Talking about almost anything that might be worrying us can undeniably useful in helping to lighten the load emotionally.
But according to recent research from Always Discreet, a whopping 49% of UK women aren’t talking about a health issue that affects a huge majority of us.
Their research found that 67% of women wet themselves, but that almost half of us experiencing the problem haven’t had the courage to talk to friends of family about it. In fact, 60% explained it by saying that they felt shame and embarrassment over the issue.
Of course, much of the stigma around bladder leakage is attached to the ages of people that we presume typically experience it.
While it’s often perceived as an issue affecting older people, or those have gone through childbirth, actually, 64% of 18-24 year olds also struggle with the issue.
29% of women surveyed revealed that it took them over a year to admit the problem to themselves, too.
It’s hard to deny that it’s a taboo subject, with research revealing that women would rather open up about relationship problems, money worries or their mental wellbeing instead of bladder leaks.
But the first step to handling the issue is identifying it, and opening up to it about others – be it a loved one or a medical professional.
Always Discreet’s advertising campaign, telling the stories of different women who live with bladder leaks, is also helping to break down the taboo.
Dr. Anita Mitra said, “Unfortunately, it’s still a bit of a taboo and so women don’t tend to fully understand it, with many avoiding talking about it. The more we speak openly, the better, so women don’t feel alone and silenced by something that can be managed.”
The NHS offers all kinds of advice for tackling bladder leaks, including pelvic floor exercises and addressing other factors which could be affecting your health, such as being overweight and smoking.
But if you have concerns, the best first stop is your GP, to see if they can help and advise on the best treatment for you.