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Overcoming Incontinence Taboos

Anoush Gomes
Overcoming Incontinence Taboos

Incontinence can be embarrassing to discuss

Many individuals who experience incontinence may feel embarrassed or ashamed to discuss it with others, even their healthcare providers. However, it's important to remember that incontinence is a common condition that affects people of all ages and can be caused by a variety of factors, including pregnancy, childbirth, ageing, neurological conditions, and medication side effects.

I can attest that discussing incontinence with others can be a helpful step in overcoming the fear or shame surrounding the condition. I believe that this can be an empowering step toward seeking help and finding solutions.

For example, a person who talks with their doctor about their incontinence symptoms may be able to receive a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan that can improve their quality of life. They may also find reassurance that their symptoms are not uncommon and that there are many effective treatment options available.

Similarly, talking with friends or family members about incontinence can help individuals find support and reduce their feelings of isolation or embarrassment. By sharing their experiences with others, they may also be able to learn about new coping strategies or treatment options that they hadn't considered before.

In summary, I encourage individuals who are experiencing incontinence to talk about their condition with others. Whether it's with doctors, therapists, or supportive loved one, discussing incontinence can help to reduce stigma, find support, and identify potential solutions that can improve the overall quality of life.

How do you talk about incontinence to a doctor or a family member?

If you are experiencing bladder leaks but are too afraid to say something, I understand that this can be a difficult and uncomfortable situation. However, it's important to remember that incontinence is a common condition that affects many people, and there is no shame in seeking help or support for it. Some things you can do to make talking to your doctor or family easier include preparing ahead of time. Write down your symptoms and the questions you have before the conversation. Choose a comfortable setting or a private space where you feel safe. Use clear, specific and direct language such as “bladder leaks” when discussing symptoms to help your doctor or family understand better. Most importantly, be honest and open about your symptoms and how they are affecting your life. This can help your doctor or family member provide the best possible care and support. You can also consider seeking support from a friend or loved one when conveying details about the condition to feel more at ease if it helps.

Here are some additional tips for overcoming the stigma of incontinence:

● Learn as much as you can about incontinence and its causes. This can help you better understand your own symptoms and reduce any shame or embarrassment you may be feeling.

● Connect with others who are experiencing similar symptoms. This can help you feel less alone.

● Take care of your physical and emotional health by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and practising stress-reducing techniques such as yoga or meditation. This can help you feel more confident and empowered in managing your symptoms.

● Consider using incontinence products such as pads or protective underwear. These products can help you feel more confident and secure when going about your day-to-day activities.

● Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and treatment options. There are many effective treatments available for incontinence, including medication, physical therapy, and behavioral strategies.

● Practising certain exercises like kegel exercises, hip-mobility exercises and cycling have been known to prevent and help with controlling bladder incontinence.

Remember, you are not alone in experiencing bladder leaks, and there are many resources and strategies available to help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. By taking a proactive approach to your health and seeking the support and guidance you need, you can overcome the stigma of incontinence and live your life with confidence and dignity.

Anoush Gomes
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