What the f##k just happened?


I peed myself.

There, I’ve said it. It started a year ago, well into perimenopause. I was walking along and needed to go to the loo. I thought I’d wait until I got home, it wasn’t that urgent. Bad move, bad, bad move.

The next day, out on my evening walk with the hub, I sneezed. F##k, I’ve peed myself again. And so, it started.

My first reaction was what just happened to me. I never put it down to perimenopause because it wasn’t something I had heard of. I didn’t know that the decrease in estrogen could cause weakness down below. I had no idea.

Last month I had a chest infection and bronchitis. The month was a round of ‘clench, cough and repeat’. Every time I coughed, I peed myself.

I was one of these people that used to laugh when I saw incontinence pads, in fact prided myself on the fact I didn’t talk about them, I didn’t need them, and I thought they were just for the 80-plus year-olds. I even put on my website ‘you won’t hear us talking about incontinence pads’. How naive of me and a little arrogant.

There are products that help, and I am going to talk about them, because while some people may not like to admit it, these products can give us a sense of security. Liners and leak-proof underwear are brilliant for those little unexpected leaks. Nobody wants to be out and about and pee themselves. They aren’t big bulky surfboards; they are discreet and comfortable.

Leak Proof Underwear is a lot more nicer than what it used to me. These are from Tena.
Pads come in all shapes and sizes. There is something to suit everyone.

I always thought leak-proof pants were for old ladies. There was no way I was going down that road. I popped online and googled leak-proof pants and was pleasantly surprised when a lovely lacy black pair popped up. Well, that was a shock. I could pee myself and look half decent! Not as daunting as I thought.

What can be done, well, thankfully a lot. See your GP first and foremost. Check in with a great menopause specialist. There are creams for downstairs that will help strengthen the vagina walls, these work well, there are exercises, machines that can help strengthen the area and help prevent those leaks. There is even surgery if it’s needed.

The depletion of estrogen during menopause thins the support structures that hold the pelvic organs in place (just one of the many surprises that perimenopause dishes up).

Am I am embarrassed about peeing myself, hell no! It happens. I’m open about it. Did it come as a shock, yes. Did it seem to appear overnight and not gradually, yes!

The more we can talk about our perimenopause and menopause issues, the better it is for everyone, including the younger generation. Hopefully they will be more prepared than I was.

The most important issue here, is you are not alone and there is help.

Here’s to a fabulous day. I’m off to clench.

The co-founder of 50SoWhat has been in publishing for most of her working life. She was general manager of successful boutique media publishing house in New Zealand for several years and boasts an impeccable sales, marketing and management background. When she’s not road-testing the latest cosmetic procedures, or investigating the hottest lifestyle, travel, fashion and beauty trends for over 45’s, Jo is often back home catching up with family and friends, or working on her golf swing!