Ok, I have hit my limit of frustration, aggravation and down right anger!! So for those of you who know me you know that is so not my normal state! I was visiting my mother on Memorial Day. She has a coupon obsession, where my sister and I have to go through a pile of coupons whether or not we will actually ever remember to use them. I was flipping through these endless pages and came across an add for incontinence underwear (I won’t mention the name of the company). There were four women leaning on each other, holding hands and smiling as if t he world was perfect. All had on shirts, all were different sizes and even different ethnicities. So far so good, right? They were all beautiful and literally aged 20’s-30’s. Well, here’s where things go South (literally)!!!! They were all wearing beige incontinence briefs!
How can requiring a full pull up by the age of 20-35 be accepted as the norm? Now, my own father had a birth defect that impacted his ability to know when he had to go to the bathroom, so by all means I am sensitive to the reality that there are many that have trauma and birth defects that necessitate this protection. However, this is clearly not the only market that this company is targeting. It is just another example of how the problems women face are marginalized and normalized by adds like this. NO! It is not sexy and cool to pee down to your shoes when you sneeze or run just because you had 2 kids. Many women have dysfunction WITHOUT having the trauma of birthing children. This is not ok! Women need to know that the first line of defense is NOT a sanitary product or full on incontinence pad/underwear! Dearest women of the world! Stand up and take charge! Own your body and BE PROACTIVE! We don’t wait for cavities, we brush our teeth and try to floss. Don’t wait for incontinence or assume that your sporadic leaking will always stay as such. Learn what you need to do for your body today. Everyone is a bit different. And, studies show that just having your MD say, “Do your Kegels” is not sufficient. Early intervention can do nothing but improve the odds that you won’t be the one of the over 15 million women to experience stress incontinence in the US. Studies show that women wait over 6 years to seek help once they start experiencing episodes of incontinence. Why wait? The one thing I can assure you is that nothing stays the same. What is a little incontinence now, will be more sooner or later. It negatively impacts quality of life. Don’t let the adds fool you! Incontinence is common but not a normal consequence of having kids or aging!
Is a mom of two, life long exercise & nutrition enthusiast, women's health specialist & physical therapist.