As a runner, I have blunt conversations with other mother runners about bodily functions and things that are bound to happen on a long run. Since having my daughter, I’ve had the unpleasant experience of bladder leakage. It’s not fun to talk about and for a long time, I was really embarrassed. It wasn’t something I wanted to talk about with my doctor. I mean, bladder leaks were for old people! I wasn’t old yet.
In December, I ran the Holiday Half Marathon. Before the race, I met up with several of the women from the Moms Run this Town group. While we were taking selfies, the conversation came up about urinary incontinence. I was shocked at first, that the five of them, all under 40 (most of them in their 30’s) experienced bladder leakage since having babies. I could not believe it was so common! I talked to a friend later that week and had NO IDEA it was something she used to deal with often, also! In addition to our love for running, we all had experienced that embarrassing occurrence of bladder leakage, while exercising at one time or another. We all agreed that sneezes were disastrous! The truth is, one in four women experience the embarrassing symptoms of urinary incontinence.
I’ve tried pads, briefs for urinary incontinence, and I’ve been working my kegels for YEARS, like it was my job. While wearing a pad works, it can be uncomfortable when I’m running for three hours. Wearing the briefs has worked well, but bringing a back-up on a three-hour run can take up precious space I don’t have when I’m running. Recently, I experienced a painful UTI and came to the conclusion that wearing a pad while running for three hours may have contributed to the bladder irritation.
Along Comes Finess
Coincidently, this conversation I had with the other women before the half marathon was the same day as my maiden voyage trying the Finess product. Finess was a product I hadn’t heard of before, but when I learned about it, I was very excited to try it! Finess isn’t a pad. In fact, it isn’t like a pad at all! It covers the urethral opening and stops leaks before they happen. I have to admit, I was a huge skeptic. I took it out of the packaging and looked at the triangle-shaped device, thinking, “This will never work!” I’m happy to report that it took me 2 hours and 30 minutes of running to cross the finish line and I didn’t have a single drop of leakage! This was really earth-shattering for me! After years of doing the cutesy-leg-cross in preparation for a sneeze, this product prevented even a little leak without my signature move. I was able to bring another Finess with me and it fit perfectly in a small pocket of my running tights. Check out the Finess Clinical Study page for more information and for more details on how well Finess performed in clinical trials.
The hardest part of using the Finess was trying to figure out my anatomy. To be perfectly honest, I was completely clueless. In the instructions, it suggested using a mirror and attempting to place Finess when I wasn’t in a hurry. Both of these pieces of advice came in very handy. I did need to learn a little more about myself before I was able to place Finess in the right place. You can see more information about how Finess works here.
Yesterday, I just ran another half marathon and I used Finess. It worked perfectly! It stayed in place; there wasn’t any chafing that pads and other undergarments can cause. I think I have found a new running tool. I hardly noticed I was wearing Finess and of course, because it’s so small, it’s so very discrete!
Let’s face it, being one in four with urinary continence is not fun, but it doesn’t need to be uncomfortable. It’s good to know there’s alternatives out there and can help me forget about the little things and focus on running!
I was given a trial package of Finess and compensated for my honest review of the product. All opinions are my own.