A Leaked Story
Megan McGlone wet herself throughout her childhood and teenage years until she was 29 years of age.
Suffering from severe incontinence Megan, now 34, tells her story during Life Without Limits Week a national campaign to raise the awareness of incontinence - in the hope it will encourage other sufferers to seek professional help for the condition.
Megan was born with a small and unstable bladder and as a child wet the bed at night. "I didn't stay a friend's houses, if I did I had to take a plastic sheet for the bed. I would set the alarm at night to wake up and go to the toilet, but I was always already wet. I was told I would grow out of the condition but I remained incontinent into adulthood," says Megan.
As an adult I carried Depend(c) and Poise(c) incontinence products everywhere I went to control the wetting which gave much relief."
Feeling socially isolated and depressed Megan says her incontinence was a deep secret and she became skilled at denying her condition.
"The most distressing thing for me was being wet at night. It is very hard to maintain an intimate sexual relationship when you are wet."
At 28 Megan saw a specialist who prescribed pelvic floor exercises, urodynamics and medication, which in 80 percent of cases will solve the condition. However, because Megan's situation was rare the specialist recommended surgery to enlarge her bladder and she has now been dry for five years.
"Now that I am dry my life has completely changed and it's awesome. It has made me a very happy woman," says Megan. Defined as the involuntary loss of urine in an inappropriate place, incontinence is prevalent in one in three women, one in 10 men, and in total 280,000 New Zealanders.
A recent survey indicates, despite the fact in 70 to 80 percent of cases this condition can be solved or significantly improved, only one third of sufferers seek professional advice.
Megan believes the social stigma attached to incontinence is preventing people from seeking help.
"My advice to anybody affected by the condition is to speak up and get help. You don't have to suffer in silence and you are definitely not alone."
Anyone suffering from incontinence can make a free and confidential call to the New Zealand Continence Association on 0800 650 659 for free information handouts and to be put in contact with an appropriate health professional (or visit the website at www.continence.org.nz.) To trial free samples of Depend(c) and Poise(c) incontinence products which are designed to help people lead full and active lives call 0800 800 509.