Accepting Incontinence: Coping With Your Diagnosis
From aging seniors to new mothers, realizing you have incontinence and coming to terms with the way it changes your lifestyle can be a very difficult time. In fact, “depression is found in a significant percentage of patients with urinary incontinence,” according to a review originally published in the National Library of Medicine.
It’s not often discussed, but approximately 13 million Americans experience urinary incontinence. If you or a loved one are struggling with an incontinence diagnosis, join us as we dive into the importance of accepting incontinence as part of your new normal and offer effective coping strategies for easing your stress and anxiety.
Learning to Accept an Incontinence Diagnosis
One of the most important steps is to face the issue head-on. Unfortunately, it’s also the most difficult step. However, acknowledging and addressing your incontinence is crucial to helping you maintain control of your mental well-being.
If you haven’t spoken to a medical professional, making an appointment to discuss your concerns is essential. While incontinence is often self-diagnosed, consulting with a medical doctor who can identify your specific bladder control problem will help narrow down your treatment and management options. The better able you are to manage your incontinence episodes, the less anxious and self-conscious you will feel.
As you or your loved ones learn to accept the new reality of incontinence, there are several coping strategies that can play a major role. The following strategies can provide a higher level of confidence and peace of mind, helping to ease the stress and anxiety that comes with a lack of bladder control.
Understanding the Ins and Outs of Incontinence
Dealing with issues of leakage or lack of bladder control in a vacuum can leave you feeling alone, embarrassed, and wanting to retreat from society. Educating yourself about the causes, treatments, and personal hygiene related to incontinence is empowering. When you better understand incontinence, you can learn how to manage it and regain a sense of control over your life.
To help you get a better understanding of incontinence, we gathered some information for you:
- Incontinence Information
- Determining the Causes of Urinary Incontinence
- Everyday Actions to Ease Incontinence
- Directory of Incontinence Resources
- OAB: The Alphabet Soup of Incontinence
Managing Emotions and Mental Health
While you may feel like burying your head in the sand when faced with the challenges of incontinence, recognizing the importance of proactive medical support is a crucial step toward improving your mental and physical health. Depression and isolation caused by the challenges of managing incontinence can create a cycle that actually worsens your symptoms.
To avoid conjuring up worst-case scenarios in your mind, talk to your primary care physician or a gynecologist or urologist. They can likely offer peace of mind and an effective treatment plan.
Setting Up a Support System
Discussing your condition with close friends, family, or a healthcare professional not only fosters understanding and support but also helps break down the stigma often associated with incontinence. You may be surprised to find others in your close support circle can offer suggestions for managing your incontinence symptoms and social anxiety.
Your doctor may also suggest a nearby support group of others dealing with the same type of incontinence. The more support you gain, the faster your fear and anxiety around incontinence will diminish.
Using the Right Incontinence Products
Understanding the array of available incontinence products allows you to select the right product for your specific needs to live comfortably and confidently. Wearable products are available in a range of absorbency and styles.
Here are six of the most popular types of incontinence products:
- Adult diapers (pull-up and tabbed briefs)
- Incontinence pads for women
- Incontinence guards for men
- Booster pads
- Underpads, chux pads, and bed pads
When purchasing incontinence products, it’s important to prioritize quality over price. While you may be able to find cheap options at your local big-box retailer, those retailers often only sell generic brands that offer lower quality materials. With Parentgiving, you get access to affordable, premium products that will keep you dry and comfortable all day long. Once you find the right products, all you have to do is find the right fit for your body.
Understanding Your Treatment & Management Options
While some forms of urinary incontinence are actually reversible with treatment, others must simply be managed. Management and treatment options for urinary incontinence include behavioral therapies, lifestyle changes, medications, and other medical interventions.
- Bladder training
- Toileting routines and scheduled bathroom trips
- Reducing stress through activities like yoga, deep breathing, and meditation
- Eliminating bladder irritants, like diuretics, caffeine, alcohol, and citrus
- Maintaining a balanced fluid intake
- Strengthening pelvic floor muscles by performing Kegel exercises
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Prescription medications to relax bladder muscles or revitalize tissue in the urethra and vaginal areas
- Electrical stimulation of the pelvic floor
- Botox injections
- Urethral bulking
Ultimately, your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment plan based on your age, weight, medical history, health conditions, type of incontinence, and your wishes.
How Parentgiving Can Help
Parentgiving is here to help you maintain your dignity. We know living with incontinence can be difficult. That’s why we provide a wide range of premium incontinence products.
Browse our selection of incontinence products today to find the perfect solution.