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Many Australian women over 50 struggling to buy bladder leak protection, report shows

3 min read
bladder leak protection

Uncontrollable bladder leaks are an invisible, unspoken health condition that affect more than 1 in 31 women in Australia. According to research released by Always Discreet, more than a quarter of women over 50 surveyed struggle to even afford bladder leak protection that they need to manage this problem.

The poverty line in Australia is almost $24,000 p/a4, but Australian women over 50 spend on average $400 a year on bladder leak protection products – that’s $2,705 more than what the average woman spends purchasing period protection.

As a result, 59% said they’ve had to sacrifice everyday items to afford the necessary protection. Alarmingly, half (51%) have gone without food and household essentials, including bread and milk; 34% without clothes; and even 13% have sacrificed rent, transport or medicine.

Even worse, 33% of women who struggle to afford the protection they need have resorted to using unhygienic alternatives, with the most common being tissues, paper towel or toilet paper (64%), multiple pairs of underwear (16%), cloth from old clothes (13%), tea towels (9%), cotton wool (4%), and even socks (2%).

That’s why this World Continence Week, Always Discreet and Brand Ambassador, Michelle Bridges, is working with Australian charity, Share the Dignity to raise awareness of the invisible issue, and help provide bladder leak protection for every woman, no matter their circumstances.

Having recently appeared on Australia’s latest season of Celebrity Apprentice, Michelle Bridges is no stranger to supporting women doing it tough: “I’ve worked with countless women over the years who have experienced bladder leaks and have been able to support them through various training techniques to strengthen their pelvic floor.”

“Towards the end of my pregnancy, I could appreciate how they felt – when that moment happens it’s a do I laugh or do I cry moment, but it’s something that certainly connects all of us! It’s hard to watch so many women have their confidence take a beating; not just by experiencing this invisible issue, but also by struggling to financially manage it. That’s why I’m passionate about supporting charities that help women in homelessness and in need,” Bridges said.

To help support women experiencing bladder leak poverty, Always Discreet will be making a donation to Share the Dignity for every pack purchased in Woolworths and Chemist Warehouse stores during June 2021. You’ll also see Share the Dignity boxes at Woolworths stores in March and August each year where you can donate Always Discreet products.

Share the Dignity, Founder and Managing Director Rochelle Courtenay said, “It’s heartbreaking to see so many Australian women over 50 living below the poverty line, and that an overwhelming amount are unable to afford necessary bladder leak protection, and in some cases ending up without a home. We are thankful to Always Discreet for their much-needed donation, and the awareness a global brand like theirs can help to create as we continue our mission to make dignity an affordable and accessible right to all women.”

Always Discreet has also created a campaign video to put a spotlight on this important and taboo topic, which can be shared to raise further awareness by using the hashtag #WeeAreOne.

Always Discreet Senior Brand Manager, Louise McCallum said, “We know that at some stage in their life, be it during pregnancy or as they get older, 1 in 3 Australian women experience bladder leaks. It’s therefore crucial all women – no matter their circumstance – have access to the superior protection they need, like Always Discreet products. That’s why we are proud to partner with Share the Dignity – because every woman deserves to feel invincible and visible.”

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