Incontinence: Making a connection

Fran's story

When Fran was in her late teens she was involved in a car accident. The injuries she sustained from that accident caused her to leak urine when she laughed or sneezed. She managed her incontinence with little difficulty until she became pregnant in her 30s, when she noticed that her incontinence became more frequent.

In her mid-30s Fran had her second child, after which her incontinence became very problematic. She often didn't make it to the toilet in time, even in the middle of night. It also became impossible for her to play actively with her children - she would lose urine whenever she did anything physically strenuous like running or jumping.

Travelling distances in a car also became difficult, and eventually she would avoid drinking water before having to travel anywhere, even if it was a short trip.

At 37 Fran decided to take control. She lost the extra weight she had been carrying from her second pregnancy and went to see her doctor. Her doctor referred her to a urologist who, after making a detailed examination, referred her to a physiotherapist. The physiotherapist taught Fran how to do Kegel exercises, in addition to using biofeedback and bladder training. The exercises helped her to reduce the amount of urine she leaked, and today, she can wait between 60 and 90 minutes before needing to urinate. Fran continues to do the Kegel exercises and bladder training so she can continue to increase this interval.

Fran's story is based on people with similar experiences.