FYI Daily

Stress Incontinence Happens...Even to Stars

Last updated: Mar 22, 2012

Operation Desert Storm

You know the old expression, "I laughed so hard that I...?" Except as a joke, nobody talks much about urinary stress incontinence in polite society, although if you've got it (or are caring for someone who does), you probably can't help thinking about it -- and can't help hoping it doesn't strike at an inopportune moment. It doesn't get more inopportune than while you're performing onstage before an audience of hundreds -- as recently happened to singer Marie Osmond.

"The 52-year-old let out a noticeable puddle during the farewell night of the Donny & Marie Cruise, which transports fans from Fort Lauderdale in Florida to the Bahamas," reports the U.K. Daily Mail.

Osmond was, as usual, performing with her brother, former pop star Donny Osmond of the Osmond Brothers. (Remember Donny & Marie, the 1976 TV variety show? Or the 1998 TV talk show of the same name? He's still a household name, thanks to his 2009 Dancing With the Stars win.)

He says the pair were laughing about a video during a performance on the cruise ship. Leaking when you laugh or sneeze isn't normal, of course. But it's common -- laughter is one of the top 10 bladder triggers. Among the causes for bladder incontinence in older women is a history of childbirth. (Osmond's a mom of eight, although five, including her late son, Michael, were adopted.) Menopause is another risk factor.

How did the singer react to her mortifying "oops" moment? She went on with the show! At least at first, she tried to "slyly" mop the accident with her top, but as it became obvious what had happened, someone brought out a towel -- and her brother doubled over with laughter before consoling her.

Although embarrassed, Marie reportedly laughed, too: "She 'embraced it," said Donny in the Daily News report. "It's so important to be yourself."

Image by Flickr user lietmotiv, used under a Creative Commons license.