Jane Fonda on what she never leaves the house without: ‘adult diapers’


Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin’s press tour for Grace and Frankie has been an absolute joy. They adore each other, they’re seasoned professionals and they know how to keep it entertaining, funny and candid. Jane and Lily were on Access Live, I’ve only seen the clip on YouTube and feel like I’m missing out, but the part I did see is funny and jaw-dropping. Jane and Lily are asked a series of questions starting with what they don’t leave home without and Jane deadpans “adult diapers.” Of course there’s no follow up question and they just move on to the next one after that!

You never leave the house without
Lily: A bottle
Jane: adult diapers [Lily and the hosts laugh out loud]

The beauty trick you swear by is
Lily: Lip gloss. I don’t have any answers to these things.
Jane: A good makeup artist

In high school you were the…
Jane: Baddest
Lily: Bad girl?
Jane: Yeah you know what that means? You put out?
Jane: No that would have been good girl. I could tell you a story. I had a roommate that I didn’t like very much and over the course of 40 minutes [I] convinced her that a cockroach had crawled up her leg and up her *beep*

She was squatting on the head of a toilet screaming.

Lily: You didn’t have that in any of your books did you?
Jane: There’s a lot I left out of my books.

Role that you turned down
Lily: Ask what Meryl’s done and that’s what [Jane's] turned down.

OMG Jane told the crotch cockroach story!! Lily referred to this without context on their Kimmel interview but I thought Lily was making it up.

Jane Fonda is awesome and I love that she dropped this truth bomb and then made everyone bust out laughing. It’s both reassuring and disappointing that she has this problem. She’s the grande dame of fitness with a ton of resources at her disposal. She could and probably has tried all sorts of treatments. I’m half her age (ok a little more than that), and I have to use Poise when I work out. I’ve tried a bunch of things I’m not going to get into it. So many women in my Zumba class have admitted it happens to them too. I just wish there was a solution that worked for everyone.

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Photos credit: WENN

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53 Responses to “Jane Fonda on what she never leaves the house without: ‘adult diapers’”

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  1. Sharon Clark says:

    I love her for that! My bladder control has never been the same after childbirth… walking and sneezing at the same time is a young woman’s game.

    • cannibell says:

      Do pelvic floor exercises help at all? I did them like a madwoman after babies, and so far, so good. I’d chalk that up to genetics but I had a mom and three aunts who could lose their water at the mere thought of something funny. Maybe luck? Who knows how long that will hold out, but it’s good to have the Poise & diapers on deck, as it were…..

      • WhyDidIDeleteMahCookeez? says:

        I do kegels like they are going out of style and have since before I ever got pregnant. I’ve been crossing my legs to sneeze now for 19 years.

    • Moneypenny says:

      So true! Babies do a number on bladder control. Getting back into shape after the holidays has shown me that those muscles, um, get out of shape quickly. I never knew jumping rope could be such a nightmare.

    • Jaded says:

      Kegels – believe me they work.

    • Sienna says:

      If you are suffering please ask your doctor to grade your prolapse. If it is minor, and you don’t need surgical intervention, look into the Votiva treatment. I had similar issues after having my kids and the treatment has done wonders for me.

      My doc was sceptical but I was determined not to get a pessary and my results were amazing! Truly life changing as I can attend fitness classes, sneeze and laugh without worrying any longer.

  2. Kim says:

    They’re both great women. I only wish they hadn’t fallen for the tight face trap, and were able to be great examples of how wonderful women can still look at their age.

  3. ZigZags says:

    The need for Poise pads is real. I was using them in my mid-30’s after 1 kid at the gym and at bounce houses and trampoline gyms.

  4. Doodle says:

    Poise pads exist for a reason! I was considering the surgery until a friend of mine had it done and said it just simply didn’t work and wasn’t worth the hassle. It is what it is, my kids are worth it.

    • countryrds says:

      I asked my gynecologist about the mesh sling. She said if I want to do it, she would recommend a urologist over a ob/gyn. She said that if you get a younger urologist, they are probably more familiar with the procedure and it wouldn’t be so risky. I had a little incontinence from child birth but after a complete hysterectomy, my control is shot.

  5. Frida_K says:

    Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help with this issue. Everyone’s situation is different, but the beauty of a good Chinese herbal formula is that it can be customized for each person. The same goes for acupuncture point prescriptions.

    For herbs, make sure that you are in a state that requires a board test in herbs or that your acupuncturist is board certified by the NCCAOM. You can do this by checking the NCCAOM’s web site. This way, you know that your acupuncturist has studied herbs and has sat for the board exam. Some states do not require this and, though your acupuncturist can still prescribe, they may not have the level of know-how. Not always, but your best bet is to go with board certified.

    Women’s health is very, very well-served by Chinese medicine.

    • hunter says:

      Probably because the Chinese are nowhere near as sexist as we are in the West and women have probably been allowed to do research on these areas for much longer.

      • ChillyWilly says:

        Say what? Girl, go live in China for a few years and get back to me about how great it is to be a woman in that country.

  6. Lawcatb says:

    Ever since having my second baby, if I even think about peeing I better get to the bathroom pronto, or there’s going to be some dribbling.

  7. Lala11_7 says:

    Even if you’ve NEVA had children…

    THIS can be a MAJOR issue….

    • Anners says:

      THANK YOU! I thought I was broken lol

    • Darla says:

      I know right? I have no children and find that lately I have to wear panty liners because of this.

    • Chaine says:

      Exactly. All these women that had babies thinking there’s some dream world of iron bladder control out there that they’re missing out on.

    • Dee Kay says:

      Yup yup. Yup.

    • PixiePaperdoll says:

      This and the reading glasses were the worst parts about turning 43. I thought not having kids meant I was safe.

    • Rita says:

      Yes. One hint: go to the bathroom every 2 hours. I’ve been concentrating water drinking to evenings to trade getting up at night to go rather than unexpected leaking, tho I am not sure this is best for your health.

    • Anna says:

      Omg so true. I just went out and bought pads but I hate wearing them (which is a lot nowadays). They make my crotch sweat worse than ever and then I can’t tell if I peed myself or if it’s just sweat. I feels like a wading pool down there. :(

  8. Who ARE These People? says:

    It’s so great that she continues to tell the truth about women’s lives! I haven’t gone through childbirth and it’s still a problem, especially with sneezing, coughing and jumping. Trying Kegels but don’t think they’ll take me all the way.

    They’re a wonderful pairing and a continued inspiration.

  9. Lindy says:

    I had to use Poise pads daily for about two years after my first and then things got better. Now I’m 9 months after my second baby and 42 years old and yeah…. I think I’m pretty much f”!?;$d, right? I’ve never heard of a treatment that really works. Most of my friends have this issue. I do love that Jane is keeping it real. The two of them together are so much fun!

  10. Ohio Girl says:

    Bless her for saying that. I’m just 42 with MS and having had 2 children. My bladder and bowel control not the same at times

  11. KidV says:

    A lot of times bladder control is a hormonal issue.

    But it can also be something as simple as drinking Diet Cokes. I go in fits of drinking Diet Coke, when I do, I seem to have bladder control problems, when I drink nothing but water I’m fine. Oh, and if I drink wine more than twice a week I’ll have problems. The foods you eat and drink affect hormones, so it could still be hormone related. No idea.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Things we take in, including stimulants like caffeine and depressants like alcohol, affect the nervous system and so that will affect neuromuscular processes. Like bladder control. Caffeine is a known diuretic. It will totally make us pee more.

      • KidV says:

        It’s not peeing more, it’s lack of control when the urge hits. I have total control when I don’t drink Diet Cokes (I drink coffee so it’s not a caffeine/stimulant issue). And no amounts of Kegel exercises can control the urethra when it doesn’t want to work properly. Aging is hell, although it’s better than the alternative. Usually.

      • jan90067 says:

        Caffeine stimulates the bladder, as do fizzy/carbonated drinks.

        However, age aces everything, kids or no kids. I use Always Overnights With Wings as my everyday panty liner. Makes a HUGE difference, and I don’t feel like I’m walking around with a 2×4 between my legs!

    • Anna says:

      I definitely notice that I have issues when I drink too much caffeinated tea. Any more than one cup (and sometimes even that’s too much) and it affects me all day.

  12. Save Mueller says:

    I had mild stress incontinence issues and pelvic floor pain, and following a plan from Our Fit Family Life (she has some free content on Instagram too) helped me so much. I can jump on a trampoline! You don’t have to be stuck with this but it does take some work and time!

  13. Christina says:

    I can’t jump on a trampoline anymore without peeing on myself.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      I was jumping to stress my bones (don’t do this if you already have osteoporosis, you run the risk of stress fractures) and ran into this … thanks for the idea of pads. Do they fit in gym pants?

  14. Dee Kay says:

    Can someone please tell me what is the difference between Poise pads and menstrual pads, like Always (my preferred brand)? Can I just use Always pads, or is there some legit advantage of Poise pads for incontinence that I’m not aware of?

    • memmalyne says:

      I honestly haven’t tried Poise yet but my mom’s group on FB was just talking this weekend about how much better for leaking they are versus pads meant for menstruation. They were all baffled as to why that would be but it was unanimous.

    • hunter says:

      I believe Poise pads have an elastic edging which keeps it cupped to prevent leakage, unlike menstrual pads which have wings to wrap around your underwear.

      Poise pads also tend to be a bit thicker but there may be various absorbencies.

      As for the absorbent materials themselves, no these are made of the same components. The biggest difference I noticed is the elastic cupping created along the edges of Poise products.

      Source: have been studying absorbent hygiene for Swoobie (dot com) for sweaty boobies.

    • Dee Kay says:

      Thanks @memmalyne and @hunter, that’s very helpful!! If my leakage gets worse (which I assume it will do with age), then I’ll have to start buying and wearing these, I guess.

  15. Karen2 says:

    She looked so happy to be presented with that lifetime achievement award. But theres Still plenty of ppl with long memories.

    • Anastasia says:

      What does that mean?

    • Anna says:

      Oh come on! Jeez. I wish white folks cared as much about the Black and Brown and Indigenous soldiers who fought for this country and were experimented upon, many hooked by the govt on drugs, and came back to U.S. only to find that they (STILL) are not afforded basic respect, dignity and rights. (Case in point the Native American soldier Nathan Phillips who was mobbed by white “Christian” boys on a MAGA field trip for the first ever Indigenous Peoples March on MLK Day.) Stop with this Jane Fonda bashing. Seriously. I just can’t with people who want to keep bring this up.

    • hunter says:

      I hope in 80+ years you never make any mistake that you regret or wish others didn’t remember.

      I hope you never experience a youthful lapse in judgement that people lord over you for 50 years.

      Holy moly.

  16. Anastasia says:

    God bless her for telling the truth! And if anyone here has watched Grace and Frankie, that show is fantastic about the reality of being an older woman. I LOVED the story arc about vibrators!!!

  17. Sparkly says:

    I’m grateful to everyone here for sharing their experiences. Now I don’t feel so alone. I have trouble with coughing or sneezing hard, and no amount of kegels have helped.

    I think I learned quite a bit about menopause in the comments of one of you guys’ posts before. I appreciate all the real talk, because my mom died before we ever talked about women’s aging and the stuff that comes with it.

    • Giddy says:

      My mother always said that it took courage to grow old, and now I understand. From a minor thing like needing to change her makeup because her skin was changing, to having incontinence issues, to being given heartbreaking diagnoses, growing older is not for sissies. Thanks to everyone for being so open, my Poise pads and I salute you! (-;

  18. Anna says:

    I love Grace and Frankie! It’s such an awesome show!!! I’m 46 and it’s wonderful to have a smart, funny, sexy show about two besties navigating real world stuff (and launching a vibrator company for the mature woman, which I have heard they are going to actually produce, fingers crossed). Every episode (other than some of their kids’ stuff) is great, and I binged the most recent season in a day. Love love love them! #sheroes

  19. Dako says:

    Is it just me, or is Jane Fonda starting to resemble Madonna? That said she does look a lot better than Madonna.

  20. countryrds says:

    Coming out of lurkdom. Thank you Jane. I never realized having a full hysterectomy would cause me to have problems when just walking out of the bathroom after I’ve already pee’d. My gyno asked what caused my problem…I told her just talking about it can trigger my problem.

  21. fabulousfunsteru says:

    Was at a menopause info evening and they had a talk by physiotherapist who said that 1 in 3 women will experience a prolapse (and anything can prolapse- bowel, womb, bladder). It can be caused by childbirth and/or gravity and stress incontinence (sneezing, jumping, laughing etc) effects many more. The only way around it is pelvic floor exercises – you have to do them three times a day for three months to get them in shape and once a day forever more after that…get squeezing girls x

  22. Nibbi says:

    Whoa y’all are freaking me out. This is a thing?? I thought it was only post-baby and then only for a few months. Is it really so common, and we just never talk about it? I’m over here kegeling like crazy now, cuz this just doesn’t sound like fun & the idea of having to be careful about sneezing or laughing kinda freaks me out.