BREAK THE SILENCE, END THE STIGMA
BLADDER LEAKAGE AFFECTS 1 IN 10 CANADIANS
Do you leak when you least expect it? You may feel as though it’s controlling your enjoyment of life, and putting limits on the activities that once brought you pleasure. You may also feel as though you’re alone. You’re not. In fact, the Canadian Continence Foundation reports that almost 10 percent of Canadians have some degree of bladder leakage, also known as urinary incontinence.[ 1] Although many believe symptoms are more prevalent as we get older, younger people can experience leakage as well. An interruption in the signals between the bladder and the brain, which can be caused by many factors, can lead to leakage. Common causes include physical changes, nerve damage, weight gain and medication side effects. If you don’t experience the condition personally, chances are you may be close to someone who does. It’s important to open up a dialogue around this hush-hush subject so everyone feels empowered to find the products or resources that allow them to live their best lives. While bladder leakage is common, most of us tend to clam up about it. In fact, experts say the number of people experiencing leakage is likely much higher than what’s documented – in Canada, it’s believed to be more than three times higher – simply because so many people don’t talk about it when it happens to them. They’re too embarrassed or ashamed to bring it up, not only with friends, family members or co-workers, but even with healthcare professionals. In a recent survey of CARP members, over 70 percent disclosed that they’d experienced some degree of bladder leakage, yet more than half hadn’t told anyone about it. That could mean they’re not getting adequate help. But breaking the silence can make a positive impact on your life, and can mean living with the confidence to do all of the things you did before experiencing leakage symptoms. With November being Incontinence Awareness Month in Canada, we want to encourage more people to talk about the condition and access the support and tools that are available. If you’re still making up your mind about whether to talk to someone about leakage, here are a few points to consider.
IT’S HOLDING YOU BACK, UNNECESSARILY.
Many people with bladder leakage talk about the restriction it puts on their activities or social life. They worry about being too far from a washroom, and they stay home when they’d much rather be going out. Many respondents in the CARP survey admitted that bladder leakage has impacted their enjoyment of life, their travel plans, intimacy and relationships. One female member reluctantly started making excuses not to meet her daughter for their weekly walks, as she felt selfconscious about her condition.
Unknowingly, bladder leakage can deeply impact relationships with loved ones. And in the vast majority of cases, there is a way to manage symptoms and allow you to reconnect with those you enjoy spending time with.
INNOVATIONS AND TREATMENTS BECOME AVAILABLE ALL THE TIME.
Just a few years ago, we didn’t have some of the options that are available today, such as cutting-edge medications, injections for bladder control or sleeker, more comfortable disposable undergarments like Depend ® Silhouette ® Briefs for Women or Depend ® Real-Fit ®
Briefs for Men. These briefs have an advanced absorbent design that helps prevent leaks and locks in odours. Their premium cotton-like breathable fabric moves with your body for a close-to-body, underwear-like fit so you can look and feel great while staying protected at all times.
Poise ® Impressa ® Bladder
Supports is an exciting innovation for women who experience light bladder leaks. The over-the-counter internal device, inserted like a tampon, helps stop unexpected leaks before they happen by placing pressure on the urethra. The product is easily inserted and removed, and can be worn comfortably for up to 12 hours in any 24-hour period.
WHEN YOU OPEN UP, YOU TAKE CONTROL.
Over 60 percent of the CARP survey respondents talked about a loss of control over their own lives. One male CARP member noted how the sudden lack of control over his bladder severely affected his overall self-esteem, and led to a fear of developing intimate relationships. People who experience bladder leakage frequently feel as though the condition dominates them, instead of the other way around. But by actively seeking the support and information you need to manage your bladder leakage, you’re putting yourself back in the driver’s seat. When you’re open about your own bladder leakage, not only can you take control over your condition, but you help reduce the stigma around the topic and inspire others to do the same. Visit depend.com for free samples and to see what you can gain back.