#LetsPeeHonest with Nadia Sawalha
TV presenter Nadia Sawalha opens up about bladder weakness for World Continence Week 2019.
It’s officially World Continence Week (17-23 June), and it’s the perfect time to announce our newest INNOVO Ambassador, TV presenter Nadia Sawalha! Nadia has spent many years battling bladder weakness, and as an outspoken, relatable, empathetic and frankly hilarious woman, she’s the perfect person to help us achieve our mission this year: destigmatising & breaking the taboos that exist around bladder weakness.
Yep, it sounds like a challenge, but the truth is, the bladder weakness taboo actually creates ‘health limiting’ behaviours and attitudes that prevent people from solving the problem. We commissioned some research that revealed that 40% of women don’t tell anyone about their symptoms1, they just ‘get on with it’, and 36% of women we questioned had been putting up with bladder weakness for at least 4 years1! Here at INNOVO we’re all about solutions, and we think you deserve more than a lifetime managing leaks.
“Society tells us that this is something that happens to all of us and we just have to deal with it. That’s wrong. Communication is key to finding a solution”, says Nadia.
Having had my children late, at 39 and 42, I found myself putting on a lot of weight, in fact, four and a half stone which really heightened my bladder problems. The thing about bladder weakness is that it creeps up on you and you start finding yourself stopping doing every day things, just a couple to begin with, and then it quickly dominates your day to day.
A common phrase among my female friends and I is that we say “Don’t make me laugh, I’ll wet myself”, which is ridiculous! It’s just one of those ‘accepted’ things which we all just put up with because we’ll all had kids. Coughing and sneezing are big problems, they’re fast, uncontrollable movements and come out of nowhere. If you don’t get your legs crossed as fast as you can, you’re going to have an accident.
The list of things I couldn’t do because of bladder weakness started to become massive, and I hated living with this constant fear and anxiety of the ‘next leak’, and I started to wear pads when I knew I might be at risk.
Let’s Pee Honest – opening up about it
“Bladder weakness is one of the last taboos and I hope by sharing my story we can encourage others to seek help and find solutions.”
I started opening up to my husband Mark, as we talk about absolutely everything. There was a time when I said to him, ‘This is more than just me giggling and weeing myself, it’s affecting my daily life’ – I got quite upset, and Mark was upset for me too.
A friend suggested I try INNOVO, which treats the cause and helps to contract the pelvic floor. It’s quite a powerful sensation as you can literally feel your pelvic floor lift up! It makes you feel amazing. After using it for four weeks, I noticed a huge improvement, and after 8-10 weeks, I felt like I had the pelvic floor that I had pre-children and menopause.
Since becoming leak free, I’ve regained my confidence – the confidence to be able to wear lighter coloured trousers, go running, and leave the house without ‘the fear’ of a leak, which is a great place to be. I’m a carefree person, so not being controlled by a condition anymore is pretty fabulous!
Society tells us that this is something that happens to all of us and we just have to deal with it. That is wrong. Bladder weakness is one of the last taboos and I hope by sharing my story we can encourage others to seek help and find solutions. Communication and talking openly is the key to everything in life. A problem shared is a problem halved.
Find out more about INNOVO’s #LetsPeeHonest campaign and help us break the taboo around bladder weakness here.
Watch Nadia’s Story
World Continence Week is a global initiative to raise awareness of bladder weakness & related conditions & support sufferers worldwide. To learn about World Continence Week, visit the World Federation of Incontinence Patients (WFIP).