Incontinence is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, and it can be a significant challenge to manage. It involves the involuntary loss of bladder or bowel control, leading to the unintentional release of urine or stool. Incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors, and it’s essential to understand the tips and strategies to manage the condition effectively.
Tip #1: Keep a Bladder/Bowel Diary
Keeping a bladder or bowel diary can help you understand your incontinence better. Record the frequency of your urination or bowel movements, the amount of urine or stool you release, and the times of day when you experience incontinence. This information can help you identify patterns and triggers, making it easier to manage your symptoms.
Tip #2: Practice Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegels, can help strengthen the muscles that control urination and bowel movements. These exercises involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, which can improve your bladder or bowel control. Talk to your doctor or a physical therapist to learn how to do pelvic floor exercises correctly.
Tip #3: Use Absorbent Products
Absorbent products such as pads, briefs, and protective underwear can help manage incontinence and give you peace of mind. These products come in different sizes and absorbencies, so it’s essential to choose the right product that meets your needs. Make sure to change your absorbent products regularly to prevent skin irritation or infections.
Tip #4: Practice Good Toilet Habits
Practising good toilet habits can help prevent accidents and manage incontinence. Try to empty your bladder or bowels regularly, and don’t wait until you feel an urgent need to go. When using the toilet, take your time and make sure to empty your bladder or bowels completely.
Tip #5: Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water is essential for maintaining good bladder and bowel health. Avoiding fluids can lead to constipation, which can worsen incontinence. However, make sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can irritate the bladder and worsen incontinence.
Tip #6: Seek Professional Help
If you’re struggling to manage your incontinence, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Your doctor or a specialist such as a urologist or a gastroenterologist can help identify the underlying cause of your incontinence and develop a personalized treatment plan. There are several treatment options available, including medications, surgery, and behavioural therapies.
Incontinence can be a challenging condition to manage, but with the right tips and strategies, you can improve your quality of life. Keep a bladder or bowel diary, practice pelvic floor exercises, use absorbent products, practice good toilet habits, stay hydrated, and seek professional help when needed. With these tips, you can manage your incontinence and live life on your own terms.