It seems like nowadays with climate activists like Greta Thunberg, movements are gaining traction in the mainstream media, thus also gaining traction with the general public. This has forced us to take a look at what we consume and what kind of waste we produce and many are making changes. People are purchasing greener vehicles, reusing containers, and purchasing natural products kept in alternative or compostable packaging. With this spike in interest in environmental conservation in consumerism, all sorts of companies are changing to make themselves more green and environmentally-friendly to entice consumers. Some of these changing products include those designed and marketed as urinary incontinence products, being made as reusable or decomposable to reduce waste created by pads and liners. Some people are choosing to forgo products altogether and attempting to find other solutions to light bladder leaks. Let’s take a look at what these light bladder leaks are and what solutions are friendly to the environment and the user.
What is Stress Urinary Incontinence?While there are several types of urinary incontinence, we’re specifically talking about Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI), which impacts around 10-20% of women. Stress Urinary Incontinence can be defined by the Urology Care Foundation as “when urine leaks out with sudden pressure on the bladder and urethra, causing the sphincter muscles to open briefly.” Basically, involuntary leaks when the urinary tract is put under pressure like running, sneezing, coughing, etc. The leak can vary in size from a couple of dribbles to a noticeable stream. While both men and women can develop SUI, it is much more common in women with less than 10% of urinary incontinence cases in men being attributed to SUI. Stress Incontinence can be tied back to a weakened pelvic floor, the group of muscles that supports the urinary tract and helps to regulate the flow of urine. You’re more likely to develop SUI if you have the following risk factors:
- Have delivered a baby vaginally and/or have been through labor prior to undergoing a C-section.
- Are experiencing hormone changes attributed to menopause or perimenopause.
- Are a smoker.
- Are overweight or obese.
- Have undergone a surgery that involves the pelvic floor (hysterectomy, prostatectomy, the removal of a tumor, etc.).
- Have experienced a stroke.
- Are a former or current athlete that undergoes repeated impact frequently (runner, dancer, gymnastics, etc.).
- Have experienced nerve injuries to the lower back.