World Continence Week 2017: No Laughing Matter

“I laughed so hard I wet myself!”

We’ve all heard this phrase, but for some this is the reality. And there’s no better way to ruin a good belly laugh than worrying you might leak.

Urinary incontinence is surprisingly common, with a third of all women who have ever had a baby suffering this problem. In fact, 20% of all Australians have problems with bladder and or bowel control – that includes men and women.

June 19-25 is World Continence Week 2017, and this year’s theme is “Incontinence – it’s no laughing matter”. Leaking urine when you laugh is a form of stress incontinence – and this can also happen with coughing, sneezing and exercise. Giggle incontinence is another form of this leakage, usually occurring in young girls when they laugh uncontrollably. Other types of urinary incontinence include urgency incontinence, with leakage related to a sudden, strong desire to urinate, which cannot be deferred.

The Continence Foundation of Australia is wanting to raise awareness of urinary incontinence during World Continence Week, and highlight the fact that many “laugh it off” or dismiss their symptoms.

“It’s just part of getting older..”

“Well, I HAVE had a baby ..”

“Isn’t that just a normal part of pregnancy?”

“It only happens sometimes..”

These are all phrases I have heard before. While urinary incontinence is common, it is not normal, and there are things you can do about it. Seeing a Continence and Women’s Health Physiotherapist, like myself, can really help. I can teach pelvic floor muscle exercises, bladder training techniques and look at lifestyle factors which may be impacting your symptoms. It’s always best to get checked, as treatment is different for everyone, and works best when it is individualised and supervised.

This World Continence Week, I ask you not to laugh off your little leakage problem. Seek some help so you can laugh your head off, rather than laugh until you wet yourself!

Yours in pelvic health, Jenny.


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