A Crack in the Mask: The Felt Sense Method

Introduction An Unmentionable Epidemic When you consider the total number of women who experience incontinence in our society, it can truly be called an unmentionable epidemic. I use the word unmentionable because incontinence is not spoken about openly in conversation with family, friends, and sometimes even doctors. Dr. Raymond J. Reilly, associate clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School and an obstetrician- gynecologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, projects that 20% of the U.S. female population experiences symptoms of incontinence. Dr. Reilly’s 20% of the female population, based on the year 2000 United States Census of females 18 years old and up, consists of an estimated 21,626,742 adult females with symptoms of incontinence. Depends®, the maker of adult protective undergarments for incontinence, projects the total number of adults with incontinence at 19 million, with 80% of this number being women. These numbers are estimates for the U.S. population, and do not take into account women in other parts of the world. Also, I would postulate that a majority of these women tend not to talk about their incontinence freely and choose to cope quietly by using protective garments, herbal remedies, or self-help methods. I would also postulate that those who see a doctor and obtain prescription pills or even resort to surgery are relatively few. The popular, covert approach to dealing with the symptoms of incontinence relegates it to the realm of a silent epidemic. One notable woman who has spoken publicly regarding her overactive bladder (OAB) and fears of having an accident is Mary Lou Retton, the Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast. In an article published in the Globe, she is described as one of an estimated 33 million Americans over age 18 who have OAB.8 My Fear For years, I suffered from the fear of wetting my pants. I was embarrassed when I was out socially because I was always going to bathroom. I became stressed when I traveled

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