You know the old expression, “I laughed so hard that I…?” Many people can relate to the expression but in reality nobody talks much about stress incontinence in polite society. Howeve, if you do experience stress incontinence (or are caring for someone who does), you probably can’t help thinking about it, and can’t help hoping it doesn’t strike at an inopportune moment. It doesn’t get more inopportune than while you’re performing onstage before an audience of hundreds, as recently happened to singer Marie Osmond.
The 52-year-old let out a noticeable puddle during the farewell night of the Donny & Marie Cruise, which transports fans from Fort Lauderdale in Florida to the Bahama after an audience member’s question had both her and her brother, Donny, laughing hysterically.
Osmond was, as usual, performing with her brother, former pop star Donny Osmond of the Osmond Brothers. We don’t know what made her laugh so hard, but Marie erupted into such a fit of laughter that couldn’t control herself. .
Osmond wasn’t ashamed. Instead, she exclaimed, “I just peed my pants!” and wiped the stage where her little accident took place.
Leaking when you laugh or sneeze isn’t normal, of course. But it’s common, laughter is one of the top 10 bladder triggers. Among the causes for urinary incontinence in older women is a history of childbirth. (Osmond’s a mom of eight, although five, including her late son, Michael, were adopted.) Menopause is another risk factor.
How did the singer react to her mortifying “oops” moment? She went on with the show! At least at first, she tried to “slyly” mop the accident with her top, but as it became obvious what had happened, someone brought out a towel — and her brother doubled over with laughter before consoling her.
Although embarrassed, Marie reportedly laughed, too: “She ’embraced it,” said Donny. “It’s so important to be yourself.”
SCA, global hygiene company and the manufacturer of TENA Incontinence Pads and Pants has announced it’s sponsorship of World Continence Week. An annual initiative coordinated by the International Continence Society, World Continence Week takes place this week (June 18-24, 2012) with the goal of bringing together communities around the world to build a better understanding of incontinence through local events and online educational resources.
An estimated 33 million men and women experience incontinence in the U.S. alone, and a staggering number of them are unaware of the treatment options available to them. The TENA brand and the International Continence Society share a commitment to encourage a dialogue around the issue of incontinence in order to help eliminate stereotypes and provide resources for individuals experiencing the condition.
Less than half of women and men with urinary incontinence seek medical care. Incontinence can be caused by other medical problems, addressing it early can help prevent serious medical problems.
“Through public awareness and education, the International Continence Society and World Continence Week are helping individuals worldwide to address good bladder health and overcome the myths and stigma surrounding incontinence,” said Cheryle Gartley, founder and president of the Simon Foundation for Continence and co-author of the brand new book, Managing Life with Incontinence. “Incontinence is one of the last taboos in health care, and awareness and education are keys to defeating the stigma surrounding this symptom and helping to motivate those experiencing incontinence to seek medical help and to understand the many treatment options available today.”
For those experiencing the unexpected leak, TENA offers the following healthy habits to live fearlessly:
– Don’t ignore irregularities – Since incontinence can be a symptom of other problems in the body, it’s important to have it treated early. If something seems irregular, be sure to update your physician.
– Get educated on your options – Understanding the options available for improving your day-to-day life can help you select the course of action that is right for you — whether it be one or a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, surgery or specially designed personal care protection products.
– Drink adequately – Don’t avoid drinking enough water when experiencing incontinence. Drink 6-8 cups of fluids per day, more when it is hot or when exercising.
– Don’t ignore the need to go – Most people empty the bladder about every 3-4 hours during the day (4-8 times a day).
– Dietary changes can help – Foods and beverages containing caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes can increase risk, while proper intake of vitamin D can help protect against incontinence.
More tips can also be found on our help and advice pages – http://www.allaboutincontinence.co.uk/help-and-advice.html
We’ve now added bulk discounts for the TENA Comfort range of shaped incontinence pads. With prices from only £0.21 per pad and savings of up to 33% over recommended prices. Bulk discounts can be found for TENA Comfort Normal, Plus, Extra and Maxi absorbencies.
There are discounts of 12-22% for orders of 6 packs across the range.
These incontinence pads are designed to be worn with TENA Fix Mesh Fixation Pants to ensure a close fit to the body. TENA Comfort Incontinence Pads are body shaped to give a close fit to ensure comfort and leakage security.
A fitting guide can also be downloaded – Tena Comfort Fitting Guide.
For those who need assistance with changing, such as those who are bedridden, you may find Belted All in One pads such as TENA Flex the better option as it is easier to change if the wearer is lying down.
We know that incontinence is not a topic most men are comfortable talking about … or even thinking about. Get a group of men together and the only plumbing problems you’ll hear about are the external, kitchen-sink variety. “It is a big problem for men, especially men who have ever undergone prostate surgery or prostate cancer operations or treatment,” said Dr. Andrew E. Bourne, an American urologist.
Bourne called it the “rule of men,” that they are strong and don’t want help, whatever the problem. “We don’t often seek medical advice for anything, whether it’s general medical problems or things that really bother us, like wetting our pants,” he said. “So we try and avoid those things, and we try and not discuss this with anybody, and there is a lot of embarrassment that goes along with it and a lot of discomfort.”
But eventually the need for help outweighs the embarrassment, Bourne said. While most of his patients are elderly men, incontinence can affect all men. It is, he said, one of the most common side effects of all prostate cancer treatments and the most common side effect of prostatectomy, with 39 to 63 per cent of prostate cancer patients experiencing some level of urinary incontinence for one year after surgery.
So the more educated you are about your urinary incontinence, the better off you are when it comes to managing it, Bourne said.
There are three different kinds of incontinence, stress, urge and overflow, with some combination also possible. Stress incontinence comes when bearing down, coughing or pressure on the abdomen causes urinary leakage. Urge incontinence involves an unwanted bladder contraction that causes leakage. Overflow incontinence comes when the bladder doesn’t empty and the urine is squeezed out bit by bit just because your bladder has reached capacity.
Bourne said there is also mixed urinary incontinence, a mixture of stress and urge incontinences. “And then sometimes we discuss things such as insensible incontinence, where a person just has no idea what type of incontinence they have due to lack of sensation,” he said.
While prostate problems are most often to blame for male incontinence, men can have overactive bladders, just like women, which can lead to urge incontinence, Bourne noted. “Something called interstitial systitis can cause symptoms of the bladder, leading to incontinence. And that does occur in men less frequently than in women,” he said. “Also, you can have neurologic problems. Men who have strokes, spinal cord injuries, different neurologic disorders, diabetes, things that affect the nervous system to the bladder and the sphincter that controls the urinary stream, whether stopping or starting or involuntarily holding your urine, that can be affected by any nervous abnormality.”
With summer arriving very suddenly this week, people’s thoughts suddenly turn to holidays and at Allanda we are very aware of the difficulties that can exist when travelling with those who have incontinence. Therefore when we saw some comments about how to make travel less stressful from the CareGiver Partnership we thought they were worth featuring.
Family travel can be highly rewarding, but it has the potential to be stressful as well, says Lynn Wilson, Co-Founder of The CareGiver Partnership.
“If you’re traveling with a loved one who needs special care due to issues such as a disability, heart condition or incontinence, the key to success is in planning,” says Wilson. “Consider the following summer travel tips, and increase the odds that your vacation truly will be a pleasure trip.”
– If a budget allows, professional assistance, such as from a specialized travel agent or skilled respite worker who travels with a family, can make planning and vacationing easier and more enjoyable.
– Medical clearance from a doctor, along with extra medication and copies of medical records, can offer peace of mind. Patients and caregivers should ask about medication side effects, such as when combined with sun or certain types of foods.
– Most airlines offer priority check-in and boarding and on-board wheelchair availability for passengers with special needs. It’s helpful to allow for longer connection times between flights and arrange wheelchair or cart transportation between terminals or gates.
– When driving with someone who’s elderly or disabled, allowing time for frequent stops for eating, stretching and using a restroom makes a trip more enjoyable.
– Hotels can accommodate needs through first-floor rooms, adjoining rooms, rooms close to elevators, or special accommodations for wheelchairs.
– Support stockings are a simple, inexpensive way to manage leg pain or numbness, which is common when a senior sits for prolonged periods. Frequent walking breaks also can help keep blood moving in legs and feet.
– Keeping a slower pace on a vacation, including designated rest periods, can help reduce stress for everyone.
– It’s easy to become constipated on vacation, sometimes due to sitting for longer periods or eating unhealthy foods. Drinking plenty of water and nutrition shakes, eating healthfully and stretching can help prevent constipation. Travellers who frequently get constipated might consider packing laxatives.
“If you are traveling and an elderly loved one is staying home, make sure a family member or other caregiver has emergency medical contact information, is stocked up on needed health care supplies, and knows his or her daily schedule,” says Wilson.
Uncomfortable tests sometimes done before surgery to treat the most common cause of urine leakage in women may be unnecessary, according to a new study involving 630 volunteers at 11 medical centres. Researchers found no difference in the success rate of urinary incontinence surgery for patients that received the testing and women who were simply screened for leakage in their doctor’s office.
Doctors “need to do a careful history and exam, and if you do that you probably don’t need an expensive, uncomfortable and invasive test,” said lead researcher Dr. Charles Nager of the University of California, San Diego.
About 260,000 women have surgery each year in the USA for stress urinary incontinence, urine leakage that can be triggered by coughing, sneezing or other physical movement. That type of incontinence affects up to half of women at some point in their lives.
A combination of tests is sometimes ordered before surgery, one measures urine flow while voiding. Another involves filling the bladder and measuring both the pressure inside the bladder and the abdominal pressure on the bladder with the help of a separate tube in the rectum.
The goal is to identify the best surgical technique for correcting the problem. Although good estimates are hard to find, “it seems like these tests are done most of the time,” said Nager. “In some countries testing is almost universally done.”
To see if the test results affected the success rate for surgery, participants first had an office evaluation where doctors looked for signs of leakage when a woman had a full bladder. Then, half the women with a confirmed diagnosis of stress incontinence were subjected to the additional tests.
Those types of patients, who demonstrate stress incontinence in the office but empty their bladder fine and haven’t had surgery before, account for most women with stress urinary incontinence, Nager said.
Based on a variety of questionnaires, the researchers found that after 12 months, surgery was successful in about 77% of women who did or didn’t get additional testing.
They also found the extra testing made no difference when it came to quality of life, patient satisfaction, voiding problems or other measures.
And although findings from the extra tests often led doctors to change their specific incontinence-related diagnosis, that didn’t affect how they managed patients surgically, according to findings published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“We therefore question the clinical importance of such diagnostic changes,” the researchers concluded.
Dr. J. Quentin Clemens of the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, a urologist who wasn’t connected to the research, said that although this type of study hadn’t been done before, the findings are consistent with what urologists would anticipate and with guidelines from the American Urological Association.
“I think it’s what people would have expected given the type of patients they were studying,” said Clemens.
He noted that the research involved women where the diagnosis was clear and the symptoms of stress incontinence were unambiguous.
“There are many patients where, after doing the basic workup, the diagnosis isn’t certain,” he said. And in those cases the follow-up testing can be “extremely important to make sure we’re doing the right thing,” said Clemens.
“Unfortunately, many physicians don’t even look for leakage,” Nager said. Some, he added, probably find it “easier and more lucrative” to just do the more advanced and expensive testing.
Automatically ordering that extra testing on all incontinence patients wouldn’t be consistent with guidelines, according to Clemens. The new research “helps to reinforce the message, so I think (the study) will have some effect,” he added.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the UK has also recommended against such pre-surgery tests for women who clearly already have stress incontinence.
David Young is unusual in that he has specialised in an area that isn’t talked about often – male incontinence. Mr Young, 51, of West Pennant Hills, USA has worked as a physiotherapist for the past 30 years and set up his own practice in 1988.
Mr Young said he enjoyed making a difference since many men avoided seeking help from health professionals and few people worked in the field.
“It’s not a happy topic but when blokes pee on their pants they don’t like it, and if you can help them it means they can be out and more social. It helps them with self-esteem,” he said.
He said the challenges included keeping abreast of latest developments in the field and completing at least 20 hours of learning a year.
Mr Young said key attributes a physiotherapist needed included a deeply inquiring mind, a commitment to developing skills and being able to work with people who are under huge amounts of stress.
Mr Young’s practice, Pennant Hills Physiotherapy Centre, focuses on male and female incontinence, muscle and joint problems, knee and neck pain, sprained ankles and on elderly people, including running exercise programs in the local community centre.
Women with urinary incontinence who also enjoy their regular cup of coffee or tea don’t have to worry about the extra caffeine making their condition worse, suggests a new study.
The new research published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, May 2012 stands in contrast to the common recommendation that women with continence issues stay away from caffeinated foods and beverages.
“If a woman feels she wants to abstain from caffeine that’s completely fine, but based on our results, women with moderate incontinence shouldn’t be concerned,” said Mary Townsend, the study’s lead author from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Still, the findings cannot say whether caffeine might have a shorter-term impact by making women need to urinate soon after eating or drinking something caffeinated.
According to Townsend, there are some biological reasons that may prompt women with incontinence to stay away from caffeine, i.e. that it increases the production of urine and may give some the urge to go. But it’s been unclear whether a daily caffeine habit is tied to worsening incontinence over the long run.
To try to answer that question, the researchers looked at data on about 21,500 women enrolled in two large studies, each of which tracked the long-term health of U.S. nurses through surveys starting in the 1970s or 1980s.
Townsend and her colleagues selected women with light incontinence, defined as leaking urine one to three times per month , from participants who were asked about incontinence and caffeine consumption in 2002 or 2003.
The women were questioned about how much caffeine they ate or drank in the form of coffee, tea, soda or chocolate over the previous few years.
Two years later, when they were again surveyed about incontinence, about 20% of women said their symptoms had deteriorated and they now leaked urine at least once per week. This was consistent regardless of how much caffeine they’d reported eating and drinking.
The researchers also didn’t find a link between women who increased their caffeine consumption between the survey years and worsening urinary symptoms, either for general incontinence or for overactive bladder in particular.
Townsend said most women in the study did not even tell their doctors about their incontinence.
She also said the new findings, need to be confirmed with more research because there’s a possibility that caffeine could make urinary symptoms worse over longer than a few years.
The study was also limited because incontinence symptoms were reported by the women themselves and not measured by a doctor, and the researchers didn’t take treatment for incontinence into consideration.
The number of different products can be confusing, but it’s important to find the best product for your needs. Our latest video talks through the different types of incontinence products, both incontinence pads and incontinence pants and disposable and washable products. It also talks through basic product features to look for as well and how the products work.
SCA, manufacturer of TENA Incontinence Pads and Pants, has launched a new marketing campaign to help women fearlessly face the unexpected leak. TENA Twist (www.tenatwist.com) aims to open a dialogue around the issue of incontinence and eliminate stereotypes while showcasing that women of any age can benefit from the empowerment that comes with the fearless protection of TENA Technology™.
The TENA Twist campaign is based on tests that show that TENA incontinence pads are so absorbent and effective at locking in moisture that when filled with liquid, not a drop escapes, even when you twist them. The campaign also puts a new twist on the dialogue around women’s experiences with the unexpected leak. It is anchored in authentic conversations by focusing on women’s stories and their feedback about the products they use to live their lives fully.
One out of three women today over the age of 35 experiences the unexpected leak — from pregnant women and women who are recovering from surgery to those undergoing stress or who jog, play tennis or participate in other forms of exercise.
“TENA Twist is the first campaign to speak up about how women view their experience with the unexpected leak, how it alters their lifestyle, and how effective protection can change their day-to-day lives,” said Bruno Zepeda, head of sales and marketing for SCA Personal Care North America. “We are addressing the many misconceptions about the unexpected leak to help women understand that it is not just caused by aging. The unexpected leak is quite common and is most often caused by the normal, natural stages of a women’s life. Women of all ages experience the unexpected leak and no longer need to feel ashamed or embarrassed. They can live their lives fully with TENA.”
The TENA brand is the worldwide leader in the management of incontinence, with products and services for individuals as well as healthcare facilities throughout 105 countries. Under the TENA® brand, SCA provides a full range of absorbent products tailored to the distinct needs of men and women, including pantiliners, daytime and overnight pads, male pads, pull up underwear and skin care products. TENA is at the forefront of developing products that minimize the impact of incontinence and improve the dignity and everyday lives of people living with light, moderate or heavy incontinence. The full TENA range is available from Allanda on our website at www.allaboutincontinence.co.uk.