Bladder Health BC made it’s debut and what an honour it was to be co-chair at the 3rd International Autonomic Symposium in Vancouver, British Columbia at the Blusson Spine Centre with the esteemed Dr. Andrei Krassioukov. Dr. Krassioukov is a physiatrist and clinician-researcher devoted to helping people with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) maintain their cardiovascular health; his focus is on a condition commonly known as Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD), which is familiar to the majority of individuals with SCI. AD is characterized by episodes of increased arterial blood pressure that can be commonly introduced by very simple stimuli, such as inappropriate wheelchair positioning, a full bladder or painful sex. AD may lead to life threatening conditions such as stroke.
In between my responsibilities as co-chair, my presentation (Vaginal Health: Sexuality and Intimacy, What’s Important, What’s Not as Women Age), and manning the Vaginal and Bladder Health booth (showcasing vaginal health products like personal moisturizers for vaginal dryness such as RepaGyn® as well as lubricants such as V-Love), I also announced a new entity to raise awareness about some of the “less than sexy” health conditions related to the bladder. Bladder Health BC, a not for profit organization, made its debut at the 3rd International Symposium in Vancouver, BC to a crowd of very delighted patients, clinicians, researchers, scientists, nurses, nurse continence advisors, physiotherapists and even human movement scientists, all of whom were present at the well-attended event.
Bladder Health BC is a patient interest group whose main objective is to raise awareness, educate and advocate about the following conditions related to bladder health:
- Overactive Bladder
- Vaginal Health
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Prostate Health
- Bladder Cancer
Overactive Bladder, urinary tract infections and vaginal health issues are common concerns for individuals with spinal cord injury. Many people are under the misperception that ambulation is the main concern for people who sustain a spinal cord injury. The fact of the matter is that ambulatory issues can be overcome but other quality of life issues, like bladder health including overactive bladder (common in those who sustain a high level injury) and urinary tract infections, are far more difficult to deal with. According to research, hand function is the number one issue for quadriplegic individuals and bladder, bowel, and sexual health run a close second.
Many of the attendees commented that our Vaginal Health and Bladder booth was the favourite amongst the many set up, in part because we showcased practical solutions for common health conditions that are considered taboo like vaginal dryness and painful sex. My slogan, “it is just as important to moisturize your vagina as it is your face,” resonated with the crowd and drew smiles a plenty.
Knowing that a new resource for bladder health related information, guidance and education is available for the many that suffer from the condition and the many that treat the condition was found to be a welcomed relief.
One of the objectives of Bladder Health BC is to bring embarrassing health conditions out of the water closet so that people will feel less shame and be empowered to know help is available and have the confidence to seek it.
Bladder Health BC’s inaugural project, www.itsurgent.ca, is an advocacy campaign to provide more medication choices for British Columbians and has made significant strides in this endeavour.
Bladder Health BC is seeking board members and partners in health. A call will be put out for board members in the near future. To learn more about Bladder Health BC, please visit www.bhbc.co.