Here's why she wants other women to start talking about urinary incontinence more often.

By Maggie O'Neill
December 01, 2020
Advertisement

Welcome to Deep Dives, a new Health video series where inspiring people talk about a health topic that’s meaningful to them and share relatable stories around health and wellness. Watch Kym Whitley’s Deep Dive above!

Comedian and actress Kym Whitley wishes her mother would have warned her about her fifties. Specifically, she wishes her mom told her that middle-age women often suffer with urinary incontinence. “My mother should have told me, when you get in your fifties, you’re going to pee on yourself,” Whitley, 59, tells Health.

However, now that Whitley has experienced urinary incontinence herself, she’s made it one of her goals to make sure women know it’s okay to talk about their bladder issues. “This is normal. The problem is we don’t talk about it,” Whitley says.

She shares that she’s always struggled with incontinence, but that it’s grown worse with age. “It seems like it’s always been a part of my life,” Whitley explains. “As I’ve gotten older, coughing, laughing, holding it too long—it just happens. It’s just a part of everyday conversation.”

But Whitley noticed that while it’s a part of her life—and the lives of many women she knows—it’s often spoken about in hushed tones. She realized this when she witnessed a friend suffering from incontinence at the movie theater. “I felt bad for her that she felt bad in front of me,” Whitley says, explaining that she told her friend, “I get it.”

Realizing that many middle-age women struggle with urinary incontinence has helped Whitley become more comfortable with her body. “I thought it was just me, but, no, all women have this,” she said.

Whitley has partnered with Walgreens to encourage women to stop allowing a little bit of pee to run their lives. She recommends Walgreens Certainty™ incontinence products as the easiest solution, showing that you can be 50+, have given birth, be behind on kegel exercises and STILL feel confident riding a bike, going on a long car ride or letting loose watching a funny movie.

She's also encouraging other women not to be embarrassed about incontinence, and to talk to their doctors about their treatment options. “You can’t be embarrassed: It’s a part of life,” Whitley says.

Watch the rest of Whitley's deep dive in the video above.

To get more inspiring stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter