If you follow us on Facebook, you’ll know we regularly share stories from the media about incontinence. Why? Because it shows that slowly but surely the taboo around bladder weakness is changing – and we welcome that with open arms.
Incontinence affects literally millions of people around the world* – and there’s every chance that it will affect 1 in 3 of us as we get older. So why should we be embarrassed or ashamed about talking about it?
In saying that, we do recognise that this is an awkward topic for many. When our bladder is letting us down, we feel less able to do things that we may have previously taken for granted, whether that’s exercising, travelling or even leaving the house. And as a consequence, our quality of life can suffer. If we don’t talk to anyone about this – and men are more likely to keep quiet on the subject – then it can impact our mental health, and if we ignore the symptoms, potentially our medical health.
So how do we overcome this stigma around bladder weakness? How do we normalise incontinence and make it a subject we’re all less fearful to talk about?
It’s great to see ‘celebrities’ starting the conversation – just a few recent examples are actors Kate WInslet, who spoke on The Graham Norton Show recently about her stress incontinence, and Samuel L Jackson who developed his incontinence in his late 40s, and comedian and writer Jenny Eclair, who regularly shares her experiences, and singer Katy Perry has been very open about her continence problems during high school years.
So if celebrities can chat openly to the media about their bladder weaknesses, perhaps that will give you the confidence to do the same with those closest to you. Sharing your worries with a friend, family member or health professional should feel like a weight off your shoulders. And should you choose to talk with a medical professional, they will have seen time and time again how overwhelming and upsetting incontinence can be – they will understand it, and they really can help. In fact, people often say they wish they’d sought treatment sooner** Once you start talking about it, you’ll feel more supported and then you can start to get help and move on too.
Some people find it easier to first read or engage with online support forums, or tell someone over the phone, or by text or email. There are some excellent organisations such as Bladder Health UK and the Bladder and Bowel Community which specialise in giving discreet advice and support, and will certainly make you feel that you don’t have to deal with this on your own.
If you need to have discussion about the best products to use, whether that’s on a short or long term basis, do consider giving us a call or drop us an email. We talk about incontinence and bladder and bowel weaknesses all day long, so you can be assured we don’t consider it embarrassing, or humiliating, or awkward – but we definitely understand how distressing it can be, and we are here to help you discreetly, confidentially and kindly.
The more we have conversations about incontinence, the closer we are to ending the shame around experiencing bladder weakness. So let’s talk about it.
* World Health Organisation estimates 200 million worldwide suffer from incontinence