Monday, May 24, 2010

Women and Leaks: It's No Laughing Matter

As a woman, have you ever experienced the occasional laugh, sneeze or cough that has led you to pee in your pants? If you are laughing right now then you know full well what this experience, sometimes embarrassing, is like.

It appears that one in three women experience light bladder leaks well before, during and post pregnancy, while involved in specific types of exercise such as running and even due to certain health conditions.

For those of us who have been pregnant, we may have experienced the occasional drip (not the breaking of our waters) during and post pregnancy that led to us needing and wanting to duck for cover for fear of the odor getting out or a trickle streaming down our legs that became noticeable.

For many of us, this is no laughing matter.

My most memorable “peeing in the pants incident” took place during my pregnancy while I was shopping alone in a maternity store. This experience is such a vivid one for me. In hindsight it’s not a big deal. However, when I sneezed and peed, I became embarrassed. I even considered crying more so because it was the first time I realized that during my pregnancy much was going to happen to my body that was out of my control. I got over the experience quick and made sure to share with my husband at first chance to give him a good laugh and much-needed consoling.

Let’s just say that this was not the last time this experience happened to me. They got easier and easier to cope with but then I started to have to carry around underwear when accidents occurred. I began to just laugh about it, think about my daughter, do some more Kegel exercises and then move on from it. Others have to endure this discomfort much more than this.

The good news is that there is help available thanks to mom Wendy Spencer, founder and president of STRIDE Femme, who knows all to well what this embarrassing experience is like. After she became a mom laughing (from life as a mom), coughing (picking up just about every bug her son got) and running (to relax and decompress from parenting) it took a toll on her in ways she didn't expect.

This past week I was offered an opportunity to meet with her in-person along with celebrity style expert/TV personality Gretta Monahan and Dr. Jill Rabin, M.D., urogynecologist and author of Mind Over Bladder to check out a new absorbing fashion that you will want to stock up on in your intimate drawer right away.

New, machine-washable underwear have been created featuring a unique technology of multi-layer fabric to wick away and absorb up to an ounce of moisture. The lining of each panty is leak proof, breathable, stylish and has a built in deodorizer to provide freshness. According to a press release, “STRIDE Femme is a first-ever underwear collection with patented technology built into the panty’s liner to offer discreet light leak protection.”

The underwear comes in five stylish options including, if you can believe it, a lace thong. From my experience, thong underwear doesn’t typically hold pads or panty liners well and was; therefore, excited to experience this product first hand before sharing with you my point of view. The best part is the built in ultra thin pad and technology covers much of the panty bottom. You don’t feel anything moving as the liner is built into the garment and gets up to approximately a hundred wearings.

Before writing this review I wanted to check out the underwear myself. While I have not had any moments this week that would have caused me accidental leakage, I did find them to be comfortable and fashionable as well. I didn’t at all feel like I was wearing a panty liner or diaper-like product. I even forgot that I was wearing them.

I was fortunate to receive three pairs of the underwear from STRIDE Everyday at no cost to try them out to share my review with you. If you would like to own these unique garments the complete collection is available at StrideEveryday.com. The Seamless panty, which fit the most comfortably for me, is now available in select drug stores too.

The prices of the STRIDE Femme panties range from $19.99 to $29.99 before tax. While this may seem expensive to some (I thought so) much is being saved not only on the cost of pads and panty liners. There is also a significant benefit to our environment. In fact, according to Spencer the research they have conducted demonstrates that women can save as much as $125 per year compared with the purchase of disposable panty liners and it can help to reduce the billions of disposable products sent to landfills annually.

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