‘I couldn’t believe it was happening to me’

‘I couldn’t believe it was happening to me’

‘I couldn’t believe it was happening to me’

Aasha Venning

Aasha would accidently leak in every CrossFit class and on every run – until this doctor-backed device instantly changed her life.

Image: Supplied. Aasha Venning launched Confidant after her own struggles with incontinence.

Can you imagine the embarrassment, not to mention the completely soul destroying loss of confidence?

Sadly, four years ago that was my reality every run, box jump or skipping I would have to brace myself for the inevitable moment of leaking at some point.

Even, if no one around me knew it happened, I did and it was utterly awful. My head would race with thoughts thinking. Can you see it? Can you smell it? I’m young this shouldn’t be happening to me?!

I was starting to think I would have to give up on the activities I loved – running and CrossFit – because if I didn’t do those activities I didn’t leak. Fast forward four years and I am now continuing to do the things I love more and more without the leaks.

I had two options – stop exercising, give up one of my life’s most important pleasures. Exercise gave me confidence, helped me manage my weight and it was my release. My time, the one thing I did for me outside of being a mum, a wife, a friend and an employee.

Or option two – get help. First I went to my GP a wonderful women’s health professional who referred me onto a specialist women’s health physiotherapist. I was lucky that I had private health insurance and that I could see my physio for 12 weeks as it’s not a quick fix.

What happens at the women's health physio

The first exam was awful, yes internal exams, and all intimate things discussed seriously.

However, Sally was considerate and mindful of my anxiousness. It was a prescription of dedicated exercises to help build strength in my pelvic floor. I was a good student and did what was required. There was improvement but sadly there were still leaks.

It was at about my second appointment that Sally recommended the use of a pessary, which is a small device worn in the vagina to provide additional support to the pelvic floor. I was horrified at the thought. I remember Sally saying a number of my ‘running women’ use one you should try it.

I thought NO WAY (possibly not as politely) there is no way I am going to put that thing in there. I continued with my exercise and physio. Sadly, my leaks although improved did not fix entirely – I had regained strength but if it was high impact activity they would come back. I had reached maximum improvement – think of the over stretched rubber band that won’t quite ever be the same.

The only other option before surgery

So there I was 12 weeks (and substantial cost) later and still I leaked if I did the things I loved. To her credit she talked to me about the use of a pessary again. At this point I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I bought it and went home to try it.

It worked – OMG it freaking worked, box jumps – no leaks, running – no leaks, double unders no-leaks! I can’t explain the shift in my confidence when I started to use this amazing little device. It changed my life. I was also grateful that I had found instant relief.

On I went with my own little secret and an amazing solution. It was not until I was out for dinner with a bunch of school mums that I realised this problem was not unique to me. Half of the table that night said they had a problem when they exercised. That’s when the penny dropped. I had a solution and I decided it was time to start my business Confidant, offering female incontinence pessaries to other women. I truly think women deserve better than pads or costly surgery.

I also wanted to change the face of stress-induced urinary incontinence. Language like “it’s common not normal” is not helpful in taking away the stigma of incontinence. Seriously if 50 per cent of women who exercise have this issue that is pretty normal to me.

This issue effects millions of amazing women, young, old, mums or not. It is fit, strong, dynamic and amazing women. It’s likely it’s you and it should be talked about. It’s time to stop the shame and get back to doing the things you love without the fear of light bladder leaks.

It’s a little over two years since I started Confidant. It’s been hard work to get it out there, but I am very proud of what is being achieved and I hope to help.

Dangers of holding your urine0:36

Holding in urine can have sever health issues like bladder infection and kidney disease. Courtesy The Drs


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