Saturday 10 December 2016

'We need to grow up and talk about incontinence' - Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh says the condition made her life hell

David Kearns

Published 30/11/2015 | 16:37

Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh
Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh

Irish TV presenter Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh has opened up about what it is like to suffer from adult incontinence.

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Speaking candidly about the topic, the 45-year-old told Newstalk’s Sean Moncrieff she had “no idea of the impact it was having” on her life.

“I had to do all my exercise in the morning,” she told the host as she joined him on his lunchtime radio show.

“After my morning workout I had to wear a pad. I couldn't do anything after lunch especially if I had a coffee or a glass of water.”

One in every three women suffers from incontinence at some point in their lives, Bláthnaid said.

Adding that it was twice as common in women as in men.

Asking listeners to get over their “sensitivity”, the well-known Irish speaker said one of the reasons why Ireland had such a high level of adult incontinence was “because we don't want to talk about it”.

“Will yiz all stop talking about how sensitive it is and just talk about it. Talk about it! Let it all out!”

Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh says that the surgery took
Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh says that the surgery took "ten years off her life" Photo: El Keegan

Actress Kate Winslet was widely praised following a recent interview with Graham Norton where she spoke about her own battle with incontinence following the birth of her third child.

Women who have children, especially those who have had multiple natural births, are at greater risk of developing incontinence, as are women who are overweight or over the age of 60.

“The vagina does take a battering love, you're so right,” Bláthnaid joked when asked by host Sean Moncrieff about Kate Winslet’s interview.

“Jeepers and I'm not even talking about the sex stuff. I'm talking about babas!"

Bláthnaid went on to say she had been inspired to speak up about adult incontinence after she underwent surgery to correct the problem.

“I suffered terribly from it and I just got it sorted last April,” she said.

“One night in hospital… [and] it took 10 years off my life.

“I didn't realise the impact it had on my life until I got it sorted.”

The 45-year-old presenter was also asked on the Moncrieff Show about her opinion on the 'Repeal the 8th' campaign.

“The fear of the discussion seems to be bigger than the discussion,” she said.

Adding: “I don't a strict opinion on it.”

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