Life with bladder problems, especially for women is NOT an easy journey. There is a social stigma surrounding this subject which prevents women from talking about it, let alone asking for help.
From our early years women are led to believe that urinary incontinence is somehow part of being a woman. That it is a ‘normal’ consequence of giving a birth, a ‘normal’ side effect of going through a menopause or a ‘normal’ part of aging.
The fact of it is that almost half of female population experience some sort of urinary problems, and this worsens with age1,2.
For a problem that affects half of the population, it is surprising that this subject is so rarely talked about. We somehow seem to pretend the problem doesn’t exist. We learn to get by, we cope, and indeed this is just a part of being a woman!
The truth is that while not all bladder problems are serious, the ones that are will soon become impossible to keep a secret. Learning to open up about urinary incontinence can make the difference between getting early treatment and experiencing an accident.
Yet even in cases where treatment is needed many women will still approach a problem with some sort of embarrassment. Whether this is embarrassment about the problem, embarrassment about looking for solutions or embarrassment about the treatment!
At Wellspect, we are determined to break this chain! We believe that everyone should be free to discuss their condition freely and to be able to seek help when they need it. It’s amazing how much talking can help, just ask catheter user Serena:
“I used to be a bit shy to tell anyone that I self-catheterised but I was sort of forced into it one day because I was doing a mud run with a group of girlfriends. Once you’ve spent 5 or 6 hours literally swimming through mud, you really don’t want to catheterise until you’ve had a very good shower. So, I was forced into telling a couple of the girls who I was doing the mud run with. I started off by slowly explaining what intermittent self-catheterisation was and one of the girls said ‘Oh, you don’t need to tell me, my mum has to do it sometimes because she gets arthritis and sometimes it affects her bladder. I know all about it.’ I was immediately struck with the thought that, oh, someone else I know does it now – that’s great.
“One of my neighbours was pregnant recently and she had to very suddenly start self-catheterising as a pregnancy complication popped up and she lost the ability to wee. When you start talking to people about your bladder health, it’s amazing how many people come out of the woodwork to let you know that they’ve got a problem or know someone who does. It’s incredible, so it’s definitely worth talking to people.”
Let’s stop urinary incontinence from being our little secret.
To find out more about the common urinary problems that affect women download our handy guide to Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms using the button below:
1 Irwin at al BJU International 2011,108-1132-8;
2 Coyne at al 2009 ‘The Prevalence of LUTS'