NHS Direct estimate that one in five UK women over forty years of age suffer from stress incontinence and, whilst it is often caused by childbirth or menopause, it can affect any women at any age. But dealing with the embarrassing symptons is only half the problem; the psychological impact can be devestating. One woman describes how her husband thought she had become agrophobic because she refused to go out anymore, another describes how she put her social life on hold and refused to go on holiday. The inhibiting effect also impacts on personal relationships with many women avoiding physical contact altogether. In a number of cases the response from the medical profession is to prescribe anti-depressents, rather than dealing with the underlying cause.
So what action should women take who find themselves 'laughing and leaking'? The sad thing is that stress incontinence gets worse if not treated. You wouldn’t leave a leaky tap unfixed with a cloth underneath it – you’d fix the drips! Fortunately there are solutions and surgery, the thought of which often prevents women going to see their doctor, is by no means the only option. New products on the market deal with the symptoms and the underlying pelvic floor weaknesses. One product, IncoStress, launched late last year was so successful in clinical trials held by leading uro-gynaecologist Mr Simon Emery, that 30 per cent of the trial group were taken off the list for surgery. The new approaches mean a generation of women can get their lives back, restoring their physical and emotional wellbeing.
Do you cross your legs to sneeze?
Do you leak when you run, jump or simply pick up your shopping?
Do you leak when you laugh or cough?
Do you dismiss these as something that has just happened because of having children….My age… etc?
Well, take the Laugh and Leak Challenge and see if you can solve the silent problem!
1. If you suffer any degree of stress incontinence – bladder weakness (see above) do something about it this week
2. Talk to your doctor to check for underlying problems
3. Research and buy a stress incontinence alleviation product
4. Take up an activity you have avoided because of incontinence
5. Talk to your friends and encourage them to do something about it
A nation of women who “laugh and leak” are being urged to sort out the embarrassing problem of stress incontinence. NHS Direct estimate that one in five UK women over forty years of age suffer from stress incontinence and, whilst it is often caused by childbirth or menopause, it can affect any women at any age.
“We all know someone who laughs and leaks, or who won’t do star jumps at the gym,” says British female inventor Gaynor Morgan, winner of Innovator of the Year 2008 for IncoStress1, a new product which can help prevent the problem without surgery.
Gaynor is so determined to raise awareness of the issue that her company is issuing a challenge to the nation’s women to do something about it. “Incontinence is still a taboo subject,” continues Gaynor. “Most women are too ashamed to admit to the problem, or avoid the medical profession because they think surgery is the only option. The sad thing is that stress incontinence will get worse if not treated. You wouldn’t leave a leaky tap unfixed with a cloth underneath it – you’d fix the drips!”
IncoStress was launched in 2008 and works by applying pressure on the bladder. It was so successful in clinical trials held at Singleton Hospital Swansea by leading uro-gynaecologist Mr Simon Emery, that 30 per cent of the trial group were taken off the list for surgery.
“I invented IncoStress after seeing my mother, Carole, suffer with incontinence,” says Gaynor Morgan, who set up C&G Medicare Ltd from scratch to produce and market the product. “After undergoing surgery which didn’t work Carole ended up with clinical depression. I was determined to find a way to prevent other women suffering as she did and wanted to empower women who are forced to give up sports, dancing and physical activities with their families because of the fear of incontinence. It’s a serious health issue.”
The new IncoStress device is a non-surgical, re-usable solution. Made from medical grade silicone, it is worn just like a tampon and provides a dual function of supporting the bladder in its correct position to prevent leakages, whilst also working the pelvic floor muscles to potentially improve the underlying problem. It is cleaned simply by washing in clean water and only needs replacing once a month, providing a more environmentally friendly and economic alternative to using incontinence pads. IncoStress® costs £24.99 + p&p. It is available from the Boots website or at
tel: 0845 2000 761.
Last updated on: 27/08/2010 11:40:18