Marketing Exploits and the Rising Trend of Adult Nappies in the UK

The Impact of Celebrity Endorsements on Incontinence Products

The UK has recently seen a surge in interest around adult nappies, partly due to Friends actor Harry Van Gorkum starring in a Tena advertisement, where he promotes an incontinence pad that 'slips discreetly into my underwear.'

This issue affects over one in five people in the UK, leading to a soaring demand for products to manage it.

While it’s clear that such advertising helps to initiate conversations about incontinence, which I am all for, also takes advantage of people's embarrassment and shame, offering a 'sticking plaster' solution, to simply mask the actual problem.

Marketing Exploits and the Rising Trend of Adult Nappies in the UK

We know just how hard it is for people who suffer with incontinence and how difficult it is to have these conversations. Here at Secret Whispers we have an amazing community who help and support one another to improve their incontinence issues.

However, we are not alone in feeling that this type of marketing encourages individuals to purchase products to manage leaks rather than seeking medical treatment for what is often a treatable condition. Evidence that we have seen from those who have used our Secret Whispers Pelvic Floor Strengthener and attended our 30 Day Pelvic Floor Challenge.

The Soaring Sales of Incontinence Products in the UK

Incontinence product sales have jumped by 13.2% in the year to March, with UK consumers spending an astounding £234 million last year. Around 1.16 billion individual items were sold, equating to 37 incontinence products every second.

It is anticipated that the market will experience an annual growth rate of 4.57% (CAGR 2024-2028). (

This trend is not unique to the UK; the US accounts for a third of global spending, with rapid growth also seen in Asia, particularly in China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. In response, Japanese manufacturer Oji Holdings has shifted from making baby to adult nappies due to changing demands.

Marketing Tactics and Their Influence on Adult Nappy Usage

Driving this growing demand are clever marketing tactics. Many advertisements depict incontinence as normal and even expected. However, Secret Whispers strives to reveal the truth: for many, incontinence is a condition that can be successfully treated.

Due to insufficient care and potentially misleading information, many individuals end up relying on nappies for conditions that could be treated.

Incontinence, a symptom rather than an illness, often results from weakness or damage to the bladder, bowel, or pelvic floor muscles. While many cases of incontinence are treatable, there are some conditions where the use of nappies is warranted.

The Prevalence of Incontinence Among Women in the UK

Research indicates that about one in three women in the UK experience leaks, often due to damage from pregnancy and childbirth. Unfortunately, the importance of looking after your pelvic floor and how to do Kegels (pelvic floor exercises), is not taught in high schools, and for many women the first time they learn of this is when they actually develop an issue. So, this really has to change.

Simply education on how to do your Kegels correctly could prevent so many women from suffering with weak pelvic floor issues further down the line. Yes!, Kegels also work for men too.

Menopause can also further exacerbate symptoms by reducing pelvic floor elasticity with the reduction in estrogen.

In men, incontinence is more common later in life, with around one in ten over 65 affected, typically due to an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer treatment. Obesity and aging are additional risk factors, with incontinence being a leading cause for admission into care homes.

NHS Spending and Guidelines on Incontinence Treatment

The NHS spends about £80 million annually on incontinence products (or 'containment products', as it calls them), emphasizing that treatment should be prioritized over containment.

Guidelines recommend that individuals with incontinence be assessed by specialists and receive appropriate treatment, which can include dietary changes, pelvic floor exercises, bladder retraining, medication, or surgery. Though, surgery is usualy the last recommended line of treatment.

The Importance of Early Treatment for Incontinence

Despite this, many older patients are steered towards using adult nappies. The Royal College of Nursing advocates for broader access to pelvic floor and bladder training programs to enhance quality of life and reduce NHS spending on incontinence products.

It's crucial for individuals to seek medical advice early, as timely treatment can prevent lasting damage and improve outcomes.

Here at Secret Whispers we advocate for better education of the pelvic floor and for people to not feel shame or embarrassment. Getting help and support as early as possible will get you the best possible outcome.

Conclusion: Seeking Medical Help Over Relying on Adult Nappies

Ultimately, while 'containment products' provide comfort and help maintain daily activities, they are not a long-term solution for treatable conditions. Marketing may normalize their use, but seeking medical help remains essential for effective treatment and improved quality of life.


Join us on August 5th for our transformative 30 Day Pelvic Floor Challenge and take the first step towards better bladder and bowel control, overall pelvic health and master the proper techniques for Kegel exercises, bladder training and distraction techniques

This program aims to establish daily Kegel routines and get you into the daily habit of doing your Kegels every day with ease.

We start on Monday, August 5th, 2024. Don't miss this opportunity to prioritize your pelvic health and achieve lasting benefits.

➡️➡️➡️ Sign up now to be leak free for summer!

Starts Monday 5th August 2024


Secret Whispers Pelvic Floor Kegel Weights
Recommended by many Pelvic Floor Physios and Gynaecologists to help strengthen and tone your pelvic floor muscles. They are designed to teach you where your correct pelvic floor muscles are and how to do an effective Kegel Exercise.

Check out all the reviews here

pelvic floor weights recommended by pelvic floor physios and gynaes

Just 15 minutes a day to help you strengthen and tone your pelvic floor muscles.



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