Actress and Loose Women panellist Nadia Sawalha, 53, tells her husband Mark Adderley almost everything. ‘We’re very close. He watched me give birth to our two daughters [Maddy and Kiki] on the kitchen floor.’ The one thing Nadia did not confide was that, for well over a decade, she has suffered from stress incontinence. ‘It started gradually in my late 30s, but I didn’t tell Mark until last year, on the night before I was due to go public with a campaign to persuade women to talk about the problem.’
Stress incontinence – which can range from mild to uncontrollable leaking – affects millions of people, with about one in five women over 40 suffering to some degree. Childbirth is often the cause, but many are too embarrassed to consult their doctors – let alone tell their partners.
Rebound UK is offering YOU readers a special 20 per cent discount on any rebounder ordered online at rebound-uk.com, until midnight on 31 December 2017
Nadia is on a mission to persuade us to take this taboo topic seriously. ‘Groups of women may talk about it, but it’s usually a “Ha ha, let’s cross our legs” conversation. Sometimes it’s funny, but I stopped running marathons after I wet myself. Research shows that stress incontinence stops many women doing ordinary activities away from home, even going for a walk, and that can lead to isolation and depression. Not enough people know that you can get help.’
It is important to adopt a multi-faceted approach, she says, starting with admitting it frankly to your family doctor and ‘not talking about something else, then mumbling the real problem as you leave’. GP Dr Sara Kayat suggests that losing weight, drinking plenty of water (many women don’t drink enough as they wrongly think that it will reduce the problem) and doing pelvic floor exercises will help.
BUY A REBOUNDER WITH 20% OFF
Rebound UK is offering YOU readers a special 20 per cent discount on any rebounder ordered online at rebound-uk.com, until midnight on 31 December 2017.
Use the code YOU2017. Rebounder packages also apply to products on sale, with prices starting at £79.
Rebound UK also offers a Bounce & Burn Membership for £9.99 per month; this offers hundreds of home workout videos, recipes and training tips with two new workouts monthly. Trial this for 14 days free when you order a rebounder.
Exercise in general is hugely beneficial and this is where Nadia’s passion for rebounding comes in. ‘It’s my favourite exercise ever,’ she enthuses. She discovered it through Loose Women last year. ‘We were trying different things to help Coleen [Nolan] lose weight and someone brought these low-impact mini trampolines into the studio and I was hooked.’
The downside, Nadia tells me after we did a vigorous rebounding class together, was that she had another episode of incontinence as she bounced live on air. ‘But now I’ve got these Depend pants with pads so I’m safe.’ She twirls round, patting her thighs and bottom. ‘You can’t see anything, can you?’ Indeed I can’t. (You can find more information and a useful product selector on depend.co.uk.)
Don’t miss our brilliant offer on Rebounder packages
Nadia is right about rebounding. I love my Fit Bounce Pro from Rebound UK. It is the best fun ever and makes me fizz with energy, plus it’s good for bone and muscle mass, weight loss and boosting immunity. Dr Kayat says that rebounding helps strengthen muscles and is safe for most people as it is low impact.
I love crunchy food, from celery to crumble via crisps. My latest discovery is gluten-free, high-fibre Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs, which are perfect for a positively virtuous snack or serving with drinks. (Even chef friends approve.) In five savoury flavours, all suitable for vegans, the small bag weighs in at 22g and 90 calories and costs 99p from Ocado. Larger sizes are available.
If you like to wear a nightie in bed (and maybe on lazy Sundays, too) and prefer a style that’s plain, elegant and well cut, Cucumber Clothing has the answer. I’m very happy with my mid-calf Silver V Neck Nightdress (£115, cucumberclothing.com). Created by three middle-aged friends, Cucumber promises that its range of nightwear – which includes strappy camis and shorts – will help anyone who tends to get hot in bed stay ‘deliciously fresh all night long’. The key is a ‘smart’ fabric that wicks away perspiration and with it any potentially whiffy bacteria.
Cucumber Clothing nightwear will keep you cool in bed
Always consult your doctor if you have a medical problem
Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org