The Incontinence Interviews Episode 3: Incontinence taboos

Experiencing incontinence during menopause is very common – so why, then, can it take six to eight years for somebody to even bring it up to a doctor? In the conclusion to the Incontinence Interviews, Dr. Suzanne and Garcelle Beauvais chat about the embarrassment and shame associated with aging and why it’s so important to destigmatize these conditions and spark conversations with others around you. 

Transcript of The Incontinence Interviews Episode 3

Garcelle Beauvais: But what I really want to talk about is the fact that why do we make things such a taboo? Like, we're all going through the same things, we all have the same body parts. Why is it that we are shy or embarrassed to talk about things, whether it's aging or menopause or any of those things that are really, really important?

Dr Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz : There's a lot of embarrassment and shame. And it turns out that even though people are worrying about some of these problems and having these problems, there are a couple of issues here. One, they don't know where to turn. They don't know if there are solutions or where the solutions are, and they're embarrassed to talk about it. I mean, you and I were just talking privately before how we're going to talk about our shoes and your adorable outfit and your handbag, but maybe we're not going to talk, or we don't even know what our actual family history is.

Garcelle: Right.

Dr Suzanne:  And if you're talking about things that are really, like, embarrassing, like body part stuff, I mean, yeah, I do it for a living, but leaking urine is not something that people necessarily going to talk about in play conversation, when in fact, TENA did this big study last year, and it turns out a huge number of us are going to have this problem. But it can take six to eight years for somebody to even bring it up to a doctor.

Garcelle: Are you kidding?

Dr Suzanne: No, I'm not, sadly.

Garcelle: Even to a doctor, wow.

Dr Suzanne: There's an information gap.

Garcelle: That’s why we’re here today, to talk about that.

Dr Suzanne: Exactly.

Garcelle: Our conversation today will spark other women to have these conversations and that maybe the next generation will be able to go, you know what? We're going through menopause. This is what it looks like, this is what it feels like, and it's okay.

Dr Suzanne: I'm on a mission about that.

Garcelle: Right. And what I love about TENA and what they're doing is that we're sort of like… keeping it sexy.

Dr Suzanne: Exactly

Garcelle: We can still talk about it and feel great and look great, and yet we're going through our bodies changing as we get older, and that's okay.

Dr Suzanne: Exactly.

Looking for more?