In honor of World Continence Week 2019, we’re relieving some myths about who gets leaks and who doesn’t. World Continence Week (WCW) raises awareness about leaky laughs and dribble dilemmas. Now that’s something we can get behind.
(And if you keep reading to the bottom, we have a special WCW treat in store for new customers!).
Leaks And Loneliness: Am I Alone Here?
Leaks. Spritz. Dribble. There are so many words to talk about bladder leaks, so why does it seem like no one is talking about it? Realizing you may be struggling with a broken sprinkler system can make you feel embarrassed. If you’ve found yourself hiding indoors or trying to figure out the best way to move into the bathroom for good, you may be struggling not only with leaks, but with hiding them from those closest to you too.
You may feel like you have no one to talk to about those dreaded dribble dilemmas, but the truth is, you’re far from alone. Many of us from all walks of life experience leaks at one point or another. So, many people are in your shoes. The stats may actually surprise you!
The Stigma Surrounding Spritz
Leaks walk hand-in-hand with secrecy. As anyone who’s dealt with dribble dilemmas will tell you, there’s always a sliver of embarrassment when it comes to leaks. The stigma surrounding spritz is so prevalent, just about all of our guest posts mention it. Everyone who experiences leaks struggles with self-consciousness, but it shouldn’t have to be that way. The stigma that keeps lips sealed has made it harder for those of us living with incontinence to know that we aren’t alone. But the numbers paint a completely different story.
When It Comes To Leaks, You’re Not Alone
If you’re afraid to admit your leaks exist, you’re not alone. You’re also not alone in living with urinary incontinence. In fact, 50 million Americans (both guys and gals!) live with urinary incontinence and overactive bladder. Out of all of those people, women make up over 70% of the group. That’s a lot of women to have something in common with!
With Age Comes Wisdom…And Leaks
Age brings so many wonderful experiences and memories. Retirement frees up time to spend with friends and family, your hobbies can finally get the attention they deserve, and…your bladder seems to be out of control.
Age and leaks go together like cheese and wine, although the cheese and wine probably sound far preferable. You’re not alone. More than half of women over the age of 65 experience bladder leakage. 1 in 4 men over 65 experience leaks, too. To put it another way, 45% of everyone over 65 experience leaks, regardless of gender. With age comes wisdom…and leaks. But you’re far from alone with your spritz-related secret.
The Gals Aren’t The Only Ones
Urinary incontinence has always been synonymous with post-menopausal women, but men also struggle with leaks. In fact, nearly 20% of all incontinence diagnoses are men. While men over 65 are more likely to experience bladder leakage, any man regardless of age can have trouble holding it in sometimes. The men in our lives may feel ashamed or embarrassed because of their leaks, but they make up a significant portion of the population of people living with leaks.
The Ladies Still Have A Lot On Their Plate
It’s easy to get angry at the injustice of ladies being more susceptible to leaks, but us gals have a lot more on our plates that make leaks an everyday occurrence. After childbirth, pelvic floor muscles are weakened and stretched causing dribbles and spritz even at a younger age. As we grow older, menopause has a similar effect. Our muscles grow weaker, and so too does our bladder. This leads to trouble holding things in, and our unique life experiences are the main reason why we experience more leaks than men do.
The Kids Are Alright, But They Have Leaks, Too
Age and leaks will always be bundled when it comes to talking about urinary incontinence. This can leave the children and young adults struggling with urine leaks feeling alone and ashamed. The truth is, no one is alone when it comes to leaks, and the kids are no exception.
In one study, one in eight young women under the age of 30 experience urinary incontinence. The women in the study were all healthy young adults who had never had children. The number increased in women up to 45 years old, with one out of every three women experiencing leaks.
Leaks and Loneliness Don’t Have To Come In Pairs
Stigma may be trying to make us keep secrets, but the secret’s officially out: you aren’t alone. Anyone, at any age, can struggle with spritz. Leaks and loneliness don’t have to come hand-in-hand. With leaks, you’re not alone. And, there are plenty of options for you to tell that bladder who’s boss.
Want to join our tribe? Lily Bird has you covered with pads and underwear delivered right to your door. Start your trial today. Use code WCW19 at checkout to take 15% off your first monthly shipment all this week.
By Jessica Thomas, MPH