My INNOVO Journey - Sarah, 52

My bladder weakness: The beginning.

I first noticed my bladder weakness around 12 years ago when I turned 40. I believe it was due to a combination of reasons – I had my son via caesarean section 5 years earlier, put on weight, suffered from stress due to a family loss, and getting older played its part too. I put up with it to begin with, wearing daily pads and liners, but after five years, it became an everyday worry.

How bladder weakness affected my life.

I had to wear really thick pads and I worried constantly about smelling and leaking – I became miserable. I was embarrassed every time I went out with friends thinking I would experience bladder leaks and I'd go to the restroom constantly. I would worry every time I laughed, sneezed, or even just moved – it took over my life. Work was an issue too – if I had a long meeting, I was conscious of leaking, which was a real distraction.

It also affected my sex life. I didn’t feel sexy, confident or feminine, I had to wear a pad in bed at night and I was worried about leaking all the time. I was stressed that I was making the bed sheets smell and didn’t want my husband to touch me – I was consumed by this worry. It was demoralizing. Luckily, I’ve always been open with my husband, who was very understanding, but he could see how badly it was affecting me.

I went to Iraq two years ago for a week to do charity work for a women’s refugee camp, teaching them how to sew so they could make a living. There were limited restrooms available. I had to take dozens of pads around with me and had to wrap them up once used and put them in a bag, which I then had to then carry around as there was nowhere to dispose of them. It was really stressful and, although it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, stressing about changing pads and going to the restroom – quite literally – dampened the whole experience.

The tipping point.

It was New Year’s Eve and I was going out to celebrate with my husband and our friends. We checked into our hotel, I had a shower and was getting ready, but by the time I had done my hair and make-up, my pad was soaking. I felt unclean. I had to take another shower just one hour after the last one and change my underwear and jeans.

When we left the hotel, I brought a bag with a spare pair of jeans, underwear and an abundance of pads. Once we were at the venue, I kept going to the restroom and changed my pad eight times. When it got to 12am – everyone was singing and dancing – but I had leaked and I was paranoid everyone could see. I got a taxi home with my husband and I was so unhappy – I just wanted to cry.

I now have my life back thanks to INNOVO…

After going to the doctors after the New Year incident I was referred to an incontinence clinic which I joined, and did the pelvic floor exercises they recommended for a whole year, but it didn’t make a difference. I didn’t know where else to turn, but then my sister asked me if I had heard about INNOVO, a pair of shorts that strengthen your pelvic floor – so I looked into it and got myself a pair. I used INNOVO for 30-minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 12 weeks. It was worth it – after 4 weeks I didn’t need to wear pads, and after 12, I felt like my old self again.

The relief of not having to wear pads is liberating. I wore a dress recently for the first time in two years! I also went out with friends for 12 hours without having to worry about leaks. Before using INNOVO, this would have been a huge stress, but there were no issues whatsoever.

I’m so excited for the future – I am not able to live freely, without having to bring spare clothes and pads with me.

I finally feel like I have control over my body, and I am so grateful. I would recommend INNOVO to anyone experiencing similar issues – it’s improved my mental wellbeing, and overall life.