Why Bladder Weakness is not taboo anymore

Many around the world suffer from different health issues and one of them is the issue of urinary incontinence, commonly known as bladder weakness. 

Urinary incontinence is reported to affect millions of people worldwide, and yet it is still a taboo and somewhat embarrassing subject.1 The number of sufferers is actually likely higher than reported due to an unwillingness to confront the condition and seek help. We want to raise awareness around bladder weakness issues and help somehow break shame or embarrassment around this topic. 

Female Urinary Incontinence: 

Despite the World Health Organisation stating that incontinence affects over 200 million people worldwide, 82% of the women we surveyed in 2018 associated bladder weakness with feelings of embarrassment. Furthermore, only 2% said they would turn to their friends and family for help and advice.2  If you wish to read more about it, you can discover all information on female bladder weakness here

Incontinence in women is more common than in men, due in part to unique health events, such as pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause, that may affect the urinary tract and surrounding muscles. Female sufferers can also span a wider age range due to as many as 4 in 10 women experiencing bladder weakness during pregnancy.3  

Studies have shown that female incontinence can decrease the quality of life more than diabetes or heart failure, so it is important to not consider it as a taboo topic anymore.4 Sufferers may feel unable to take part in a certain daily routine, thus drastically reducing the quality of life and heightening feelings of anxiety.  

The women we surveyed also said that they were less likely to talk to a partner about urinary incontinence than any other health condition, including constipation, IBS and sexuality.5  

What is my ideal solution?

Male Urinary Incontinence: 

The condition is also quite common among men as there are multiple issues like obesity, prostate cancer, etc. that may contribute to this situation.6 However, men are even less likely than women to discuss their condition or seek help. Many males prefer to suffer in silence rather than speak up about their condition, which can lead to other, more serious problems, from being diagnosed.  

Common causes of incontinence in men include damaged bladder muscles, prostate conditions and neurological diseases such as Diabetes. Without access to medical help, men are ultimately reducing their quality of life and endangering themselves.7 This is why it is so vital to seek help if you’re suffering from incontinence, no matter how embarrassed you may feel. 

At Home Treatments for Urinary Incontinence: 

You should always seek help from a medical professional if you are experiencing incontinence issues, however, there are a number of things you can do at home to ease suffering 

  • Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels): Strengthening your pelvic floor can lead to increased bladder control. Read more on pelvic floor exercise here.  
  • Lose excess weight: Being overweight can weaken your pelvic floor muscles and cause bladder weakness issues 
  • Stop smoking: If you smoke, you put yourself at risk of incontinence, because coughing puts strain on your pelvic floor muscles. 
  • Bladder retraining: Follow a fixed voiding schedule and practice suppression techniques
  • Avoid bladder irritants: These include caffeine, sugary drinks and alcohol (they increase the urge to urinate)

The wearing of incontinence pads and underwear can also help to manage leaks in everyday life, allowing you to get on with your day. The absorbent products for incontinence need to be discreet, fitting in with your daily life. 

The NHS estimates that between 3 and 6 million people in the UK suffer from some degree of urinary incontinence.8 The first step to breaking down the unnecessary taboo is communication. In order to normalise the condition it is vital that sufferers seek help from medical professionals. We encourage anyone suffering from bladder weakness to seek help and to start a conversation about incontinence with your medical professionals. 

Email subscription

1] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/urinary-incontinence/

[2] Research conducted by Ontex Healthcare UK in October 2018 with 1000 women aged 35 – 75

[3] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/bladder-leakage-women-mental-health-taboo-pelvis-exercises-a9090706.html

[4] https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/6-overactive-bladder-facts

[5]  Research conducted by Ontex Healthcare UK in October 2018 with 1000 women aged 35 – 75

[6] https://www.healthline.com/health/overactive-bladder/male-incontinence

[7] https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/causes-urinary-incontinence-men

[8] https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/kidneys-bladder-and-prostate/urinary-incontinence