November 4, 2008

The Powder Room: Keeping in Better Shape Below the Belt

Many Canadians do their best to keep themselves in good health. They pay attention to their oral health, heart health and mental health. All too often though, people ignore the warning signs of poor bladder health. According to The Canadian Urinary Bladder Survey (CUBS 2003), over 20 per cent of Canadians, 18 or older, have bladder problems - costing Canadians over $1.5 billion per year - but are not seeking proper medical help.(1)

November is Continence Awareness Month in Canada. Together, the Canadian Continence Foundation ( and the Powder Room ( - a national online community for individuals with an overactive bladder (OAB) - will launch a national Bladder Care Campaign to educate Canadians on bladder health. The campaign will promote the importance of seeing bladder health as a vital component of an individual's overall quality of life. Canadians can test their bladder knowledge at

"This campaign will help to raise awareness and demonstrate the importance of knowing and understanding how to keep your bladder healthy," explains Jacqueline Cahill of The Canadian Continence Foundation.

Long wait times for care

The Canadian Continence Foundation estimates that over 3.3 million Canadian men and women of all ages experience some form of incontinence.(2) It can take six to nine months before a patient can see a specialist once properly diagnosed, increasing the risk of added health concerns.(3) Recent studies continue to cite that 74 per cent of those with any bladder problem do not seek the advice of a doctor or healthcare professional.(4)

Many patients are embarrassed to talk about continence issues. Most often, patients believe it has something to do with the aging process and are not aware that help is available. "Recognizing symptoms and understanding your body is important," says Fran Stewart, Nurse Continence Advisor, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. "See your physician, have a checkup and discuss lifestyle changes for better bladder and overall health."

There are many kinds of incontinence and it is sometimes difficult to determine what your symptoms mean. Some symptoms can include the sudden and overwhelming need to urinate, involuntary leakage when sneezing or coughing and the feeling that your bladder is never completely empty. For a comprehensive list of symptoms, FAQs, tips on diet and lifestyle changes and more information on your bladder visit and

The good news is that incontinence can be treated by making a correct diagnosis and, in certain cases, by changing diets or taking simple medications. The first step is to have your situation assessed by a medical professional who can better determine why your bladder isn't as healthy as it should be.

Top Ten Bladder Related Health Concerns

- Obesity

- Injuries

- Caffeine

- Smoking

- Diabetes

- Depression

- Urinary Tract Infection

- Stool build-up

- Muscular diseases

- Medication interaction

About The Canadian Continence Foundation

The Canadian Continence Foundation ( was formed in 1986 to address the needs of consumers experiencing urinary incontinence. Until that point there was virtually no help or information available to the general public. The Foundation is a national non-profit organization working to raise public awareness and bring the topic of incontinence "out of the closet". This is being accomplished through a variety of ways such as public information forums, conferences, placing ads and articles in magazines and industry commercials that we see on television.

About the Powder Room

The Powder Room ( is a national and fully bilingual educational program developed in collaboration with Canadian healthcare professionals. The program works to improve the quality of life of individuals with OAB by helping them to understand, manage and treat the condition. More information on the Powder Room can be found at The Powder Room is supported by a grant from Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc., a leader in the field of urology.


(2) Canadian Continence Foundation

(3) Carr L, Urologist, Sunnybrook Health Sciences, presentation, Shedding light on a neglected women's health issue stress urinary incontinence, September 22, 2006.

(4) Herschorn S, Corcos J, Gajewski J, Schulz J, Ciu E Canadian Urinary Bladder Survey: Population-Based Study of Symptoms and Incontinence Neurology and Urodynamics, 2003, Vol 22, Part 5.

 Contacts: Communications MECA/Medicomm Rene Samulewitsch (416) 425-9143 x. 223 Email: [email protected]

SOURCE: The Powder Room