You might think the country you live in has no bearing on your bladder weakness issues, but you could be wrong! An article on Poise.com explains that Americans’ shame about bladder control issues and bladder weakness means that women suffer longer.
“The United States is one of the more reserved countries when it comes to this topic,” says Caryn Antos, of the National Association for Continence. “In Europe, tons of organizations band together for educational purposes — and there’s no privacy barrier to break through.”
Another explanation for women’s reticence to talk about bladder weakness is age. Older women may be less comfortable talking bladder weakness issues, and because they’re not discussing their leaking bladder with their physician, they likely don’t know that treatments for bladder weakness have changed a lot in recent years.
“I often have to coax the information out of my patients, by asking if
they experience ‘a few drops’ or other similar questions,” said Cynthia D. Hall, MD, who shared her views in a recent Vibrant Nation piece. “As a practitioner, this concerns me because the condition is quite
common, can significantly impair a woman’s quality of life, and is often
very manageable. There is an unnecessary stigma associated with urinary
incontinence, which has shown to be a huge hindrance for the women who
are affected by this condition.”
This explanation is supported by data from the Boomer Women’s Health survey conducted as part of TENA’s Be TENAcious campaign — an advocacy campaign that encourages women to speak up about embarrassing health conditions, such as bladder weakness. The survey revealed that over two-thirds of baby boomer women (67 percent) are less likely to see a physician if they think the symptoms they are experiencing are a “normal part of aging” and over a quarter (26 percent) feels uncomfortable, embarrassed or judged when discussing even common personal health issues with their doctors. Bladder weakness can, of course, be one of those “normal part of aging” issues causing embarrassment.
Finding a female gynecologist, urogynecologist, or physical therapist to talk with about bladder weakness and leaking bladder issues may make you feel more comfortable, as can learning more about bladder weakness and leaking bladder issues.
Download Vibrant Nation’s special report, 5 keys to manage a leaking bladder or overactive bladder for women over 50 for more information about managing bladder weakness and talking to your doctor about your symptoms.