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Travel with my Mom can take a little bit of extra time. When I was younger I used to kid that she was like a dog, watering every single fire hydrant. The problem? Part of it was bladder leakage. Even though she wasn’t that old I didn’t think too much of it at the time. I got used to her frequent stops and thought that was the end of that. Until…
Until I got pregnant. I too experienced some light bladder leakage. I attributed it to the growing baby in my belly. I figured it would go away after I had the baby. It didn’t. After I’d delivered my firstborn and some time passed the problem remained. If I laughed too hard it got me. If I jumped it got me. If I waited too long to go to the bathroom, or got the urge suddenly, it got me.
Finally, I mentioned it to my ob/gyn and he told me most people (yes people – not just women) experience bladder leakage at one point or another. I love that doctor to this day. I know I shouldn’t have been embarrassed to mention it to him sooner but I was. It felt good to talk about it. It felt even better to know I wasn’t alone in having the problem. It turns out that over 51 million American women experience bladder leakage. That’s 1 in 3 American women. There is no one cause for bladder leakage. Some of the common ones include pregnancy, childbirth and diabetes.
Time went by and I had another child. The problem remained. If anything, it had worsened a bit as I’d put on weight. Five years ago, weighing a hefty 374 pounds, I underwent Lap band surgery. Weight came off. The bladder leakage seemed to diminish but didn’t go away entirely. I felt great when I reached 200 pounds, and was having minimal problems. Then things started going haywire. Weight was creeping back on and I didn’t feel all that well. Pressure was increasing – emotionally, mentally and yes, physically as in on my bladder.
In December 2014 I was admitted into the hospital through the Emergency Room. I underwent emergency surgery to remove my Lap band. What should have been a same day procedure turned into a five day stay. I finally went home, unprepared for what was to come next.
What came next? Sixty pounds in ninety days. The extra weight was wreaking havoc on my bladder. The frequency to go and what accompanied it was happening more often. As I had in the past, I tried to avoid wearing light colored clothing. Just in case. And I started looking into better ways to deal with the situation. I may not be able to cure it, but I have learned there are ways to deal with it without embarrassment. I had gastric sleeve surgery in March. Hopefully as the weight comes off things will improve. If not, and in the meantime, I know how to handle it.
To support the over 51 million women who experience bladder leakage, the Depend brand has introduced Depend Silhouette Active Fit briefs. These new moderate-absrbency briefs come in a variety of sizes. They even come in two colors. That’s right! They are designed to look more like regular underwear than the giant, bulky white things I imagined.
Depend is joining forces with CVS Health to support women with bladder leakage as they navigate their path to better health. You can visit the CVS Depend website to learn more about Depend Silhouette Active Fit. You can even request a free sample!
The Depend brand is also entering year two of Underwareness, a social movement and charitable cause to break down the bladder leakage stigma. This campaign encourages regular people like you and I to talk about bladder leakage, and to show support for those that deal with it. For every photo and video shared using #Underwareness, the Depend brand will donate $1, up to $3 million, through 2016 to fund charities that advance the research and education of bladder leakage.