Common Myths of Incontinence
Common Myths of Incontinence
1. Incontinence is a normal part of aging. Aging is not the cause of incontinence. Changes to the human body like an enlarged prostate, loss of estrogen, or weakening of bladder or pelvic floor muscle can cause incontinence. Men and women can experience incontinence at many different stages of life.
2. Only women suffer from incontinence. About 15% of those with incontinence are men. Men, unfortunately, are less inclined to discuss incontinence with friends, family, or with their physician. Men typically experience urge incontinence due to an enlarged prostate but can also have stress incontinence following prostate removal surgery.
3. People can no longer have an active lifestyle. This is one of the most destructive lies that we tell ourselves when dealing with incontinence. With some advanced planning, the correct incontinence product, and understanding of incontinence you can manage your incontinence still be just as active as before.
4. Incontinence is a disease. Incontinence is a condition, not a disease. It can be either temporary or ongoing and usually is the sign of an underlying problem. To be properly diagnosed, please speak to a medical professional.
5. Kegel exercises don’t work for someone like me. Kegel exercises build strength to the pelvic floor muscles for both women and men! Doing these exercises help regain both bowel and bladder control. Following an exercise plan of long and short Kegel contractions can make a difference in your incontinence management.
6. You should avoid drinking liquids. Fluid is important in staying healthy. Drinking water throughout the day can actually helpstop leakage, improve bladder control, and reduce odor. When you’re thirsty, drink, but avoid citrus beverages and caffeine as these can be irritants to the bladder.
7. You just have to live with incontinence. Incontinence is treatable with behavioral therapies or medical attention and is manageable through the vast line of adult incontinence products that assist with protecting against leakage and odor.
8. Everyone can tell I’m wearing a diaper. There are many incontinence products that look just like regular underwear but provide you with leakage and odor protection that you require. Disposables and washables are available in many shapes, styles, and absorption levels. There are even boxers, liners, and pads! You should not allow embarrassment to be a concern with all the options available to you.
9. Incontinence is expected after childbirth. The added weight and pressure on the bladder during pregnancy can weaken the pelvic floor muscles. This usually dissipates several weeks after childbirth and with the practice of Kegels, loss of urine can be greatly minimized.
10. Treatment for Incontinence always leads to surgery. Surgery is actually the last recommended treatment for incontinence. There are many treatment options that can be considered before surgery, but it is important to be properly diagnosed.