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Celeb News

"If it's not you, it's your mum, sister or aunty": Michelle Bridges was in her fitness hey-day when she discovered an invisible issue affecting thousands of women

The mum-of-one wants more women to know about it.

By Jess Pullar
When Michelle Bridges was in her 20s, fitness and exercise was her life.
Her career was only just getting started, with the personal trainer taking on hundreds of clients and building a profile for herself that would eventually become renowned across Australia, most notably via The Biggest Loser.
But there was one thing that truly stuck with Michelle back in those early days - an issue she had no idea about until it was put right in front of her: Bladder leakage.
Michelle Bridges was faced with what might seem like an uncomfortable issue to some, but to many others, a common part of their lives.
"I was in my 20s when I first realised that this was a common issue in women," Michelle tells The Weekly.
"I wondered, is this is something that will happen to all of us? I have worked with countless women in the personal training world who have suffered from it - I would visit them in their homes instead of training with them in gyms.
"Sometimes, in the gym there would be problems and they would have to discreetly go to the bathroom."
It was the spark that led to Michelle's new big move: Being the official ambassador for a collaborative drive between Always Discreet and Share the Dignity. A collaborative effort to provide women in poverty with the basic hygienic products many of us take for granted.
Michelle with her son, Axel. (Instagram)
Per the statistics compiled by Always Discreet, one in three women are affected by bladder leaks.
"If its not you, it's your mum, your sister or your aunty," Michelle says.
"We're all connected, and might happen when you're seven or eight months pregnant, or it might happen when you're in your 50s or 60s.
"It's so important to talk about this."
"We are all connected," Michelle urges. (Instagram)
According to a survey by Always Discreet, more than a quarter of women over 50 struggle to afford the basic hygienic products needed to manage the issue.
To add to this, women over 50 are the fastest growing group of people entering homelessness in Australia.
"Those statistics have me shocked," Michelle says.
"As a mum it breaks my heart - and these women could be homeless due to violence or domestic violence, but then they have other issues on top of that - from worrying about their safety to buying basic hygiene products."

And Michelle herself doesn't just speak for women around her, but also for herself when it comes to experiencing the problem.
"I've had a child, and I can relate to certain situations that they encounter - when I was eight and a half months pregnant I experienced it too."
She continued: "Many women are open and free and chat about all sorts of issues, but others are a bit closed and may not want to discuss things that are quite personal.
"But we can break down those barriers and have a laugh and lighten the situation – I've been with many women where we have done that. Some of the stories the ladies have shared are hilarious. It just breaks down those barriers a bit more and shows us all that it's not such a shameful thing."
WATCH: Michelle Bridges shares her birthday celebrations with her Celebrity Apprentice co-stars:

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