Behind Closed Doors: The Hidden Impact of Adult Incontinence (AI) in the UK

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A clinical study from new Always® Discreet reveals bladder sensitivity affects 1 in 3 Women in the UK!

A Quality of Life study, conducted by new Always Discreet, reveals an astonishing one in three women in the UK over the age of 18 are affected by Adult Incontinence (AI). Always Discreet launches the research today as part of a campaign to drive awareness of this taboo health issue.

The study reveals that of the estimated 12 million women in Britain who experience the previously ‘unspoken’ condition, over half (51%) have struggled with depression, 48% regularly feel bad about themselves and two thirds (65%) feel embarrassed.

The research also goes on to reveal the physical impact of the condition:

– Two thirds (61%) of women experiencing bladder sensitivity are likely to suffer from disturbed sleep patterns

– Almost all (94%) feel exhausted by a condition that many still feel they have to keep hidden from their partners, families and friends.

– 43% of women experience urinary loss when they are physically active or exercising and as a result, 18% never exercise

– Over a quarter (27%) avoid using public transport, this means that everything from the daily commute, to a weekend away is a huge problem. That’s 3 million women in the UK being physically restricted by where they go and how they get there.

In fact, this common phenomenon can happen to women at any age for many reasons including: childbirth the menopause or strenuous exercise. With many AI sufferers then avoiding the latter, they may then experience weight gain, which in turn becomes a trigger, only adding to feelings of low self-esteem and body confidence.

A third of UK women’s sex lives are impacted by sensitive bladder.

As well as unearthing the physical and mental impact of sensitive bladder, the research also reveals the negative effects the condition has on women’s relationships:

· More than a quarter (26%) of the women surveyed admitted to the fact that the condition is affecting sexual intimacy with their partners

· 1 in 4 (25%) also went on to say that bladder sensitivity causes relationship problems with their other halves.

· More than two thirds (70%) spend time worrying that they might smell

Dr Jarvis continues: “The embarrassment which these women feel suffering with a condition they can’t ever talk about has a real knock-on effect on their social life – whether exercising or taking long car trips – and on their relationships with their partners.”

Empowering women to take back control
Due to embarrassment and confusion about the products available, 67% of women are not using a product designed for sensitive bladder, with over half compromising with sanitary pads or frequent changes of clothes.

“Women with AI tend to keep the problem to themselves for years without discussing it with anyone, even their family doctor or gynaecologist. They don’t always realise that help is available and that there are the right products out there that offer the comfort and protection women need to live life to the full”, explains Dr Jarvis.

New Always Discreet for Sensitive Bladdershas been developed following nine years of research and product testing by thousands of women. This new range includes liners and pads that are thinner (up to 40 per cent*) than the leading brand, while absorbing two times more than women may need** and pants that provide up to 100% comfort and protection. Thus, Always gives women the confidence they deserve.

“Women are hardwired to want to talk,” says Carla Berry, communications manager from Always. “Bladder sensitivity is common, more common than many realise, it’s basically a normal occurrence – so it is definitely something we should be talking about. New Always Discreet for Sensitive Bladders provides the 12 million UK women suffering with the condition a discreet and feminine solution that they can trust, from the moment they pick it off the shelf, right through to subtle disposal.”

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