Grey hairs and wrinkles may be universally accepted signs of aging, but for the 3.5 million women who live with incontinence daily, a sensitive bladder can be a shameful secret.

In fact, women with frequent bladder leaks indicate that their condition is one of the top reasons they feel older.

Sufferers are not alone. Oscar winner Kate Winslet recently admitted to being plagued by bladder weakness. In an industry obsessed with youth and health, even the most powerful and successful celebrities can’t escape the condition.

Interviewed by Graham Norton on BBC One, Kate admitted that she “can’t jump on trampolines anymore, I wet myself!
“When you’ve had a few children you know, it’s just what happens.

“It’s amazing, two sneezes I’m fine, three…it’s game over….It’s bl**dy awful, especially if you’re wearing a skirt!”

[Related story: Five easy ways to eat (and drink) your way to a healthy bladder]

A study by bladder leak protection brand, Always Discreet, reveals the real impact of adult incontinence (AI) on the daily lives of over 3.5 million British women.

One in five British women admits that they feel younger than their actual age. For women who suffer from a sensitive bladder however, almost half (42%) say they feel older than they really are as a direct result of their condition.

weak bladder

Always Discreet is on a mission to break the silence around AI so that women can feel empowered to live the age they feel inside.

ith nearly half (45%) of sufferers admitting that sensitive bladder affects their happiness, the brand wants to help give these women a voice by inviting them to share their stories. 

No sex, nice dresses or travel for some of those with AI

The study reveals that as well as making women feeling older and isolated by a sensitive bladder, AI can also affect how attractive women feel. Many feel less attractive or feminine, and 44% say they can’t remember the last time they had sex.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, practising GP and Always Discreet campaign ambassador comments: “Not being able to dress, travel, exercise or live the way you want can be an everyday experience for so many women.

“Not only that, but even though one in three women in the UK over the age of 18 experiences the condition, it is still wrongly associated with old age and this misperception can leave women feeling embarrassed, alone and much older than they really are. 

“However, there is help at hand, such as Always Discreet, that provides women with bladder leaks the protection and discretion they really need”

Breaking the silence of incontinence

Always Discreet is working with documentary maker Flora Berkeley to create a film inspired by these women’s stories that will lift the lid on the hidden impact of AI and help break the silence on the last taboo in women’s health. 

Flora says: “The relief that women with AI feel when they are able to talk about their condition and share their story is incredible. It reassures them that they are not alone and removes the debilitating stigma and embarrassment so many women suffer with.”

Do you suffer from adult incontinence? Are you always on the lookout for the nearest loo? Does it get in the way of you living your life to the full? Let us know in the Comments below.