the Harper Clinic in London states, 'Speaking with a partner should be the first port of call, still . many women feel gagged by feelings of embarrassment. On the face of it, menopause needn't be a miserable time though, every day life-changing new products are being developed. Unfortunately, it's popular opinion that needs attention.'
Most women will first of all look to Incontinence Pads and Panty Liners and Sanature Pro Vivo are made from 100% cotton to give those affected a safe and secure feeling, as well as protecting from the sensitive, intimate skin in a natural way. They are different to the regular, synthetic incontinence pads with their cotton core and top sheet, cotton absorbs five times it's weight in moisture and it is breathable and hypoallergenic, this prevents skin irritation and removes any extra discomfort from an already uncomfortable situation.
And if women would like to go one step further and work to improve their pelvic floor health then they could try a pioneering new product, Pelviva was developed in conjunction with Professor Jacqueline Oldham of Manchester University. Pelviva is used at home and offers an alternative treatment for urinary stress, urgency and mixed incontinence. After just three weeks, 80% of women reported benefits from using this medical device which works to tone pelvic floor muscles, enabling better control over bladder leakage. Its unique technology works naturally with the body, causing the pelvic floor muscles to contract, mimicking pelvic floor exercises.
Which reminds me, who really did remember to do their pelvic floor exercises after a natural birth - err yeah probably not me!
Sanature Pro Vivo is a new product and is currently available to purchase from Lloyds Pharmacies. There are four different options in their 100% cotton range - panty liners light, and incontinence pads in mini, normal and super. They will be launching on Ocado in the coming weeks. You can read more about their range on their website www,sanature.com.
Sanature also offer a range of natural sanitary products - panty liners, sanitary pads and tampons.
Further details on the Pelviva device can be found on their website www.pelviva,com and you can give it a try by buying a three pack for £42.99 here.
Dr Shahzadi Harper says 'Of all the menopausal symptoms, urinary incontinence is possibly the biggest taboo of all. I want to change this! If we broaden discussion and make women aware products like Pelviva exist then we can make a positive difference to women's health and wellbeing.'
Let's change the embarrassment, I work really hard to keep an open dialogue with my daughter especially, so that these things aren't embarrassing. And I am sure it is improving, the conversations we have now would never have happened when I was growing up. We can talk about sex, contraception, smear tests, libido, menopause and ... urinary incontinence. We have to normalise these things so women are not afraid to ask for help.
Disclaimer: I was approached by Sanature and Provivo to ask if I would be prepared to highlight this issue on my blog. This is not a sponsored post, I have not been paid and I have not received gifted products. I chose to share the information as I do believe that it is important to let go of the embarrassment and raise awareness of many of the hidden symptoms of menopause.
Other blogs you may have missed and find useful:
10 Tips for Managing Perimenopause
Perimenopause | Why I decided to take HRT
Menopause and Hot Flushes
When I was preparing this blog post I asked Pelviva if they had any images that would be suitable for me to use - and they told me about this project they have been working on.
30 Ladies, a photography project, commissioned by menopause brand Pelviva, to celebrate older women whilst unpicking media stereotypes surrounding midlife and the menopause. Showcasing 30 portraits of different women, shot by business development specialist and photographer Denise Quinlan, this exhibition is a nod to the women who don’t necessarily see themselves on the TV screen, between the magazine pages, or up on the billboards.
Unfortunately the exhibition has now finished but I am sharing a few of the photos as part of this post - as I agree they represent midlife women beautifully! Go out and embrace life!
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
Join my mailing list (above) for regular updates and don’t forget to look at my social media pages too..