Survey shows the negative mental impacts of suffering from bladder leakage may outweigh the physical impacts
We recently surveyed 100 women across the US to better understand their experience with stress urinary incontinence, also known as light bladder leakage or “mommy bladder”. We wanted to better understand how women were managing their leaks and how it impacted their daily lives. We originally conducted the survey for our own internal purposes, but after reviewing the results I thought they were worth sharing. While many of our findings were not shocking to me or my team, it illustrates that stress urinary incontinence is not just a physical condition, but also a condition that has a significant negative impact on women’s’ mental health.
Stress urinary incontinence is a quality-of-life issue – it impacts women on a daily basis either through physical leaks or the constant worry of the next unexpected sneeze. In our survey, 76% of women said they experienced leaks at least a few times per week, with 38% experiencing daily. However, women appear to think about their leaks more often than they occur – 50% of women said they think about their leaks daily, despite only 38% actually experiencing leaks on a daily basis.
Despite being top of mind for women – many women are unwilling to speak up or even seek help for the condition. Only half of the women suffering from stress urinary incontinence said they have spoken to their friends or family about their condition. A disappointing revelation given that stress urinary incontinence is common as it impacts 1 in 3 women (source).
Even more disappointing is that women appear to be unlikely to seek professional help. Roughly half of women have spoken to their doctor about their condition and less than a quarter have spoken to a pelvic floor physiotherapist, who can be a game changer for the condition. This is consistent with our many discussions with physicians who have said that women often need to be prompted to discuss whether they suffer from stress urinary incontinence, rather than offering up that on their own. This speaks to the “taboo” nature of SUI. Despite being extremely common, women are embarrassed to open up about it, even though it’s as natural as a headache or a runny nose.
Women also admit to being quite bothered by their leaks – 64% women indicated that they were somewhat to highly bothered by their leaks. When asked what bothered them the most about their leaks, the common themes were: odor, feeling unclean, embarrassment or public anxiety, and the unpredictability of when a leak might occur. The constant overhang of these issues can lead to anxiety, withdrawal from social activities and in more severe cases, depression.
Given that few women seek help for the condition there is little surprise that most women are passively managing their leaks with disposable pads – over 66% of women noted that disposable pads were their most commonly used solution for managing their bladder leaks. Despite it being the most common solution, women are just not truly satisfied with disposable pads. Less than 50% of women are satisfied with pads as a solution and 68% expressed concern around the environmental impact of pads. Women deserve better solutions for their health and we should not accept living with urine leaks as simply part of “being a woman”.
Enough is enough – it is 2021 and women need to know there is a better alternative to pads. Pads don’t stop bladder leaks or remove the anxiety around them, and they actually cost you way more than you realize on an annual basis. Pads are like putting out a bucket in your living room to capture a leak in your roof and just emptying the bucket each day and never trying to stop the problem.
Uresta checks all the boxes that disposable pads don’t … Uresta is reusable and environmentally friendly, discreet and comfortable, and most importantly it stops leaks vs. absorbing them. Stopping leaks can free women of the anxiety of odor, feeling unclean or the unpredictability of when the next leak will occur. Uresta is a truly game changing solution that has the impact to improve the quality of life for thousands of women. Don’t be afraid to open up about your urine leaks, odds are, 1 in 3 women around you at this moment will also experience them. Just give Uresta a try – risk free. And importantly, tell your friends and family about it. They will thank you when they are finally able to live life without leaks.