As a woman, I find we either are open books about our lives or we are the opposite; we keep quiet and don’t share what we have going on. However, without sharing, either with a friend, a spouse, or a health care provider, we can go on living with something that could easily be treated and is more common than we think.
Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is one such thing – did you know that 1 in every 4 Canadian women deal with urinary incontinence at some point in their lives, and of these women, about half (49%) suffer from SUI.
SUI happens when the muscles around the urethra become too weak to prevent the leakage of urine from the bladder when pressure (or stress) is placed on it. Stress is put on the bladder when coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting and can result in some leakage. It often happens to women after vaginal childbirth or as a result of menopause or aging.
Balance My Life was recently given the opportunity to interview Dr. Jennifer Berman, who you may know as co-host of the Emmy Award winning talk show The Doctors. Dr. Berman is a leading expert on women’s sexual health issues; and is now considered America’s leading expert on women’s sexual health issues. She first became known to TV viewers for her award-winning television series on Discovery Health “Berman & Berman”, which she co-hosted with her sister, Dr. Laura Berman. She was an authority on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, “Good Morning America”, the “Today Show” and CNN. She is also the co-author of the New York Times bestseller “For Women Only: A Revolutionary Guide to Overcoming Sexual Dysfunction and Reclaiming Your Sex Life” and “Secrets of the Sexually Satisfied Woman: Ten Keys to Unlocking Ultimate Pleasure”.
Dr. Berman was recently in Toronto for the launch of a new product that she stands behind as it helps women with SUI – Poise Impressa Bladder Supports.
We asked Dr. Berman about SUI and Poise Impressa. She began by stressing how common SUI is in women. One in four women experience leakage which can be from laughing, sneezing, or exercise such as jogging. It’s often times related to child birth but she also explained as women age, they experience a thinning of the lining and that can contribute to it. We asked her if not doing everyone’s favourite – Kegel’s – was part of it and she said it’s not that easy – Kegel’s need to be done consistently and regularly and it’s too late in your 40’s and beyond to start doing them and think they will have the same effect.
Dr. Berman was anxious to tell us about her reason for being here in Toronto – for the Poise Impressa Bladder Supports. She explained it’s a new product here in Canada, but has been out in the USA since August 2015. She explained it’s a vaginal insert to stop leakage; it is easily inserted into the vagina with an applicator, and it places pressure on the urethra to help stop leaks. It is removed by pulling on the string attached to the bladder support. The Poise support can be worn up to 8 hours and women can use the bathroom normally without removing the bladder support. Dr. Berman advised no prescription is needed for the Poise support – women can buy a sizing kit for $9.99 at retailers across Canada (3 sizes available) and then once they know their size single-size packs retail for $16.99.
Dr. Berman advised the Poise support was tested in women with moderate and severe SUI and was very successful. Dr. Berman did not develop the product but is an advocate for the product. She said that despite the prevalence of SUI and its impact on quality of life, treatment options have remained largely unchanged for years and are not effective for everyone. Surgery has been one such treatment method but obviously with surgery there are more risks involved, and not the solution all women want to use.
Often times in younger women, they don’t want to use a product such as Depends, so with the Poise Support a woman can carry on life as normal and not have to worry about bladder leakage when exercising or laughing. Dr. Berman said each woman will use the Poise differently depending on when they experience leakage – some women may only leak when running and playing tennis, so they would use it for that, others may need it more regularly throughout the day.
It was our pleasure to speak with Dr. Berman and we thank her for her help with bringing this great product into Canada. We encourage you to give the Poise support a try if you experience SUI – it may just help improve your quality of life!
Balance My Life has not tried the Poise Impressa Support and we encourage you to talk to your health care provider if you experience SUI or want advice or have questions regarding this new product.