The essential journalist news source
Time to stop the leaks (that don't hit the headlines)

PRESS RELEASE -embargo until 0100 Tuesday 23 August 2022

Time to stop the leaks that don't hit the headlines

New research reveals scale of bladder leak stigma that keeps women suffering in silence

One of the UK's most common female health conditions is having a seriously detrimental impact on the lives of millions of women. That's according to research conducted for a new bladder support device,Contrelle® Activgard.

As part of its UK launch, Contrelle has published a new lifestyle survey conducted with 500 women aged over 40 with bladder leaks in which half (50%) said that say they've been living with its impact for 1-3 years. In fact, just over 1:7 (15%) women who experience bladder leaks have lived with it for 6 years or more, demonstrating just how long a relationship with bladder control issues can last.

  • Nearly 4:5 (79%) women aged over 40 agree that bladder leaks can be part of daily life, occurring when they simply sneeze or cough. And for 48% it's certainly no joke because it happens even when they laugh
  • More than half of women (56%) say this can make them feel embarrassed, and 48% state it has taken its toll on their levels of confidence
  • The worry and anxiety caused because of bladder leaks is enough for 4:10 (40%) women between the ages of 51-55 to be constantly concerned about the condition
  • Two-thirds of women (66%) feel too embarrassed to even kickstart a conversation around the issue. But when people do decide to speak out about their bladder related worries, they usually turn to their best friend (34%) with only just over a quarter (28%) saying they would speak to their partner
  • The survey also revealed the wider impact bladder leaks can have, as a quarter (24%) of women say it can even influence how they dress and the fashion choices they make

Female urinary incontinence will affect approximately a third of women during their lifetime. However, no-one is really talking openly enough about it, claims Contrelle, due to continuing stigma, embarrassment, and the belief that there is little that can be done to solve it. Until now.

Contrelle isa safe, comfortable, easy-to-use and highly effective2, single-use vaginal device, designed to immediately prevent urine leakage rather than simply dealing with the results.It already has a large and loyal following in Scandinavia where it was invented and where it hasbeen a successful first line treatment for the last decade with millions of devices used.

Made from soft. body-compatible foam, Contrelle is inserted into the vagina, using a reusable applicator, to gently lift the bladder neck. This helps to correct the angle of the bladder and provide light pressure to the top of the urethra, whilst also reducing bladder mobility and thereby stopping leaks from happening1or substantially reducing them2.

44-year old mum, and founder of the Fertility Podcast, Natalie Silverman suffered in silence for years with her bladder leaks, before recently finding Contrelle which proved a literal game changer when she put it to the trampoline ‘bounce' test in a video on her social media: "My leaks impacted pretty much all aspects of my lifebutI'd ruled out going to the GP, thinking it wasn't serious enoughand my mum told me it was just genetic. Mygreatest sadness was that I couldn't get into energetic games with my son in the way that I desperately wanted to."

"Natalie's story will be familiar to many women," says Contrelle Marketing Director Kate Taylor. "However much we think taboos are continually being broken, talking about their bladder problems is clearly still off limits for lots of women who think there is nothing that can help them. We are on a mission to help and at the same time dispel the myths surrounding incontinence to show women that they don't have to put up with the status quo."

There is also anecdotal evidence from both health professionals and users that Contrelle helps women who have struggled to do pelvic floor exercises to complete them more successfully.

Marta Downer, a pelvic health specialist in London, says:"I like using Contrelle as it provides a woman with options. She can now exercise, dance and live a normal life without the burden of fear, anxiety and leaking throughout the day. Contrelle is not just a device, it is also a platform for education so that women can now put their pelvic health first and use Contrelle in conjunction with their pelvic floor rehab program for a better outcome."

When sitting correctly inside the vagina, most women shouldn't feel Contrelle, though if they do this will only be for the initial couple of uses. Contrelle can be safely left in place for up to 16 hours a day - including when going to the toilet - so can be used either daily or just when required to help prevent urine leakage, for example: during exercise and for other known triggers.

The device comes in three sizes: 1,2,3.  Initial purchase is a Sizing Kit (rp £6.00), which contains one of each size so that the user can determine which one will offer the right level of support and comfort. As everyone is individual, finding the correct size is a combination of vaginal dimensions and the level of support required to stop leakage. Customers can then buy their ideal size in packs of five devices (rp £15 or £3 per use) or 30 (rp £75 or £2.50 per use). Packs are VAT zero rated for personal use.

Contrelle is available to buy direct; from and from a growing number of local pharmacies. It is not yet available on prescription. 

More information and advice are available


Photos available:

For further information please contact:-

Alison Miles  or 07900 691116

Notes to Editors

  1. Sander P, Thyssen H, Lose G, Andersen JT. Effect of a vaginal device on quality of life of women with urinary stress incontinence. Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Mar;93(3):407-11
  2. Lone Mouritsen. Effect of vaginal devices on bladder neck mobility in stress incontinent women, Department of Obstretrics and Gynecology, Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 2001 80: 428-431

The surveywas carried out online for Contrelle by Opinion Matters throughout 27.07.2022 - 02.08.2022 amongst a panel of 500 women aged 40+ who suffer from bladder leaks.

Contrelle samples for journalists: To request a sample Sizing Kit, please send an email to: giving your address with postcode and a telephone number for the courier service

About Viveca Biomed Ltd

Viveca Biomed is a newly-formed specialist female healthcare business based in Ashington, near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. It was founded by Andrew Tasker in 2019, following a 30-year career in the pharma and OTC industries where he held a number of senior leadership roles. The company's first product is Contrelle Activgard: a bladder support for stress incontinence/exercise-related bladder leakage for which Viveca Biomed acquired European regulatory approval and ISO 13485 for its new manufacturing environment. The small, highly experienced team have utilised the strength of North-East manufacturing - 100% of activity is internal to rapidly establish the UK business and start an even more rapid export expansion strategy. Less than 9 months from start-up, Viveca Biomed now exports Contrelle Activgard to 15 countries globally.

23 August 2022