Urinary incontinence is a medical condition characterized by a loss of bladder control, resulting in an inability to hold urine. Involuntary urination is generally associated with infants and young children, so adults with this condition often feel a loss of independence and a desire to hide their problem from others.
Although this is an understandable impulse, it is essential to remember that involuntary urination is not your fault. Instead, it is a natural part of the aging process that affects millions of Americans daily. So, don’t let it shame you into hiding at home or suffering in silence.
A smiling patient talking to a helpful and friendly medical professional. Although embarrassment might keep you from talking to your doctor about your bladder leakage, opening up about your urinary incontinence issues is the only way you’ll be able to get the help you need.
If You Have Urinary Incontinence, You Are Not Alone
Because so many people who have incontinence are embarrassed to talk about it, it's challenging to determine exactly how prevalent it is. However, the Urology Care Foundation estimates that anywhere from one quarter to one-third of Americans deal with some degree of urinary incontinence.
This statistic is significant, and it means that we all probably have several friends and acquaintances who are secretly affected by bladder control issues. Knowing that you are not alone can help you overcome the embarrassment that might otherwise hold you back from healthy life choices like:
- Joining an exercise class
- Socializing with friends
- Starting a new hobby
- Welcoming others into your home
- Talking to your doctor about your problem
Urinary Incontinence Is Not Your Fault
Although it is an automatic function that we usually don't think about, urination requires complex coordination between your nervous system and several muscle groups. Involuntary urination can occur when there is a breakdown in this coordination for one of the following reasons:
- Neurological signals which normally travel between your brain and the nerves that control your bladder and other nearby muscles are interrupted.
- The muscles and connective tissues in your pelvic floor become too thin or weak to hold back your urine.
Exercises and strategies like Kegels and bladder retraining might be able to help you regain at least some of this control in the long run. However, when an accident occurs in the meantime, there is often nothing you can do to stop it; therefore, you have no reason to be ashamed.
A Leaky Bladder Is Often a Symptom of Other Medical Conditions
Urinary incontinence is often related to other medical conditions like diabetes, kidney dysfunction, or a urinary tract infection (UTI). To determine if one of these disorders is contributing to your incontinence, your doctor may order the following tests:
- Urine culture: To look for signs of an infection
- Urinalysis: To measure your urine’s pH level and check for the presence of blood, protein, or glucose
- Blood work: To monitor for an imbalance that could point to diabetes or a problem with your kidneys.
Talk to Your Doctor for Potential Bladder Control Solutions
Other medical issues typically don't come with the same social stigma or feelings of shame as urinary incontinence. For example, you wouldn't be embarrassed to tell your friends that you’ve had an allergic reaction or high blood pressure, and the same should be true of a bladder control problem.
However, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, half of the people with a leaky bladder fail to bring up their issues with their doctor or other healthcare professionals. In most cases, individuals feel a sense of shame and an unwillingness to discuss this sensitive topic.
However, the only way to find out about potential treatment strategies is to talk openly with your doctor. Once you push past your discomfort, you'll realize that your doctor is there to help you find solutions to manage your incontinence, not to judge you.
Depending on the specifics of your situation, your doctor may suggest:
- Bladder retraining, which might extend the amount of time you can wait between bathroom visits.
- Surgical intervention, which often involves inserting strips of mesh that help to support weak tissue.
- Medications to increase your bladder volume, reduce the intensity of your urges, or help you empty your bladder entirely when you relieve yourself.
- Strengthening exercises to build up your bladder-supporting structures.
- Insertable devices that block or support your urethra, allowing it to hold in urine more effectively.
Made for Living Wants to Help You Break Free From Shame
Although urinary incontinence is a part of life for many people, no one wants to broadcast it to the world by having an accident. So, that's precisely why Made for Living produces and sells high-quality, virtually leak-proof products. We want you to keep your business, your business.
When you put on a pair of Made for Living incontinence underwear, you can rejoin life and live it worry- and shame-free.
Plus, with several sizes to choose from, we're sure you'll find the perfect product for you. Visit our product page to find out more and sign up for our discreet and convenient subscription service, today.