Shediac company wins award for female incontinence product

Carol Chapman, Resilia
Carol Chapman, VP Marketing, Resilia ~ Photo: Laura Booth/Times & Transcript

A Shediac-owned company has won a national award for its product that offers women a solution to urinary incontinence caused by pressure on the bladder from activities such as running, sneezing and coughing.

Resilia’s product, called Uresta, has earned a 2016 Product of the Year Canada award in the adult care incontinence category.

Canada is one of 40 countries to host the Product of the Year awards, which were founded in 1987 in France by former L’Oreal executive Christian Le-Bret. The awards, backed by Rogers Media in Canada, feature a jury of industry experts who select category finalists from innovative company product entries.

Canadian consumers then vote an online survey conducted by Rogers Custom Research Group. Winners can use the Product of the Year Canada designation for marketing businesses.

Resilia’s product, Uresta, now has the red seal approval. Uresta is a resin stopper, like a reusable tampon, that women can insert into their vagina. Its bell shape prevents the urethra muscle – a valve to the bladder – from opening at inopportune moments such as when women cough, sneeze or exercise. It can be worn during the day but should be removed before going to sleep at night. It’s washable, and each stopper lasts about a year. Women can still urinate normally with it inserted.

About one in three women over the age of 30 are estimated to have light bladder leakage, also referred to medically as stress urinary incontinence, according to Resilia’s literature.

Carol Chapman of Shediac, Resilia’s vice-president of marketing, said it wasn’t until she brought up the issue with a group of women she goes running with, that she realized how common the problem is. “I would say to people, ‘Do you have this issue, stress incontinence?’ And they would say, ‘Oh yes, I basically run and there’s nothing I can do about it, so I pee,’ ” she said, adding that some women use menstrual pads to catch the leak while others practise pelvic floor exercises to help reduce the problem.

However, Uresta, which was designed by Dalhousie University urogynecologist Dr. Scott A. Farrell and purchased two years ago by Resilia, is meant to offer a solution. “Basically, it is the only device that exists like it in the world,” said Chapman. “It just happens that we bought this from Dr. Farrell.”

For the past two years, the company has been preparing to manufacture the product in larger quantities; last year about 1,000 were sold in Canada and the United States, said Chapman. Now, they are able to sell about 50,000 a year.

A starter kit, which includes three stoppers in three different sizes, along with a case, costs about $260 and is covered by a majority of private health plans, said Chapman. She said it’s fairly easy to use. “It’s a bit like your first tampon – it’s trial and error,” she said. “You go into the ladies room, you try it, if you can walk around and you cannot feel it and you do not leak, you’re good to go.”

She said the sizes in the starter kit will fit about 80 per cent of women. If a woman finds she needs a size smaller or larger, the company will send it free of charge. Replacements cost about $160.

by LAURA BOOTH TIMES & TRANSCRIPT, April 21, 2016

Photo: Laura Booth/Times & Transccript