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Accepting Your Condition: Living with Incontinence

Accepting Your Condition: Living with Incontinence

Accepting that you have incontinence can be tough. When you first experience leaks, your mind will be full of with questions. What should you do next? Who should you speak to for advice?

The first and most important thing to understand is that you’re not alone – the condition is far from uncommon.

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How to come to terms with incontinence

The more you understand about incontinence, the easier it’ll be to accept. Reading up on the condition and talking to others, whether that’s your GP or close friends or family, can help.

Learn about the condition

To determine the best way to manage your incontinence, you first need to understand it.

Incontinence impacts millions of women and men of all ages, and begins for various reasons. There are different types of incontinence and, to fully comprehend the condition, you should determine which type you have. This will help you determine what triggers your incontinence, and how to manage the condition.

From pregnancy to prostate surgery, there are also multiple causes of incontinence. Everyone’s symptoms will vary – from occasional, minor leaks to more frequent, major incidents. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There is always a way to manage incontinence and live your life in confidence.

Track your symptoms

Keep a bladder diary so you can identify potential triggers. It’s useful to make a note of frequency and urgency, as well as the level of leakage.

Track this alongside food and drink you consume, as well as any activities you take part in, to see if there is any link.

This will also be useful when speaking to your GP about the condition.

Speak to your doctor

Even if you’re only experiencing small leaks, it’s best to speak to your doctor to find out more and determine the best method of treatment and management for you.

From an overactive bladder to weakened Kegel muscles, each cause of incontinence can present unique treatment options. Your doctor will determine which type of incontinence you have and provide advice on treating or living with the condition.

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Talk to friends or family

Talking about incontinence can be challenging, but the feeling of support you’ll gain once you confide in a loved one will be significant.

Understand that incontinence is common and nothing to be ashamed of. The sooner you can come to terms with the condition, they easier it’ll be to talk about it with those close to you.

Living with incontinence

Incontinence is not an inevitable sign of aging, or something you should just ignore. In many instances, it can be treated. In all instances, you can manage it.

Experiment with protection

Don’t be afraid to trial different products to see which works for you. Some women wrongly begin with sanitary products, but these are not designed to help with incontinence.

For women, pads or briefs are available, with varying absorbency levels; for men, options include underwear, guards and shields. You can try Depend® products for free by ordering a sample pack.

Don’t assume everyone knows

Your protection may feel a little strange at first, but it is far more discreet than you might think.

Have you ever noticed anyone else wearing incontinence protection? No? Then you know you have nothing to worry about.

Carry protection with you

Accidents can happen, but they needn’t be a cause for panic or embarrassment. Whether you’d prefer to keep spare clothing and protection in a bag, in your car or at work, it’s good to be prepared. Cleansing wipes, plastic bags and rash cream are all useful items to carry with you too.

Make lifestyle changes

Diuretics, such as caffeine and alcohol, encourage the production of urine and so can worsen symptoms. Cutting down your intake of these diuretics, or removing them from your diet altogether, can make a big difference to your condition.

Doing regular Kegel exercises can help to strengthen your pelvic floor and reduce the symptoms of incontinence.

Maintaining a healthy weight, to avoid putting pressure on your bladder, is also a good way to manage the condition.

Regain your confidence

Living with incontinence gets a lot easier with time. As you begin to understand the condition and how it impacts you, it’ll be easier to find new ways to manage it, allowing you to continue doing the things you love.

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