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Ok I’ll just say it...bladder leaks

Mar Oregon

Member
Past OR future Camino
Hoping to walk in 2020
Right now I am grateful I have not posted a photo of myself as I would hate to be recognized on el Camino as the one who has “that” problem.
Any of you women out there training or walking right now ever experience bladder leaks or shall I say floods after doing a lot of walking? Yah ok I have leaks and a cranky bladder. So shoot me.
I use commercial pads which usually gets me by just fine. And yah, I know that drinking caffeine can make it worse and drinking lots of plain water can alleviate bladder crankiness. I’m working on those, OK? And I’m reading up on my Keegel exercises. (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) But fatigue sometimes seems to affect all my muscles including Ms Bladder and that’s what worries me about my walk.

I assume Spain has the same types of incontinence products available as in the US, assuming Spanish women have the same types of bladders, but are they easy to find? The “products” that is, not Spanish women. Will I need to meet some elderly woman in a back alley and buy “the products” wrapped in plain brown paper? Or am I faced with packing 5 weeks worth of incontinence pads in my 46 liter pack? I refuse to let this small issue stop me from my 2020 goal of walking in to Santiago without a jacket tied around my waist.
C’mon ladies. I know you’re out there. Give me some good news, or in lieu of that just give me the name of that elderly woman and the time and place I should meet her.
Thx.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Frances: 2016, Del Norte: (2018), Finisterre: (2018), Olvidado (to Bonar): (2019): Bonar on 2020
Right now I am grateful I have not posted a photo of myself as I would hate to be recognized on el Camino as the one who has “that” problem.
Any of you women out there training or walking right now ever experience bladder leaks or shall I say floods after doing a lot of walking? Yah ok I have leaks and a cranky bladder. So shoot me.
I use commercial pads which usually gets me by just fine. And yah, I know that drinking caffeine can make it worse and drinking lots of plain water can alleviate bladder crankiness. I’m working on those, OK? And I’m reading up on my Keegel exercises. (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) But fatigue sometimes seems to affect all my muscles including Ms Bladder and that’s what worries me about my walk.

I assume Spain has the same types of incontinence products available as in the US, assuming Spanish women have the same types of bladders, but are they easy to find? The “products” that is, not Spanish women. Will I need to meet some elderly woman in a back alley and buy “the products” wrapped in plain brown paper? Or am I faced with packing 5 weeks worth of incontinence pads in my 46 liter pack? I refuse to let this small issue stop me from my 2020 goal of walking in to Santiago without a jacket tied around my waist.
C’mon ladies. I know you’re out there. Give me some good news, or in lieu of that just give me the name of that elderly woman and the time and place I should meet her.
Thx.
I brought Always from home for the duration. Added benefit of that item is being able to wear underwear for multiple days without doing laundry. I packed a box with things I would need: spare shoes, cooler clothes, drugs, etc. and sent them ahead to a post office (Correos) in a larger town x days ahead. I would exchange things and resend the box ahead again. It worked for me. OMG, there is a picture of this old lady on my profile!
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Incontinence supplies, productos de incontinencia, for women and men are widely available throughout Spain; in both pharmacies and often in regular super markets on shelves with other toiletries. Prices are very resonable.
 
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Mar Oregon

Member
Past OR future Camino
Hoping to walk in 2020
Incontinence supplies, productos de incontinencia, for women and men are widely available throughout Spain; in both pharmacies and often in regular super markets on shelves with other toiletries. Prices are very resonable.

Ok now that is good news!!! but I have to admit I will kind of miss meeting the old lady in the alley. Was hoping to score a couple of crocheted doilies in addition to the “products”.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2018
Right now I am grateful I have not posted a photo of myself as I would hate to be recognized on el Camino as the one who has “that” problem.
Any of you women out there training or walking right now ever experience bladder leaks or shall I say floods after doing a lot of walking? Yah ok I have leaks and a cranky bladder. So shoot me.
I use commercial pads which usually gets me by just fine. And yah, I know that drinking caffeine can make it worse and drinking lots of plain water can alleviate bladder crankiness. I’m working on those, OK? And I’m reading up on my Keegel exercises. (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) But fatigue sometimes seems to affect all my muscles including Ms Bladder and that’s what worries me about my walk.

I assume Spain has the same types of incontinence products available as in the US, assuming Spanish women have the same types of bladders, but are they easy to find? The “products” that is, not Spanish women. Will I need to meet some elderly woman in a back alley and buy “the products” wrapped in plain brown paper? Or am I faced with packing 5 weeks worth of incontinence pads in my 46 liter pack? I refuse to let this small issue stop me from my 2020 goal of walking in to Santiago without a jacket tied around my waist.
C’mon ladies. I know you’re out there. Give me some good news, or in lieu of that just give me the name of that elderly woman and the time and place I should meet her.
Thx.
Sister! I have the same problem and had the same worries BC (before Camino). I use panty liners every day of my life, took plenty with me (they are not heavy) and, when they ran out, easily found similar items on the shelves of ordinary supermercados. Remember to dispose of them appropriately (as you will for T paper - carry it out, don't leave any DNA behind you). I can't tell you the brand I bought because I discarded the packaging to reduce weight, but they were fine.
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
Sister! I have the same problem and had the same worries BC (before Camino). I use panty liners every day of my life, took plenty with me (they are not heavy) and, when they ran out, easily found similar items on the shelves of ordinary supermercados. Remember to dispose of them appropriately (as you will for T paper - carry it out, don't leave any DNA behind you). I can't tell you the brand I bought because I discarded the packaging to reduce weight, but they were fine.
Yeah, I know, now I will be recognized on my next Camino - je m'en fiche! Maybe you all will have forgotten by the time I start, next year.
 

Vanozza

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
I have walked part of the Camino Frances one and a half times. I ended in Sahagun in April 2019.
Right now I am grateful I have not posted a photo of myself as I would hate to be recognized on el Camino as the one who has “that” problem.
Any of you women out there training or walking right now ever experience bladder leaks or shall I say floods after doing a lot of walking? Yah ok I have leaks and a cranky bladder. So shoot me.
I use commercial pads which usually gets me by just fine. And yah, I know that drinking caffeine can make it worse and drinking lots of plain water can alleviate bladder crankiness. I’m working on those, OK? And I’m reading up on my Keegel exercises. (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) But fatigue sometimes seems to affect all my muscles including Ms Bladder and that’s what worries me about my walk.

I assume Spain has the same types of incontinence products available as in the US, assuming Spanish women have the same types of bladders, but are they easy to find? The “products” that is, not Spanish women. Will I need to meet some elderly woman in a back alley and buy “the products” wrapped in plain brown paper? Or am I faced with packing 5 weeks worth of incontinence pads in my 46 liter pack? I refuse to let this small issue stop me from my 2020 goal of walking in to Santiago without a jacket tied around my waist.
C’mon ladies. I know you’re out there. Give me some good news, or in lieu of that just give me the name of that elderly woman and the time and place I should meet her.
Thx.
Consider taking a medication such as Vesicare for the duration of your hike. Check it out with your doctor.
 

wonzi

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances May-June 2013; Chemin du Puy May-June 2015; Camino Frances Jul-Aug 2015;Camino del Norte Jul 2016 (?)
Right now I am grateful I have not posted a photo of myself as I would hate to be recognized on el Camino as the one who has “that” problem.
Any of you women out there training or walking right now ever experience bladder leaks or shall I say floods after doing a lot of walking? Yah ok I have leaks and a cranky bladder. So shoot me.
I use commercial pads which usually gets me by just fine. And yah, I know that drinking caffeine can make it worse and drinking lots of plain water can alleviate bladder crankiness. I’m working on those, OK? And I’m reading up on my Keegel exercises. (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) But fatigue sometimes seems to affect all my muscles including Ms Bladder and that’s what worries me about my walk.

I assume Spain has the same types of incontinence products available as in the US, assuming Spanish women have the same types of bladders, but are they easy to find? The “products” that is, not Spanish women. Will I need to meet some elderly woman in a back alley and buy “the products” wrapped in plain brown paper? Or am I faced with packing 5 weeks worth of incontinence pads in my 46 liter pack? I refuse to let this small issue stop me from my 2020 goal of walking in to Santiago without a jacket tied around my waist.
C’mon ladies. I know you’re out there. Give me some good news, or in lieu of that just give me the name of that elderly woman and the time and place I should meet her.
Thx.
I had to put the smiley face as you made me laugh! There are lots of us who can share your bladder problems, I am sure. At least, I can to some extent! enjoy that Camino!
 
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Dochim

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 July - April 2018 Francés
June - July 2018 Primitivo
Have you spoken to your doctor about this? There are non-surgical ways of alleviating your problem as well as surgical. I was in the same situation as you when I walked our Camino last year. However, I had a surgical procedure in October and can now run, jump and even sneeze without any worries. PM me if you want more information. (n.b. no photo 😉)
 

Diane Kinney

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Leon to Santiago May 21 to June 3, 2014
Ponferrada to Santiago September 2015
Welcome to the forum. Have you thought of incontinence underwear? Not the disposable kind but ones that offer protection for moderate bladder leakage? If you google you can find at least two brands. They are not cheap but wonder if in the long run they don’t work out cheaper and certainly better for the environment.
I haven’t purchased them yet so can’t say first hand at how effective and how comfortable (very important for the Camino). Just a thought.
Buen Camino. I may see you in 2020. If all else fails we can find the old lady together or laugh (oops) trying.
 

Rainey

New Member
Past OR future Camino
de Madrid May 2018
del Salvador May 2018
As you have read above you can find these products in a pharmacia as I picked up a small package along my journey last year. I also find coffee and large amounts of water affect me soI learned that I should use the facility at every opportunity to reduce those unexpected nature breaks or leaks.
 
Past OR future Camino
Sarria to Santiago 2014
Pamplona to Santiago 2017
Norte. 2018
Ok now that is good news!!! but I have to admit I will kind of miss meeting the old lady in the alley. Was hoping to score a couple of crocheted doilies in addition to the “products”.
I love your post and if you go to Muxia they are famous for their doilies and other beautiful lace creations.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Right now I am grateful I have not posted a photo of myself as I would hate to be recognized on el Camino as the one who has “that” problem.
Any of you women out there training or walking right now ever experience bladder leaks or shall I say floods after doing a lot of walking? Yah ok I have leaks and a cranky bladder. So shoot me.
I use commercial pads which usually gets me by just fine. And yah, I know that drinking caffeine can make it worse and drinking lots of plain water can alleviate bladder crankiness. I’m working on those, OK? And I’m reading up on my Keegel exercises. (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) But fatigue sometimes seems to affect all my muscles including Ms Bladder and that’s what worries me about my walk.

I assume Spain has the same types of incontinence products available as in the US, assuming Spanish women have the same types of bladders, but are they easy to find? The “products” that is, not Spanish women. Will I need to meet some elderly woman in a back alley and buy “the products” wrapped in plain brown paper? Or am I faced with packing 5 weeks worth of incontinence pads in my 46 liter pack? I refuse to let this small issue stop me from my 2020 goal of walking in to Santiago without a jacket tied around my waist.
C’mon ladies. I know you’re out there. Give me some good news, or in lieu of that just give me the name of that elderly woman and the time and place I should meet her.
Thx.

In the interest of fuller disclosure and to offer support, but without going into TMI, I feel your pain. Men can have a similar problem. Allow me to explain...

Since returning from Santiago last August I have had THREE prostate surgical procedures. Each came with a recovery period including among other things, adult nappies / diapers, progressing to liners. I am presently two months out from the most recent “adventure.” I graduated to my “big boy boxers” finally, two-weeks ago.

Men’s products are the same as women’s, just larger to cover the “real estate.” But in a pinch, men can use the larger women’s sizes, I have...

While preparing for my first surgery I had to deal with continence issues. I found that “productos de incontinencia” are available in supermarkets / supermercados.

You may not find the exact product you are used to, but you can find similar products that will work. I have even found Depends brand products.

I recommend, as others have said, that you pack enough to get you to the first large town or city. Search for the local branch of the several supermarket chains.

These chains include, but are not limited to:

Aqui
Carrefour
Dia
Familia
Froiz
Gadis
Mercadona
...

I usually start with a Google Maps search of “supermercado near me” and drill down from there.

There are smaller, independent tiendas all over. I encourage you to shop in them generally. But you would likely find sanitary napkins, but not specific to purpose liners. These shops are hit and miss. But, do investigate.

You can reliably find one or more of the large chains at:

Pamplona
Logrono
Burgos
Fromista
Leon
Astorga
Sarria
Santiago

You should not have to pack more than a 7-10 day supply. The good news is that while these products can be bulky, they ARE lightweight.

TIP: Pack several small microfiber towels. Wet one and carrry in a zip lock for field expedient “cleanups.” I have done it.

Microfiber is best because it washes out easily, dries FAST and is very absorbent. I admit to having used one of these, folded, as an expedient “pad” should be day. Not comfortable, but it worked.

Beyond this use, they are good for a multitude of uses, limited by your imagination.

Hope this helps.
 
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danielle aird

La vie est belle
Past OR future Camino
May 2018; September 2018; May 2019; Sept (2019)
I brought Always from home for the duration. Added benefit of that item is being able to wear underwear for multiple days without doing laundry. I packed a box with things I would need: spare shoes, cooler clothes, drugs, etc. and sent them ahead to a post office (Correos) in a larger town x days ahead. I would exchange things and resend the box ahead again. It worked for me. OMG, there is a picture of this old lady on my profile!
Bravo for daring to speak about this. I am not there yet but at 70, who knows what the future might deal me... I just want to take an opportunity to mention that too many people drop disgusting, soiled tissues on the camino, in farmers' fields etc and this makes for very bad public relations with those farmers. There are occasional notes such as "Peregrinos de mierde..." and I fully sympathize with the farmers. Peeing etc will biodegrade (and it would be nice to have a little shovel to dig a hole for the unspoken) but the tissues will not. PLEASE all camino hikers, start saving your thin produce plastic bags from your grocery store to bag your soiled paper for disposal in a the next garbage bin along the way. Let's not offend our Spanish hosts.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances: 2016, Del Norte: (2018), Finisterre: (2018), Olvidado (to Bonar): (2019): Bonar on 2020
Bravo for daring to speak about this. I am not there yet but at 70, who knows what the future might deal me... I just want to take an opportunity to mention that too many people drop disgusting, soiled tissues on the camino, in farmers' fields etc and this makes for very bad public relations with those farmers. There are occasional notes such as "Peregrinos de mierde..." and I fully sympathize with the farmers. Peeing etc will biodegrade (and it would be nice to have a little shovel to dig a hole for the unspoken) but the tissues will not. PLEASE all camino hikers, start saving your thin produce plastic bags from your grocery store to bag your soiled paper for disposal in a the next garbage bin along the way. Let's not offend our Spanish hosts.
Danielle is spot on. It is incredible that we even need to say this. There is nothing more disgusting than seeing toilet paper, sanitary supplies, trash or human waste on the path. Bring along a plastic produce bag or biodegradable doggy bag to carry out any of these things. It is imperative that we "LEAVE NO TRACE!".
 
Past OR future Camino
CFx5
Norte
Primitivo
CP
Le Puy-SJPP
Via F
And here I thought this was going to be a discussion of a faulty hydration reservoir. :eek:
It is Davebugg!!
A human reservoir!! ....

A few years ago we passed a village in France called Pis.....I kid you not.....I nearly wet myself!

I also took a picture of the village called Poo.....I'm not joking, I'm not....I have the photo..
But we won't go there!! .........meaning we won't discuss it that's all

But Mar Oregon ...these products available in Spain too
We all have the same anatomy so all the best and enjoy your Camino ...worry over
Best wishes
Annette
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Have you had your bladder checked by a urologist? It is possible to get bladder/sphincter repairs. Not very invasive as a surgery. A friend of mine is just getting it done.
I developed sudden bladder symptoms on one of my caminos, including extreme frequency, urgency and scratchy feeling after peeing along with sensation of not having finished. It was awful, as I was in Switzerland and needed to find a bush every 10 mins.
Turned out I had aggressive bladder cancer.
 
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Charles Zammit

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
Via Francigena 2019
A referral from a GP or Urologist to a Continence Clinic could be very helpful in your situation . The generally kind, caring and knowledgeable staff can give you strategies and excercises [ not just Kegels ] to lessen the condition or at the very least make it more manageable .It's not hand holding and going '' There there '' either , the outcomes can be significant and in some cases completely life changing .
 
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Deleted member 67185

Guest
It is Davebugg!!
A human reservoir!! ....

A few years ago we passed a village in France called Pis.....I kid you not.....I nearly wet myself!

I also took a picture of the village called Poo.....I'm not joking, I'm not....I have the photo..
But we won't go there!! .........meaning we won't discuss it that's all

But Mar Oregon ...these products available in Spain too
We all have the same anatomy so all the best and enjoy your Camino ...worry over
Best wishes
Annette

52856
 

WaterLili

New Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP-Santiago-Fisterra (2008)
Burgos-Santiago (2017)
Roncesvalles-Burgos (2019)
You need to connect with the crepe lady in Fonfría. I’m sure she would be happy to oblige. :)

Oh wow, is that lady still there? I ate her crepes in 2008! I haven't met her in 2017 though.
 

ritaj

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Right now I am grateful I have not posted a photo of myself as I would hate to be recognized on el Camino as the one who has “that” problem.
Any of you women out there training or walking right now ever experience bladder leaks or shall I say floods after doing a lot of walking? Yah ok I have leaks and a cranky bladder. So shoot me.
I use commercial pads which usually gets me by just fine. And yah, I know that drinking caffeine can make it worse and drinking lots of plain water can alleviate bladder crankiness. I’m working on those, OK? And I’m reading up on my Keegel exercises. (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) But fatigue sometimes seems to affect all my muscles including Ms Bladder and that’s what worries me about my walk.

I assume Spain has the same types of incontinence products available as in the US, assuming Spanish women have the same types of bladders, but are they easy to find? The “products” that is, not Spanish women. Will I need to meet some elderly woman in a back alley and buy “the products” wrapped in plain brown paper? Or am I faced with packing 5 weeks worth of incontinence pads in my 46 liter pack? I refuse to let this small issue stop me from my 2020 goal of walking in to Santiago without a jacket tied around my waist.
C’mon ladies. I know you’re out there. Give me some good news, or in lieu of that just give me the name of that elderly woman and the time and place I should meet her.
Thx.


You are not alone! Thanks for bringing this up. Interested in all replies...
 
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Icacos

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
Have you had your bladder checked by a urologist? It is possible to get bladder/sphincter repairs. Not very invasive as a surgery. A friend of mine is just getting it done.
I developed sudden bladder symptoms on one of my caminos, including extreme frequency, urgency and scratchy feeling after being along with sensation of not having finished. It was awful, as I was in Switzerland and needed to find a Bush every 10 mins.
Turned out I had aggressive bladder cancer.
@gittiharre, I remember when you first shared with us your condition. It’s nice to still see your posting here on the forum from time to time.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
Oh wow, is that lady still there? I ate her crepes in 2008! I haven't met her in 2017 though.
She appeared before us in the alley in 2013 (with delicious crepes). I don’t know if she’s still there. I very much doubt that it’s the same lady after all these years.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I'm getting awfully confused! Could we please keep the crepes out of our underpants???🥞 Could get sticky.

Even for those without a leakage problem, a pad can be used by women to save the need to use tissues or toilet paper after peeing.

A note of warning though - I have given myself a horrible blister on the top of my thigh from the edge of a pad rubbing. Several Spanish brands are sort of triangular shaped which alleviates this.

A dual use - incontinence pads are great on the sole of the foot to prevent blisters.
 
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Mar Oregon

Member
Past OR future Camino
Hoping to walk in 2020
Wait! What?!? Did someone mention crepes? Ok I need more details please! This woman bearing crepes just materialized in front of you while you were on your camino? Did she have wings? a halo? I gotta meet her. Hey I mean, even if she doesn’t have bladder leak pads inside her coat I’d be willing to meet her in that back alley. I’ll take mine with bananas and Nutella thank you very much. And so to paraphrase from The Godfather, “Leave the Depends. Take the crepes.

To be a bit more serious friends, thank you all for your suggestions and advice. I plan to get a physical soon to make sure I’m running on all cylinders.
I promise I will ask the questions you all suggest. I think cutting back on the Diet Coke might go a long way toward keeping the dam from breaking so to speak. I will ask about medication too.

Thank you all dear sisters, and good brother for your support. I shall pilgrim on, subsidizing the personal care products industry if I must,{place musical fanfare here} but holding my head up high. And Since no body reading this knows what I look like, you won’t know for sure if you see me on the trail. But please just look the other way if you see a tall woman with white hair backing out of the room with her purse slung low in front. If you say it’s me I’ll deny it. The fact that she may be eating a crepe will be purely incidental.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
@gittiharre, I remember when you first shared with us your condition. It’s nice to still see your posting here on the forum from time to time.
Thanks! Doing well. Walked Madrid and Salvador last year and Le Puy route, Malerweg and Saxonian winetrail this year.
 

Mar Oregon

Member
Past OR future Camino
Hoping to walk in 2020
I love your post and if you go to Muxia they are famous for their doilies and other beautiful lace creations.
Hi
Thanks for the tip on the doily town. Ill put it in my notes and make a special effort to go looking.
Years ago while in Belgium, I passed by a Saturday class teaching young girls to make bobbin lace. Many girls sat behind a large store front window and I stood watching them work for a considerable time. 10-12 year old girls making beautiful intricate patterns with white thread, pins and so many bobbins. I’ll be hoping for another sweet memory.
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
Wait! What?!? Did someone mention crepes? Ok I need more details please! This woman bearing crepes just materialized in front of you while you were on your camino? Did she have wings? a halo? I gotta meet her. Hey I mean, even if she doesn’t have bladder leak pads inside her coat I’d be willing to meet her in that back alley. I’ll take mine with bananas and Nutella thank you very much. And so to paraphrase from The Godfather, “Leave the Depends. Take the crepes.

To be a bit more serious friends, thank you all for your suggestions and advice. I plan to get a physical soon to make sure I’m running on all cylinders.
I promise I will ask the questions you all suggest. I think cutting back on the Diet Coke might go a long way toward keeping the dam from breaking so to speak. I will ask about medication too.

Thank you all dear sisters, and good brother for your support. I shall pilgrim on, subsidizing the personal care products industry if I must,{place musical fanfare here} but holding my head up high. And Since no body reading this knows what I look like, you won’t know for sure if you see me on the trail. But please just look the other way if you see a tall woman with white hair backing out of the room with her purse slung low in front. If you say it’s me I’ll deny it. The fact that she may be eating a crepe will be purely incidental.
I learned in the 1st few days of walking last year, not to have my usual café before setting out, had to wait until I arrived at my destination. Otherwise, I was in dire straits and uncomfortable! Both coffee and Coke have caffeine, they are diuretics and MAKE you have to pee! Plain water does not cause this problem and we all need to keep our (non-caffeinated)fluids up on the walk.
 
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MaineSally

MaineSally
Past OR future Camino
Cam Frances SJPDP to Santiago ('17): Finisterre ('17); Muxia ('17): Camino Portuguese ('19)
Wait! What?!? Did someone mention crepes? Ok I need more details please! This woman bearing crepes just materialized in front of you while you were on your camino? Did she have wings? a halo? I gotta meet her. Hey I mean, even if she doesn’t have bladder leak pads inside her coat I’d be willing to meet her in that back alley. I’ll take mine with bananas and Nutella thank you very much. And so to paraphrase from The Godfather, “Leave the Depends. Take the crepes.

To be a bit more serious friends, thank you all for your suggestions and advice. I plan to get a physical soon to make sure I’m running on all cylinders.
I promise I will ask the questions you all suggest. I think cutting back on the Diet Coke might go a long way toward keeping the dam from breaking so to speak. I will ask about medication too.

Thank you all dear sisters, and good brother for your support. I shall pilgrim on, subsidizing the personal care products industry if I must,{place musical fanfare here} but holding my head up high. And Since no body reading this knows what I look like, you won’t know for sure if you see me on the trail. But please just look the other way if you see a tall woman with white hair backing out of the room with her purse slung low in front. If you say it’s me I’ll deny it. The fact that she may be eating a crepe will be purely incidental.
Well, your description pegs a number of us! I'll have to carry Nutella and a banana to smear on my chin so when I emerge from a woodline passerbys will think they happened upon Mar Oregon rather than MaineSally! A new twist on camo - banana and Nutella!
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
Incontinence supplies, productos de incontinencia, for women and men are widely available throughout Spain; in both pharmacies and often in regular super markets on shelves with other toiletries. Prices are very resonable.
That was not my experience. There were products for severe incontinence, ie: diapers, but never found pads either in farmacias or stores ( and yes, I asked pharmacists and had pictures of Tenna & Poise pads on my phone )
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
Right now I am grateful I have not posted a photo of myself as I would hate to be recognized on el Camino as the one who has “that” problem.
Any of you women out there training or walking right now ever experience bladder leaks or shall I say floods after doing a lot of walking? Yah ok I have leaks and a cranky bladder. So shoot me.
I use commercial pads which usually gets me by just fine. And yah, I know that drinking caffeine can make it worse and drinking lots of plain water can alleviate bladder crankiness. I’m working on those, OK? And I’m reading up on my Keegel exercises. (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) But fatigue sometimes seems to affect all my muscles including Ms Bladder and that’s what worries me about my walk.

I assume Spain has the same types of incontinence products available as in the US, assuming Spanish women have the same types of bladders, but are they easy to find? The “products” that is, not Spanish women. Will I need to meet some elderly woman in a back alley and buy “the products” wrapped in plain brown paper? Or am I faced with packing 5 weeks worth of incontinence pads in my 46 liter pack? I refuse to let this small issue stop me from my 2020 goal of walking in to Santiago without a jacket tied around my waist.
C’mon ladies. I know you’re out there. Give me some good news, or in lieu of that just give me the name of that elderly woman and the time and place I should meet her.
Thx.
@Mar Oregon I used to pack the entire supply and had to ship some of my things ahead because of those stupid pads. On several camino, I never found the 'right' pads for incontinence either in farmacias or stores. They had some from light dribbles and full on diapers, nothing in between. I did ask at every farmacia with pictures on my phone.
I've since discovered ICON panties for women. They cost a fortune, but have changed my life with regards to travel. I do bring about 5 prs, because they may not dry overnight, but it sure beats hauling bulky pads. I use a super thin liner just for freshness and don't mind carrying those.
I know your issue first hand, having had nerve damage to my bladder during emergency surgery...floods are never welcome. Try these panties and you'll thank me...lol
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I would like to say, as a woman who is shy, and very private, about personal physical matters, how impressed I am with the openness and generous helpfulness of those who have posted on this thread in order to help a future pilgrim with the challenge of urinary incontinence (there, I said it). You are wonderful examples of women's openness helping other women and an example to all of us on international women's day.
 
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Mar Oregon

Member
Past OR future Camino
Hoping to walk in 2020
@Mar Oregon I used to pack the entire supply and had to ship some of my things ahead because of those stupid pads. On several camino, I never found the 'right' pads for incontinence either in farmacias or stores. They had some from light dribbles and full on diapers, nothing in between. I did ask at every farmacia with pictures on my phone.
I've since discovered ICON panties for women. They cost a fortune, but have changed my life with regards to travel. I do bring about 5 prs, because they may not dry overnight, but it sure beats hauling bulky pads. I use a super thin liner just for freshness and don't mind carrying those.
I know your issue first hand, having had nerve damage to my bladder during emergency surgery...floods are never welcome. Try these panties and you'll thank me...lol
Thanks for the tip on the Icon Undies. I’ll be checking on them today.!! Fantastic option.
And IMPORTANTLY Thanks for letting folks know that those mid range incontinence pads that you and I are talking about may NOT be easy to find. Just FYI ladies and gent, the pads we are talking about are more absorbent than typical panty liners, and longer and usually thicker depending on brand, but they are NOT adult diapers such as depends. I suppose menstrual pads might work in a pinch but it’s been a while since I used those regularly.
For you folks who like to sew, there is a site called Days for Girls, which makes and distributes washable menstual pad kits for girls who do not have access to disposable products due to cultural taboos and or poverty. Their site has patterns and good tutes for making them. My point finally is that they also have a ‘post partum’ size pattern which I have been considering trying out. Made w thick flannels and water proof PUL nylon.
 

MaineSally

MaineSally
Past OR future Camino
Cam Frances SJPDP to Santiago ('17): Finisterre ('17); Muxia ('17): Camino Portuguese ('19)
And...if you are so inclined, check out You Tube - Pelvic floor exercises. There are a number that you can check out. Like any exercise regimen it won't be an overnight fix...it could take months and months. I'd much rather resort to exercise than meds or the knife. Thanks Mar Oregon for initiating the dialogue.
 
Last edited:

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
I would like to say, as a woman who is shy, and very private, about personal physical matters, how impressed I am with the openness and generous helpfulness of those who have posted on this thread in order to help a future pilgrim with the challenge of urinary incontinence (there, I said it). You are wonderful examples of women's openness helping other women and an example to all of us on international women's day.
LOL I'm not shy at all...I'm a nurse! We have no modesty whatsoever and are not at all embarrassed about physical ailments/bodyparts...ask away!
 

ritaj

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
@Mar Oregon I used to pack the entire supply and had to ship some of my things ahead because of those stupid pads. On several camino, I never found the 'right' pads for incontinence either in farmacias or stores. They had some from light dribbles and full on diapers, nothing in between. I did ask at every farmacia with pictures on my phone.
I've since discovered ICON panties for women. They cost a fortune, but have changed my life with regards to travel. I do bring about 5 prs, because they may not dry overnight, but it sure beats hauling bulky pads. I use a super thin liner just for freshness and don't mind carrying those.
I know your issue first hand, having had nerve damage to my bladder during emergency surgery...floods are never welcome. Try these panties and you'll thank me...lol

Thank you thank you for this suggestion -- I'm going to try everything so I ordered a pair today. They are returnable in 30 days if not satisfied and so worth it if they work for me (though they are a fortune at $39).
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
On the question of pelvic floor exercises - many of us find that after walking a camino or two, our pelvic muscles improve amazingly, and seemingly without any effort. Well, apart from walking 25km a day carrying a pack up and down hills for five weeks!
 
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P Rat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino VDLP/Sanábres April 2019
Camino Mozárabe when we can again...(2021?)
Have you tried something like this https://www.modibodi.com/.
There are a few different brands.
I have 2 modibodi underpants for when I teach aqua fitness. At 57 years and after 3 kids even a fitness instructor can have this problem! The modibodi panty works wonderful! Just not sure how quick drying they would be overnight. But it is a great feeling to not have to wear pantyliners.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
Thank you thank you for this suggestion -- I'm going to try everything so I ordered a pair today. They are returnable in 30 days if not satisfied and so worth it if they work for me (though they are a fortune at $39).
Indeed they do cost a small fortune, but in the long run you won't be buying endless supplies of pads that are both costly and not environmentally friendly....so it's a win-win ! BTW...they are also available on Amazon.
 

Tamsin Grainger

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés
De la plata
I don't think anyone has mentioned that it is the weight of the back pack that causes the downwards pressure that causes people who might otherwise feel in control to leak or wee, so keep the load to a minimum, and I mean real minimum ! I didn't have trouble finding pads in most places on Francés and VdlP. Also be careful not to get sore bits from rubbing/wetness.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Sister! I have the same problem and had the same worries BC (before Camino). I use panty liners every day of my life, took plenty with me (they are not heavy) and, when they ran out, easily found similar items on the shelves of ordinary supermercados. Remember to dispose of them appropriately (as you will for T paper - carry it out, don't leave any DNA behind you). I can't tell you the brand I bought because I discarded the packaging to reduce weight, but they were fine.


We bring our own liners. I am comfortable the way the brand that I use fits. One size does not fit all...I do not like “wings” .. So we now bring our own to prevent irritation on legs. And yes, we should sclepp out what they bring with them!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Have you had your bladder checked by a urologist? It is possible to get bladder/sphincter repairs. Not very invasive as a surgery. A friend of mine is just getting it done.
I developed sudden bladder symptoms on one of my caminos, including extreme frequency, urgency and scratchy feeling after being along with sensation of not having finished. It was awful, as I was in Switzerland and needed to find a Bush every 10 mins.
Turned out I had aggressive bladder cancer.


Glad to read that you are about andwalking caminos again! Good health for the future!
 
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debi b

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Francais 2007, 2013
Muxia-Finnistere 2007
Aragon 2013
del Norte (parts) 2013, 2017
VdlP 2017
Right now I am grateful I have not posted a photo of myself as I would hate to be recognized on el Camino as the one who has “that” problem.
Any of you women out there training or walking right now ever experience bladder leaks or shall I say floods after doing a lot of walking? Yah ok I have leaks and a cranky bladder. So shoot me.
I use commercial pads which usually gets me by just fine. And yah, I know that drinking caffeine can make it worse and drinking lots of plain water can alleviate bladder crankiness. I’m working on those, OK? And I’m reading up on my Keegel exercises. (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) But fatigue sometimes seems to affect all my muscles including Ms Bladder and that’s what worries me about my walk.

I assume Spain has the same types of incontinence products available as in the US, assuming Spanish women have the same types of bladders, but are they easy to find? The “products” that is, not Spanish women. Will I need to meet some elderly woman in a back alley and buy “the products” wrapped in plain brown paper? Or am I faced with packing 5 weeks worth of incontinence pads in my 46 liter pack? I refuse to let this small issue stop me from my 2020 goal of walking in to Santiago without a jacket tied around my waist.
C’mon ladies. I know you’re out there. Give me some good news, or in lieu of that just give me the name of that elderly woman and the time and place I should meet her.
Thx.
There is an online Canadian vompany called Knix that makes leak oroof undies and night briefs for menses.
 

Susan M Fron

SusanM
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (August 2019)
Incontinence supplies, productos de incontinencia, for women and men are widely available throughout Spain; in both pharmacies and often in regular super markets on shelves with other toiletries. Prices are very resonable.
Good news.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
To all of you with leaking bladders! Often these are treatable, either with exercises or relatively straight forward surgical repair. I suggest you have proper investigations to find the cause of the problem and address it. It is a bit miserable having to rely on incontinence products long term.
My cancer ( extremely rare in females) had associated incontinence, which has now resolved.
 

Dochim

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 July - April 2018 Francés
June - July 2018 Primitivo
To all of you with leaking bladders! Often these are treatable, either with exercises or relatively straight forward surgical repair. I suggest you have proper investigations to find the cause of the problem and address it. It is a bit miserable having to rely on incontinence products long term.
My cancer ( extremely rare in females) had associated incontinence, which has now resolved.
I agree. Apparently 10% of women suffer with these problems.
 
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Mar Oregon

Member
Past OR future Camino
Hoping to walk in 2020
To all of you with leaking bladders! Often these are treatable, either with exercises or relatively straight forward surgical repair. I suggest you have proper investigations to find the cause of the problem and address it. It is a bit miserable having to rely on incontinence products long term.
My cancer ( extremely rare in females) had associated incontinence, which has now resolved.
I will be checking w my doc for sure. However since I have been working on strength training and endurance with a trainer at my gym, my ‘little problem’ has gotten better. At least it seems a little easier to hold it during those moments of urgency. I think it’s the core strengthening that is helping. My trainer reminds me “don’t forget your pelvic floor” when I need to tighten my core in prep for doing all the other strength exercises. The first few times she said that I thought ‘uh..my what?’ and at first, it seemed like I had no ability to get anything to move let alone tighten. But now, well its getting better.
I promise I will talk to my doc about the whole issue. But believe me I will never again forget my pelvic floor.
 

Mar Oregon

Member
Past OR future Camino
Hoping to walk in 2020
Not sure this would work for me as the most absorbent holds only 3 tablespoons. I think my bladder may leak more than that.

Maybe you can check out the ‘Icon’ brand of undies. Their site says their industrial strength version will hold 8 tsps. I will be ordering some today. Ok maybe they are not referred to as industrial strength but you get my point.
 

Skybo

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2017 September
Right now I am grateful I have not posted a photo of myself as I would hate to be recognized on el Camino as the one who has “that” problem.
Any of you women out there training or walking right now ever experience bladder leaks or shall I say floods after doing a lot of walking? Yah ok I have leaks and a cranky bladder. So shoot me.
I use commercial pads which usually gets me by just fine. And yah, I know that drinking caffeine can make it worse and drinking lots of plain water can alleviate bladder crankiness. I’m working on those, OK? And I’m reading up on my Keegel exercises. (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) But fatigue sometimes seems to affect all my muscles including Ms Bladder and that’s what worries me about my walk.

I assume Spain has the same types of incontinence products available as in the US, assuming Spanish women have the same types of bladders, but are they easy to find? The “products” that is, not Spanish women. Will I need to meet some elderly woman in a back alley and buy “the products” wrapped in plain brown paper? Or am I faced with packing 5 weeks worth of incontinence pads in my 46 liter pack? I refuse to let this small issue stop me from my 2020 goal of walking in to Santiago without a jacket tied around my waist.
C’mon ladies. I know you’re out there. Give me some good news, or in lieu of that just give me the name of that elderly woman and the time and place I should meet her.
Thx.
Can only purchase in large quantities there. That’s why I ended up forwarding my muchilla daily—took up all the room in my pack pretty much. Still made it to SdC
 
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Shazenalan

Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2018
Along with Always pads for insurance, I’ve found the Pibella to be a helpful device if you have some warning of the need to go, AND at least a tall bush or tree trunk nearby.... but I stronhly advise practice at home until perfect!!
 

Cecnet

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 30th April, 2018
Portuguese from Lisbon 4th May, 2020 - Now 2021
Right now I am grateful I have not posted a photo of myself as I would hate to be recognized on el Camino as the one who has “that” problem.
Any of you women out there training or walking right now ever experience bladder leaks or shall I say floods after doing a lot of walking? Yah ok I have leaks and a cranky bladder. So shoot me.
I use commercial pads which usually gets me by just fine. And yah, I know that drinking caffeine can make it worse and drinking lots of plain water can alleviate bladder crankiness. I’m working on those, OK? And I’m reading up on my Keegel exercises. (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) But fatigue sometimes seems to affect all my muscles including Ms Bladder and that’s what worries me about my walk.

I assume Spain has the same types of incontinence products available as in the US, assuming Spanish women have the same types of bladders, but are they easy to find? The “products” that is, not Spanish women. Will I need to meet some elderly woman in a back alley and buy “the products” wrapped in plain brown paper? Or am I faced with packing 5 weeks worth of incontinence pads in my 46 liter pack? I refuse to let this small issue stop me from my 2020 goal of walking in to Santiago without a jacket tied around my waist.
C’mon ladies. I know you’re out there. Give me some good news, or in lieu of that just give me the name of that elderly woman and the time and place I should meet her.
Thx.
Good for you for bringing up this topic. I don’t know why it’s so taboo. I have the same problem and I walked my 1st camino last year. I live in Australia and we have this little company called modibodi. They make Under wear that are period, incontinance & sweat proof. I walked with 5 pairs and just washed them out in my shower each afternoon. I can’t speak highly enough of them. They were a godsend for me. I took1 packet of pads but gave them away 1/2 way along. I have checked their website and they ship to most countries. I wear them every single day now. They are a bit expensive at $30-$40 AUS a pair but so worth every cent. When you work out how much you spend on pads each year they well and truly pay for themselves. And as an added bonus there is no added waste for landfill. www.modibodi.com
 

AndreaCT

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 CF
2017 CF and Finnisterre
2019 CP and Muxia
As a nurse, I am amazed and pleased that people talk about subjects like this. I talked to a nursing friend of mine who is an Enterostomal Nurse. She advised making an appointment with a physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor muscle strengthening for women. You can get hooked up with electrodes to a computer so that you can actually see what happens to your bladder when you try squeezing particular muscles. It's more than just pelvic floor exercises and one really needs a professional to help teach the proper use of muscles, that for some women, rarely get used.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances September/October (2014)
Like many others, I found pads in Supermarkets, but I also found them in what we called ‘Chinese Shops’. Shops that sold all sorts of useful cheap bits and pieces. Jewellery, electrical, clothes including underwear, toiletries..... all sorts. These were often towards the edge of towns. I too had worried about how many packs to take with me.
 
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Mar Oregon

Member
Past OR future Camino
Hoping to walk in 2020
Like many others, I found pads in Supermarkets, but I also found them in what we called ‘Chinese Shops’. Shops that sold all sorts of useful cheap bits and pieces. Jewellery, electrical, clothes including underwear, toiletries..... all sorts. These were often towards the edge of towns. I too had worried about how many packs to take with me.
Hi Andpartner
That tip is very useful indeed. Not only am I now likely to find the products I need but I may also be able to get a bathtub stopper, a plastic back scratcher, clothes pins, an egg slicer or even some shoe stretchers.
I think around here these stores might be called Dollar stores. Odd brands, cheap little toys, plastic dishes etc. sometime the very best place to look for the thing you need.
Thank you for the valuable tip.
 

Rebecca Bouwer

New Member
Past OR future Camino
(2010) France route from Leon to Santiago
(2019 May) coastal Portuguese camino
Consider taking a medication such as Vesicare for the duration of your hike. Check it out with your doctor.
good idea, i take a similar med called betmiga 50mg daily, it controls the uncontrolable urge. not the leaking though. good luck and buen camino
 

Sallymc

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugues (2019)
Right now I am grateful I have not posted a photo of myself as I would hate to be recognized on el Camino as the one who has “that” problem.
Any of you women out there training or walking right now ever experience bladder leaks or shall I say floods after doing a lot of walking? Yah ok I have leaks and a cranky bladder. So shoot me.
I use commercial pads which usually gets me by just fine. And yah, I know that drinking caffeine can make it worse and drinking lots of plain water can alleviate bladder crankiness. I’m working on those, OK? And I’m reading up on my Keegel exercises. (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) But fatigue sometimes seems to affect all my muscles including Ms Bladder and that’s what worries me about my walk.

I assume Spain has the same types of incontinence products available as in the US, assuming Spanish women have the same types of bladders, but are they easy to find? The “products” that is, not Spanish women. Will I need to meet some elderly woman in a back alley and buy “the products” wrapped in plain brown paper? Or am I faced with packing 5 weeks worth of incontinence pads in my 46 liter pack? I refuse to let this small issue stop me from my 2020 goal of walking in to Santiago without a jacket tied around my waist.
C’mon ladies. I know you’re out there. Give me some good news, or in lieu of that just give me the name of that elderly woman and the time and place I should meet her.
Thx.
As I plan for my first Camino, this topic has given me much pause. Thank you for opening the discussion as I found some products to try.
 

ritaj

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Thank you thank you for this suggestion -- I'm going to try everything so I ordered a pair today. They are returnable in 30 days if not satisfied and so worth it if they work for me (though they are a fortune at $39).

Got a pair, tried them, didn't work for me. Will return them and hope I really will get a refund. The search continues...sigh.
 
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Lynda t

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago May 2010
Lisbon to Santiago May 2012
Right now I am grateful I have not posted a photo of myself as I would hate to be recognized on el Camino as the one who has “that” problem.
Any of you women out there training or walking right now ever experience bladder leaks or shall I say floods after doing a lot of walking? Yah ok I have leaks and a cranky bladder. So shoot me.
I use commercial pads which usually gets me by just fine. And yah, I know that drinking caffeine can make it worse and drinking lots of plain water can alleviate bladder crankiness. I’m working on those, OK? And I’m reading up on my Keegel exercises. (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) But fatigue sometimes seems to affect all my muscles including Ms Bladder and that’s what worries me about my walk.

I assume Spain has the same types of incontinence products available as in the US, assuming Spanish women have the same types of bladders, but are they easy to find? The “products” that is, not Spanish women. Will I need to meet some elderly woman in a back alley and buy “the products” wrapped in plain brown paper? Or am I faced with packing 5 weeks worth of incontinence pads in my 46 liter pack? I refuse to let this small issue stop me from my 2020 goal of walking in to Santiago without a jacket tied around my waist.
C’mon ladies. I know you’re out there. Give me some good news, or in lieu of that just give me the name of that elderly woman and the time and place I should meet her.
Thx.
Talk to your doctor about Botox injections in the neck of your bladder. My mother was one of 100 guinea pigs that had it done. Three sessions sorted it.
 

Portia1

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
Sale on icon panties right now. Go to their website—up to 50% off and 30 day trial.
 

Portia1

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
BTW, I had prolapse surgery (6 kids) and it made a HUGE difference. I had vaginal, uterine, bladder and rectal prolapse—women who have delivered multiple babies are prone. If you have leakage problems, you might want to check for prolapse. Many doctors won’t assess for it unless you ask. I had surgery after my last Camino.
 

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