Today marks the start of World Continence Week – a global campaign to raise awareness of a much stigmatised, much ignored & much “put up” with condition that affects over two thirds of women worldwide.
Campaigns on this scale are hugely effective in generating a talking point and playing a part in tackling a taboo…but it’s also important that women act on all the information that will be rolled out across column inches, social media platforms and debated on daytime TV over the next 7 days and seize the impetus of this initiative.
So, make this the week you do something about your leak…stop putting it off, start to seek professional help, look into all the treatment options available and no more suffering in silence!
Essentially, it’s all about patient choice….and for women living with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in the 21st Century there is a choice!
Earlier this year, Trinity PR worked alongside the team at Contura (manufacturers of the minimally invasive treatment for SUI, Bulkamid®) to help develop and launch the UK-wide campaign #controlyourchoice
Engaging with leading Consultants and “real life”, inspirational women who had recently been treated for SUI, the initiative was picked up across the national and regional media.
Based on specially commissioned stats, #controlyourchoice flagged up a number of worrying findings, including:
- Women still find discussing SUI taboo, with well over a third of women (39%) saying they had waited up to 6 months before eventually seeking treatment and a staggering 12% leaving it for up to 5 years or more.
- Four in 10 (39%) of women admit they avoid certain activities (such as bouncing on a trampoline with their children, wearing certain clothes or attending an exercise class), for fear of accidental bladder leakage, rising to 52% of women aged 35-44.
- More than a fifth (22%) say the final “tipping point” for seeking help was experiencing leakage whilst running for a bus, whilst 16% said it was the moment their partner pointed out a wet patch.
- Almost half of those questioned (48%) admit that recent concerns with mesh covered extensively in the media would deter them from seeking any advice from a health professional about treatment options for SUI.
- 9 out of 10 women questioned agree that women living with SUI are likely to simply “put up with” the condition, rather than seeking treatment and advice, despite any negative effects on their quality of life, relationships or ability to exercise.
Stats like this just aren’t acceptable any longer and women should be encouraged to explore their options – whether specialist physio, surgery or the increasingly popular and minimally invasive “bladder neck bulking.”
It may be World Continence Week…but it’s also International Year of the Women so please feel empowered to take back control of your continence and find out what the best treatment for you might be. Make this the year that you learn to laugh (sneeze, run and jump!) again with confidence!