Show Your Little Leaks That You’re The Big Boss

This post is brought to you by Wearever Incontinence Panties.

We all know a decreasing level of estrogen triggers menopause, and if we’re one of the lucky women, we go through this physical transition with hardly a symptom.

But many of us aren’t so lucky, and we feel like we’re being attacked on all sides: Hot flashes making our hair look like we just washed it; dryer skin; vaginal pain as the tissue thins (why can’t our bellies get thin, instead?). Since estrogen helps to keep the lining of the bladder and urethra healthy, deterioration of these tissues can cause a condition called stress incontinence, also called LBL (Light Bladder Leakage). Pre-existing genetic conditions, as well as childbirth or a hysterectomy, also can cause our pelvic floor muscles to weaken, which affects bladder control.

About 30 percent of all women—of all ages—experience LBL. A big sneeze can cause a little leak. So can exercise and coffee. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve or help reverse the condition:

Stop smoking. Smoking is a contributing factor for bladder leakage during menopause, not to mention lung cancer. Either way you look at it, smoking is a big, big mistake.

Treat a chronic cough. This can cause ongoing pressure on the pelvic floor and, over time, can weaken it.


Praise These Panties

“Well, this is depressing. I love sugar snap peas but just discovered that I can’t tolerate them anymore,” FOFriend, LaDonna Hale Curzon, posted on Facebook.

“What happened? Getting older is not for sissies,” she added, in her usual no-nonsense attitude.

If LaDonna’s tummy told her to modify her diet, my bladder notified me to change the style of my panties! I’ve written about many subjects during my long career as a writer and journalist, but in my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have imagined I’d be writing about underwear I’ve found for my stress incontinence. Not a very sexy subject, but an important one, since the condition (also lovingly known as LBL, light bladder leakage) affects one in every three women over the age of 40, most commonly after multiple births or during menopause.

When muscles weaken in and around the bladder, activities or movements like exercising, sneezing or laughing usually will trigger a trickling of urine. Other causes include damage to the pelvic region or sphincter muscle. I had a hysterectomy at 44, part of the reason I have this pesky problem two decades later.

Although I take a drug to control the situation, once in a while—if I wait too long to pee—my muscles don’t work like they once did. So it was nice to discover panties with an inner lining and slim, hidden pad built into the crotch that wick moisture away from my body, and quickly absorb it, so I stay comfortable.

The panties I’m wearing are from Wearever. It may not be an especially romantic name, but the styles are definitely pretty and include soft prints, solids, and lacy numbers. They’re made of fabrics such as nylon, cotton blend and polyester and will hold their own for up to 250 washes, the company says. At $15.00 for a single pair, and less per pair for a pack of three, I save an average of $500 a year compared to the cost of disposable pads, panty liners or adult diapers. That’s a big savings!

From L to R: Wearever’s Lace Trim & Cotton Panties, Lovely Lace Trim Panties, and Floral Fancy Panties.

No matter how fit and ravishing you are today, chances are that you won’t be the first woman ever to completely escape the aging process. You’ll do yourself a world of good If you can approach it with a bit of levity. Thank goodness, companies like Wearever are helping us stay dry while we’re laughing.

P.S. Don’t take my word alone. Read more real reviews by other real women, just like you and I, on Wearever’s Facebook and Pinterest pages.

Ready to buy? Enter code 10off at checkout for 10% off your Wearever purchase, good through the end of the year. Click here.

Fancy These ‘Fannypants’

Years ago, I took my mom to the drugstore to help her choose “adult diapers” for an incontinence problem she was experiencing. “Yuck,” I thought. “Never! I’d rather die than wear those.”

Today, I have “stress incontinence,” a condition that is far more common than you think (millions of women, post menopause, have it). Thankfully, I can deal with the issue in more agreeable ways than my mom, which include a new over-the-counter product, prescription medications and surgical solutions. And, I can buy honest-to-goodness lingerie. Sexy lingerie. Lingerie that would never give away my condition if someone saw me dressed only in a bra and panties.

A new company, which manufactures a line called fannypants smartwear, asked me to try its panties and let my FOFriends know what I thought. After wearing them for a few weeks, I can happily tell you that I’m delighted with my new fannypants. They fit beautifully, feel luxurious and wash well. Unlike other panties for stress incontinence (which have extra absorbent padding sewn into the crotch), fannypants are designed with four layers of protection, using a patented technology.

Fannypants smartwearPanty styles (from L to R) Venice, Midnight, Paris, and (pictured above) Balance.

First, a waterproof gusset insures that my clothes stay dry, and pockets built into the gusset hold a washable and removable “smartPad” in place. Each pad has three additional layers of protection: A biodegradable, chemical free organic Eucalyptus core surrounded by two microfiber layers that absorb “seven times more moisture than cotton,” according to the company.

By the way, fannypants also are perfect for all active women who experience “light bladder leakage” (LBL).

Fannypants are made of either nylon or cotton and Spandex, which provide nice stretch. Each pair is packaged, with two additional smartwearPads, in a waterproof travel pouch that can be tucked into your handbag. That way so you can slip out one pad during the day and insert a new one if you plan to go out for the evening straight from work. The pads and panties can be washed in the machine and tumble dried.

From L to R: Fannypants smartwearPouch, smartwearPad refills, and view of the smartwearPanty waterproof gusset.

Fannypants will cost you more than regular panties you’ll find in any mass merchant, but considering the comfort they provide (in more ways than one), and the quality construction, they are well worth it. I’ve been wearing the styles called Balance and Paris.

I’m pleased to tell you that FOF members can get a generous 20 percent discount on your purchase. Just enter fab-over-50 when you place your order.

Enter fab-over-50 for 20% off!

Click here to order

Offer will expire December 31, 2013 at midnight E.S.T.