Deciding whether to tell your friends about your bowel or bladder problem can be scary, but it can be helpful to talk to someone you trust and it can make you feel less alone. If you're not ready to tell them or you prefer they didn't know, that's fine too.

Here are some stories from other teenagers who have wetting or soiling issues. Some decided not to tell their friends and others had a positive experience when they told them.

How do other teenagers feel about telling their friends their secret?

I’m worried they won’t understand...
I don’t think they would understand how much it really affects me and the full extent of the problem. They might just make fun of me. I would be fine with that, but I just don’t think it’s worth telling them, really, because I don’t think they would understand. (Sophie, age 18)

I’m worried they would treat me differently...
I just don’t know if I could tell them because I feel like even if I explained completely and said how it’s not my fault and how I have no control over it, they'd still look at me differently. I’m not sure. (Holly, age 17)

I hoped it would get better so I wouldn’t have to tell anyone...
I guess I’ve just always had the hope that it would get better and that this is the worst it will be, so I’ve thought that it wouldn’t be necessary to tell anyone. I’m worried that if I did tell my teachers, then they might consequently treat me a bit differently, like allowing me to go to the toilet but not other people. If one of my friends found out, then I feel like I'd be able to explain to them and it would be OK. I get on well with most people, but there are people I wouldn’t want to know that I’ve got this problem. (Julia, age 18)

What was it like to tell their friends?

It was a big relief...
I was really relieved. It was a massive weight off my shoulders, because I’d been wanting to tell them for a while. And it was like ‘How do I tell them? What do I say? What if they don’t like me anymore? Oh my God!’ And then I told them and they were like, ‘All right then’. And I was like, ‘Thank God for that’, you know, they weren’t weirded out that much. (Daisy, age 16)

It got easier to tell other people...
I think at first, it was quite scary, and it probably was a bit embarrassing. But I think it was never something that I was ashamed of, as such. It got easier, once I confided in one friend, to tell other people. (Theo, age 17)

He stood by my side...
I felt good about getting it off my chest. I did speak about it with my family a lot, but this was the first person that I’d ever told at school. So I thought, ‘Why not?’, because then he will take me as the person that I am, not who he wants me to be. Then he really understood me and stood by my side when I needed him. (Zach, age 14)

I was afraid but it was a bit of a non-event...
I was always afraid at school that people would make fun of you or they would just not want to be friends with you any more. But I told this friend of mine at college and it was like a complete non-event, because he had no reaction at all, he was just like, ‘Yes, that’s fine’. I think it’s more the fears inside my head, you know, and people’s reactions. If I told lots of other people it would probably be exactly the same. (Ollie, age 19)

Read our tips on how to tell your friends
Read our tips on how to tell your teacher