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Written by

Kate Dyson


Kate is a content specialist who is passionate about women's health. She's also mum to three kids, two dogs and unsurprisingly, a lover of wine.

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For words you might want to know more

Stress Incontinence

A type of urinary incontinence where physical movement or activity, such as coughing, sneezing, or exercising, causes involuntary leakage of urine due to weakened pelvic floor muscles.


Staying properly hydrated is essential for bladder health and can help prevent concentrated urine from irritating the bladder

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Strengthening pelvic floor muscles with exercises like Kegels can reduce the risk of urine leakage during activities such as coughing, sneezing, or sex.

7 Questions You Daren't Ask About Incontinence (but REALLY want to)

You can be honest with us - when you have incontinence, there are many nights when you traipse to the loo with your phone in hand googling away symptoms and worries that you have about pee. Peeing, or not peeing, peeing too much, smelling of pee, leaking pee, why you are peeing frequently; we've all been there.

There are those little niggles that eat away, things that you can't easily bring up in conversation but NEED to know, right? We've answered a handful of them here to help ease the midnight Googling, and hopefully bring you some reassurance.

1. Why do I keep being told to drink water more often when it makes me pee more

If you suffer with need-to-go urgency, or feel that dreaded dribble when you can't easily get to a loo the notion of drinking MORE water and increasing your hydration might be enough to send you round the bend.

It might feel completely counterintuitive, but staying hydrated is crucial for bladder health. That's because dehydration leads to concentrated urine, which irritates the bladder and can increase the urge to urinate. Additionally, not drinking enough water can lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs), which can exacerbate incontinence. The key is small sips of water throughout the day that will mean your bladder doesn't fill in one go, of course limiting drinks that are known bladder irritants like caffeine and alcohol will help too.

2. Did I just leak pee during sex?

If you are in the moment and then feel that "OH GOD", all-too-familiar gush that wasn't a pleasurable 'gush' but rather a leaky kind of gush then yes, it’s possible - BUT it's definitely more common than you might think.

During sex, the pressure on the bladder and urethra can cause leakage, particularly if you have stress incontinence. This is more common in women, especially those who have given birth or are going through menopause - in fact 1 in 3 women experience leaks and incontinence. Changing positions to avoid pressure on the bladder, and doing your pelvic floor exercises can help enormously with leaks during sex. If you are prone to the odd gush, try popping a towel underneath you both. And importantly, finding a comfortable moment to discuss leaks openly with your partner can help much more than you might think.

3. Do I smell of wee when I leak?

There's a particular stereotype that plagues many of our minds when we worry about being incontinent, especially in public. Visible leaks are one, but worries about odour are also common and very normal.

Firstly, it's important to know that healthy pee shouldn't smell badly, especially if you are mindful of your hygiene, use pads or leakproof pants and wear clothing made of natural fibres. If there is an odour to your pee (such as ammonia) then you need to speak to your GP. For the vast majority of women, there's very little way of anyone knowing that you have leaks - particularly as a result of 'smelling' urine.

4. Does everyone pee themselves with age?

Not everyone will experience incontinence as they age, though it does become more common - in fact, 1 in 3 women will experience leaks as they get older and 2.6 billion people are experiencing bladder incontinence around the world. Ageing, including during menopause, can weaken bladder and pelvic floor muscles - but lifestyle factors, health conditions, and medications also play significant roles.

You can take proactive measures like maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, doing your pelvic floor exercises, and manage related chronic conditions that can help reduce the risk. It’s also important to discuss any changes in your pee habits early with your GP, so that they can advise of the best management plan.

5. Can I use the disabled loo if I have incontinence?

Yes, you can. Incontinence is a legitimate medical condition that qualifies you to use the disabled toilet. These facilities often provide more space and privacy, which can be crucial for managing incontinence discreetly. You might want to apply for a RADAR Key too, the scheme that can give you access to over 10,000 locked disabled loos. It’s about ensuring you have access to the facilities you need to manage your condition with dignity.

6. Are these leaks my fault? Did I cause my incontinence?

Incontinence is rarely the result of a single action or behaviour. It’s usually due to a combination of factors, including genetics, lifestyle, medical conditions, and life events, such as childbirth. There are some habits that we can be mindful of as they can contribute to the risk of incontinence, such as consuming too much caffeine or alcohol, being overweight, or smoking - these can exacerbate incontinence so if you are experiencing leaks or urgency, it's time to consider manageable lifestyle factors that can help ease your symptoms. .

Speaking to your GP can help identify the causes specific to you and provide strategies for managing or reducing symptoms.

7. Do pelvic floor exercises really work?

This is an easy one: YES. Like any muscle, the pelvic floor benefits from exercises, called Kegels, that strengthen and improve the tone of the pelvic floor muscles. But, like with any exercise routine, consistency is key! Finding ways to incorporate your pelvic floor exercises into your everyday routine is important to help you maintain the improvement.

Aim for 10 squeezes, three times a day. You can do them anywhere too; in a queue, at your desk, waiting at a red light... the list is endless, and of course you can also set a reminder on your phone too as a helpful prompt.

Bonus Question: My pee has such a strong smell, is that normal?

Strong smelling urine can be due to a number of things! For example, diet can cause a temporary odour to your pee - such as eating asparagus for dinner, and some vitamins can also give your pee a sulphur-like smell. If the odour persists though, it could be that you are suffering from a UTI and you need to speak to your GP for advice and treatment, especially if it's accompanied by symptoms like pain, burning, or cloudy urine, it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider. Persistent foul-smelling urine can indicate an infection or other underlying health issues that need to be addressed.

Jude’s clinically proven supplements give you better bladder and pelvic floor control, helping you sleep through the night and regain the freedom to live life on your own terms. With just one capsule morning and night, you'll have relief from need-to-go urgency in just 12 weeks.

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