With the popularity of movies like Sex and the City and the revival of the 50-year-old fashionista, the 42.9 million baby boomer women in America are
approaching aging with confidence and style. While talking about many sensitive topics is no longer off-limits to this vocal group, there still remain
several embarrassing health topics that many women will not even discuss with their doctors, let alone with their girlfriends. As a result, they suffer
through these manageable health issues in silence rather than finding the solutions they need.
It is important for women to be direct with their doctors when talking about all health issues, even those that may embarrass them. Anne Abernathy, a
six-time Olympic luger who now serves as an advocate for women’s health, shares tips for being tenacious when it comes to your health:
Talk to your doctor:
You may be embarrassed by a change in your body, but when you talk about it with a friend, family member or doctor, you can find helpful ways to deal with
it. You may even be able to provide helpful advice to others experiencing the same thing. Facing your health condition head-on and learning how to manage
it will help you to move on and live your best life.
Learn about the kinds of changes you can expect as you age and take some preventative measures to help you avoid or lessen the symptoms of some of them.
There are a lot of great sources online where you can learn from experts, as well as others who have first-hand knowledge of the issues. Information is the
best tool you can have as your own health advocate.
Navigate your options and solutions:
There are a lot of options available to help you manage and prevent certain conditions and ailments. For instance, vitamins to help prevent bone loss or
discreet thin pads or underwear for women who have bladder control issues. Talk with your doctor to find out what supplements or products might be right
Achieve a healthy life:
In the end, you just want to get on with living your life and achieving your goals. No health issue should keep you from doing that. When you follow these
tips and learn how to manage your condition, you will find yourself with more options, less limitations and more confidence to do what you love most.
Many of these health problems are extremely common, like bladder-control issues, which affect more than 25 percent of women older than 40. According to a
survey conducted by Harris Interactive and SCA, makers of TENA, the number one brand of bladder protection products worldwide, nearly 40 percent of women
with bladder-control issues have never discussed the condition with anyone. As a result, nearly a third of all women who experience leaks do not know how
to deal with the problem.
“Throughout my life, I have not been afraid to tackle the many obstacles that have stood in my way,” says Anne Abernathy. “Having experienced embarrassing
health conditions such as bladder-control issues first hand, I know that for many women, the thought of admitting to the condition can be more stressful
than racing down a luge track at 90 mph. That’s why I teamed with TENA and Healthy Women to launch the ‘Be TENAcious’ program to help women start the
conversation, beginning online at www.betenacious.net. Many women experience the same issues in their lifetime, but we cannot benefit from each other’s
experiences if no one is talking about them.”
Registered nurse Beth Battaglino Cahill, executive director of HealthyWomen agrees. “As a nurse, I often have to coax information out of patients about
health issues they find embarrassing. When women are candid about their health, they often find the problem they have is very common and managing the issue
becomes a lot easier.”