Sex. Periods. Adult incontinence. Where’s the taboo there? *squints eyes*
It’s the twenty-first century people, it’s OK to talk about these things and let’s be honest, it’s been a long time coming hasn’t it?
So, in the spirit of womankind, sisterhood and girl power, I headed over to the Mondrain Screening Room (that makes it sound like I just sauntered over, I bloody didn’t, I took a 2 1/2 hour train and a taxi I’ll have you know!) to munch on popcorn and pick ‘n’ mix, throw as much prosecco down my neck as humanly possible in less than 2 hours and, most importantly, put my thinking cap on about how women’s health (and today’s topic, incontinence) needs a big ‘ole thrust in to the modern world and have a chat with the lovely ladies over at Always Discreet.
So ladies, think back to last month, last week, heck even yesterday…when was the last time you accidentally peed your frillies?
Don’t look shocked, don’t blush (too much!) and don’t tell me porky pies because we’ve all been there (and if you haven’t, you will – one day – pinky promise!)
The stats are hardly surprising – in my opinion anyway.
1 in 3 women in Europe (is the UK still included in these figures? Don’t get me started! *grumbles*) have experienced some degree of urinary incontinence.
And I’ll hold up my hands high, I didn’t escape the probabilities on this one myself and if you didn’t either, you’re clearly not alone (and it’s totally normal, fine to talk about – even giggle about if you feel like it – and I, personally, feel no shame which, if you know me, is hardly surprising…)
🌷 A L W A Y S D I S C R E E T 🍸 I’m here this evening at the very girly and glam #AlwaysDiscreet event at @mondrianldn with @thecheshirewife @hannahandtheminibeasts + @lilybelleisla18 💕 * I definitely think that this is one aspect of #womenshealth that NEEDS to be talked about more, there is no taboo ladies, honestly we are all here to support each other 💪🏻 * #mummyblogger #bloggerlife #bloggerevent #feminism #feministblogger #incontinence #mamaboss #girlpower #wellbeingwarrior
After grabbing a taxi from Euston to the venue (just near the OXO tower) with the lovely Emma from The Cheshire Wife, we arrived at the event which was my idea of heaven. Honestly. Dreamy mood lighting, gorgeous retro-style film posters, pretty flowers, glittery cakes and tall glasses brimming over with one of life’s wonderful luxuries (yes, there was prosecco and yes, I had a few flutes because it was complimentary and I, for one, am not a rude person so couldn’t possibly refuse!)
I mean, come on, how beautiful is this set-up? (below)
There was an awesome popcorn cart and as we entered the little cinema after chatting and mingling we were offered the cutest pick ‘n’ mix bags + popcorn boxes.
The film (which you can view here) was a short commissioned on behalf of Always Discreet to raise awareness of adult continence and shared stories from several woman who spoke about how it affected their everyday lives from emotional clutches such as feeling old before their time, frustrations and limiting usual activities like doing (active) things with their children to avoid accidents.
I would have liked to have seen a younger person included in the film, perhaps a new mum around my own age (early to mid-twenties), just to show that incontinence isn’t age-exclusive and it’s probably even harder for women who are less mature to admit to having leaks as I know I’ve been met with comments along the lines of ‘you’re too young to be experiencing that’ as if there’s something wrong with my anatomy or it’s something I have brought upon myself (although I’m sure pelvic floor exercises might improve the situation but I just can’t stand doing them!)
The truth is, you can be a ‘young yummy mummy’ – as mentioned in the film – whilst experiencing AI and if you were to go around sharing secrets with society’s example of ‘yummy mummys’ you’d probably find that it’s more common than you think.
So, if you’re part of this incredibly-normal and feminine tribe then here’s the plan:-
(1) AI (adult incontinence) can be regular or infrequent. I know I’m lucky because it’s not something I have to worry about on a daily basis – it’s just the odd sneeze or giggling fit that can catch me off guard – and I really felt for the ladies in the video as I didn’t realise just how restrictive and upsetting it can be.
So, if you’re worried about leaks when you’re doing things like exercising or you’re out and about in general, pack an Always Discreet liner, pad or pair of pants (you can compare the different Always Discreet products here) in your handbag so you’re ready and prepared if needed.
If you’ve not tried Always before, you can fill in this form to request a free sample to get you started.
‘With Always Discreet, sensitive bladder can feel like no big deal. And that’s really big deal’.
(2) Relax. AI doesn’t need to take over your life and it doesn’t deserve to.
Embrace the change, accept yourself and your body as it is and recognise that no body is perfect. If you don’t want to talk about it then that’s fine, it’s a funny ‘ole thing isn’t it? If you do want to #breakthetaboo then you might even find yourself laughing about it, right? It’s so common, it happens to most of us and if it were more universally accepted and widely acknowledged, with the embarrassment I’m sure would come a lighter, jokier perception.
Jane Duckworth, one of the ladies featured in the film, says ‘if you feel you can’t talk about it then you don’t have that empowerment to do something about it‘…’it’s so important for us, as women, to empower each other. ‘
(3) A recurring issue seems to be a panic about where the nearest toilet is or will be when leaving the house. There are apps you can download to your smartphone (such as Toilet Finder) which can help with this.
(4) You’ll see that I mentioned pelvic floor exercises above and I know that they’re something I’m just going to have to suck up and get on with. Exercising these muscles can help you to gain better control over your bladder and you should start to notice a difference within just a few weeks.
Just one last thought that I had was – ‘why can’t we just use period pads?’. Well, AI comes with its own set of odours and fluids that your usual period pads simply can’t handle whilst the new Always Discreet range has been designed especially for purpose with a RapidDry core and OdourLock technology to quickly lock away wetness and odour together with full-length Dual Leakguard barriers to help keep everything contained.
I enjoyed the film and the accompanying interviews/Q and A and the room had a buzz of female empowerment and strength which it was a joy to be included in.
A huge thank you to Always Discreet and Tots100 for the invite to the screening and for a wonderful, albeit short (but very sweet!), evening lifting the lid on the realities of adult incontinence.
So now it’s your turn to fess up. Has this happened to you? Is this something you’ve experienced before?
Please, share your story in the comments below and let’s prove just how common this is, let’s keep talking about and normalising this and let’s break this, one of the last (predominantly) feminine taboos.
» This is a sponsored post with Always Discreet. As always, all comments and opinions are fair, honest and completely my own. «
P.S. Sorry that my images aren’t as clear as usual guys! My Nikon is with the repair centre waiting to be fixed *sobs* so hopefully she’ll be back soon + I can get back to normal (I feel lost without her!)
Dress: V by Very (Crochet Cold Shoulder Dress – Pink or Black)
Boots: Dr Martens (8 Eye Patent Boots – Black)
Here’s some more photos of the stunning displays at the Mondrian…