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She's recently opened up about her struggle with menopausal hair loss (opens in new tab) and the devastating effect it had on her confidence, and now Nadia Sawalha has admitted her struggle with another common health problem: incontinence.
The 52-year-old mother of two spoke live on Loose Women about her struggle with the 'unsexy' problem, following the birth of her children Maddy and Kiki.
Nadia suggested that it's easy to brush off the problem when chatting with friends. She said, "It's become something that we can all laugh about to a point, but it can go a lot deeper than that."
The Loose Women ladies opened up on a debate on the topic, but Nadia revealed that it's not something she ever wanted to share, particularly with her husband Mark.
"I didn't do my pelvic floor exercises or anything like that. But I have dealt with incontinence, and it is deeply unsexy, let's face it,"
"When you think about all the things you share and women, and the things I tell Mark [her husband] - I really didn't want to tell him that."
The Loose Women star even admitted that she's suffered from problems while live on the show, saying to her fellow hosts, "Do you remember when we were doing the trampolining on here? Well, I wet myself live on air."
Nadia then admitted to resigning herself to the problem, and revealed that her incontinence issues go up and down. "I just thought that was going to be my life now. Sometimes there can be weeks where it's much worse than others."
She added, "Because it's such a taboo, it's so important that as women, we do talk about it because you don't have to accept it. There are so many things you can do."
Urinary incontinence is something that's thought to affect millions of people every year, and can be caused by a range of things, including childbirth, obesity, genetics (a family history of incontinence), or simply just getting older. It's thought to affect mothers in particular, given the strain their body goes through following pregnancy and giving birth.
What to do if you're suffering from bladder leakage
So what can you do if you're leaking urine? Although there's no cure, there are some things you can do to help yourself. Maintaining a health weight can really help in managing the problem, as can cutting down on drinks such as alcohol and known diuretics, including coffee, tea and fizzy drinks.
It's also vital to do pelvic floor exercises if you're experiencing bladder leakage - and do them properly. Dr Naomi Potter, speaking to the Express (opens in new tab), said, "this involves squeezing and contracting these muscles to build strength which helps restore your bladder control. However, if these exercises are not performed correctly, or often enough, they will make very little difference."
Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on womanandhome.com.
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