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Is incontinence a TABOO in Asia?
On a recent trip to Malaysia and Singapore, I was interested to find out more about how incontinence is perceived among women there. Like in the U.S.A. incontinence is also not openly discussed in Asia neither! Both Asian and American women know about incontinence, yet it remains a sensitive topic of discussion. The closest you get to talking about it is small admissions like, “I can’t have coffee this morning because I am going to be in the car all day.”
According to the Society of Incontinence in Singapore, incontinence is not a disease, yet it can affect your way of life. Over 300 million in Asia are afflicted by a condition which they are too embarrassed to even tell their doctor, according to Louise Waterson from Readers Digest.
The causes of incontinence among Asian women are no different than anywhere else. Causes derived from childbirths, spinal injuries, aging, medications, obesity, etc. are common among Asian women as well.
It’s interesting how the role of religion and culture play an important part among women who experience incontinence. According to a study by Dr. Sahabudin, “Muslims are more likely to resort to traditional herbal medicine as a way of managing the problem discreetly.” The cultural and religious connotation of incontinence among Muslim women and the idea that’s its unclean, makes it embarrassing to openly seek medical attention. In contrast, non-Muslim women may be more open to seeking medical treatment from their doctors.
There is now a growing awareness and outreach about treatment for incontinence by medical facilities today in Asia. As a result, clinics and hospitals are training more advisers and nurses to help patients who suffer from incontinence.
According to Chan Sau Kuen, a Hong Kong continence adviser, “Incontinence is not just a bladder problem. Incontinence is something that affects the way a person lives.”
Fannypants manufactures apparel to help women deal with incontinence. Their mission is to offer women in Asia as well as North America hope and renewed sense of freedom to go where you want to go and do what you want to do.