Do you sometimes pee your pants when you laugh or sneeze? Or maybe you go to the bathroom way too often to avoid accidentally wetting yourself. Guess what? Like 3.3 million other Canadians of all ages, you might be experiencing urinary incontinence.

It’s often thought of as a condition that mainly affects older adults. In fact, for some women, urinary leakage can become an issue even in their 30s and 40s if they experience certain medical conditions or simply as a result of how their bodies evolve after pregnancy and childbirth. There are many potential causes for female bladder weakness, and different types of incontinence can impact our confidence and day-to-day routines—if we don’t do something about it.

Of course, even in a time of confessional TikToks and unfiltered BeReal posts, it can still feel uncomfortable or taboo to bring up a common condition like incontinence. One survey found that one in three women over the age of 40 have symptoms of urinary incontinence, but only 26 percent have talked to their doctor about it.

It can feel scary to broach the conversation, but sharing your experience with close friends and family members is one way to help build your confidence as well as valuable support networks. It can feel empowering to talk openly about something you’ve been going through, and odds are some of them are in the same situation or have experienced incontinence before and can offer a supportive ear or useful tips.

It doesn’t have to be a one-way conversation, either—you might inspire others to let go of some fears or stigmas and take steps to manage their own bladder weakness. For example, there are many simple pelvic-floor exercises that can help and practical ways to lessen the impact of unexpected leaks.

Almost 10 percent of Canadians experience some form of incontinence, so it’s time that we open up the conversation around the subject and find support in our communities and networks.