NAFC Launches New "Life Without Leaks" Campaign To Raise Awareness of Bladder Leakage/Incontinence

NAFC Launches Life Without Leaks Campaign To Raise Awareness Of Bladder Leakage and Incontinence

June 5, 2017, Charleston, SC:  The National Association For Continence launches new campaign, “Life Without Leaks”, to raise awareness of bladder leakage and urinary incontinence, and to urge people to seek treatment.

Laura’s bladder-leakage problem started early in life, shortly after she had kids. She would leak a little sometimes when she sneezed, ran, coughed or laughed, but just once in a while, and nothing to make her think it was a big deal. But as the years went by, Laura’s problem got worse. It progressed to the point to where she could not leave the house without packing an extra pair of clothes. She scouted out the nearest bathroom wherever she went. And she stopped doing some of the things that had mattered most to her – traveling with her husband, running, socializing with her friends and family. Slowly, her “little problem” had become it’s own prison – limiting Laura’s life and keeping her from doing the things she wanted.

Laura’s story is not uncommon. Millions of Americans live with some form of Bladder Leakage, yet few seek treatment for it. And while the issue may seem trivial to some, for those who struggle with bladder leakage and incontinence, it can be devastating. Apart from the obvious physical effects, bladder leakage can have a huge impact on emotional well-being. Many people are ashamed of the issue, and take great measures to hide it from friends, and even close family members.  As the condition worsens, people retreat further into their lives, limiting their social interaction for fear of having an accident. And the things they loved to do take a backseat to protecting their pride and hiding their problem from others.  Financial impact of the condition can also be damaging – the cost for supplies, productivity loss, and missed work can add up, causing even more distress.

NAFC’s new campaign, “Life Without Leaks”, is meant to show people that there is a light at the end of the tunnel – that they don’t have to live with bladder leakage and can take their life back again simply by getting educated and seeking treatment.  “We wanted to show people the life they may be missing due to bladder leakage – the one they may have even forgotten they once loved,” says Steven Gregg, Executive Director of NAFC.  “Urinary Incontinence is often a slow-building condition, getting worse as time goes by if left untreated. Many people who have it have made so many small adjustments over the years to compensate they may not even recognize what they’ve given up in order to hide their shame. We want to remind them of the life they once loved – to show them life is possible without leaks.”

NAFC launched the campaign’s first video in June, with more videos planned to launch through 2017. The campaign is supported through NAFC’s social channels, email, and their website. www.nafc.org. “We’re trying to raise awareness of this under-treated and little talked about condition,” says Gregg. “There are so many treatment options available for incontinence. We just need to get people to take that first step and seek them out.”

“Life Without Leaks”, has been funded through a sponsorship from Astellas.

Watch the “Life Without Leaks” first campaign video here, and follow along with the campaign on Facebook (www.facebook.com/BHealth.NAFC) or www.nafc.org/life-without-leaks

NAFC's Response to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, "With Overactive Bladder, Drug Firms Helped Create A $3 Billion Market"

Recently, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article titled "With overactive bladder, drug companies helped create a $3 billion market."  In the article, the authors insinuate that OAB, as a condition, is mostly made up by drug companies to create a market need.  As an organization that has helped countless people find treatment as they struggle with Overactive Bladder, and has seen first hand the debilitating effects that OAB has had on so many lives, NAFC vehemently objects to this article. Below is our response, sent as an open letter to the editor, from NAFC's Executive Director, Steve Gregg, Ph.D.

 "To Whom it May Concern:

We recently read your article in the October 16th, 2016 Sunday edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel entitled “With overactive bladder, drug companies helped create a $3 billion market”.  As a patient advocacy organization we take exception to the article.  We can categorically state that OAB is a condition that does in fact affect millions of patients in the US. 

OAB is a term created to help patients understand the condition of urge urinary incontinence (UUI).  UUI is not just about the need to go to the bathroom but is most often association with an increase in urinary frequency and accidents.  This condition has been shown to increase feeling of isolation, depression and a general loss in quality of life.  And based on the number of individuals contacting NAFC each day we know this is a real condition with real consequences.

Our organization is dedicated to helping individuals and their families facing the challenges of incontinence overcoming the stigma associated with bladder and bowel conditions.  Your article reinforces the misguided idea that bladder conditions such as OAB are simply the effect of aging, or childbearing and poor toileting habits or worse just a made up condition to allow pharma companies to generate revenue.  Currently, women wait on average 7 years from the onset of symptoms to seeking medical treatment.  The reasons for this lengthy wait time are well documented, but embarrassment and lack of awareness of treatment options are sited most frequently. 

We implore you to consider patients and their need for access to medical care and effective treatment options when writing about conditions that are hard to treat, especially when patients feel embarrassed to discuss their conditions with healthcare providers.  It may help you to talk to actual patients about their frustrations and what it is like to live with a condition that is often dismissed.  At NAFC we feel strongly that these patients need our support and assistance to find the care they need and the treatment options they deserve. 

We are disappointed in tone and tenor of your article regarding patients and their need to find medically appropriate treatment options for OAB.  We hope that you will address this obvious misrepresentation in the near future.

Respectively, 

Steven G. Gregg, Ph.D.

Executive Director

The National Association For Continence"

How do you feel about the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's article? Share your thoughts in the comments below.  And, if you object to the article, please share our response on Facebook.

AUGS-SUFU Position Statement on Mesh Mid-urethral Slings for Stress Urinary Incontinence