Have you ever had issues with ahem leakage err down there? Maybe when you laugh or sneeze or lift something? The old pelvic floor just not what it used to be?
I found out today there's a whole government website dedicated to bladder and bowel incontinence. It's something I learned a lot from.
Incontinence is far more common than you might realise, and it happens at all ages, from children to the elderly. According to the site, about 4 million Australians are affected.
Some chronic conditions can make it worse. Lupus didn't get a specific mention on the continence site, but some of our medications can contribute to the problem.
Fluid tablets, blood pressure tablets, pain killers, antidepressants, and sleeping tablets can cause bladder issues.
Well, that includes a lot of what's in my medicine drawer - how about you?
Some of the conditions which can go with lupus (eg kidney disease, irritable bowel syndrome), along with the weight issue a number of us have, can also make things worse.
I can't be the only lupie who checks where the loo is whenever they go anywhere new.
If you do have a problem, your GP may be able to help. (A physiotherapist may also be useful, to teach you pelvic floor exercises.) In Australia, there's also a Continence Helpline 1800 330 066.
Oh, and if you're in Australia, and, like me, always need to know where the nearest loo is, you might like the link to the Federal Government's Public Toilet Map. (I keep the link on my mobile phone.)