Expert advice: how to handle urinary incontinence

Expert advice: how to handle urinary incontinence

Even though it’s a very common problem, many of us find urinary incontinence hard to talk about


Dr Sarah Jarvis has been a doctor for twenty-five years and is also a medical writer and broadcaster. She’s passionate about empowering people to make their own health decisions. Here she talks about urinary incontinence, which is something that affects up to 1 in 3 women.

Incontinence is nothing to be embarrassed about

“In an age where celebrities seem happy to bare all and share all, urinary incontinence seems to be one of the last taboos in our society”, says Dr Jarvis, “That may be why women who suffer from incontinence feel so embarrassed about it”.

“This means they often adapt their life to avoid awkward accidents. That in turn can have a huge knock-on effect on social life and on self-confidence – whether exercising or taking long car trips.

Women with urinary incontinence tend to keep the problem to themselves for years without discussing it with anyone, even their family doctor or gynaecologist. They do not realise that there are many women going through exactly the same problems they are, and help is available”.

Incontinence: Don’t suffer in silence

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If women do talk openly about difficulties they’re experiencing, they soon realise there are lots of ways to minimise the effects of a sensitive bladder on everyday life and that many women see dramatic improvements after doing exercises to strengthen their pelvic floor.

How to get help

Dr Jarvis says, “I warmly recommend to all women experiencing urinary incontinence to use the next health check to speak about their concern and allow themselves to get help”.

It’s also important to try not to worry. The new incontinence protection from Always Discreet can help you find the incontinence solution that’s right for you, so that your weak bladder doesn’t have to hold you back. Whether your bladder leaks are a result of stress incontinence, urge incontinence or both, Always Discreet’s liners, pads, and underwear, can help make living with bladder leaks feel like no big deal!

Do you talk about incontinency?

We’d love to know. Maybe you’ve got a tip that might help other women open up?

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k1lsc

k1lsc

Reported

I was advised to drink cranberry juice by the doctor, however I prefer cranberry tablets which I have taken daily for the past 2 years. This helps considerably and I haven't had a urinary infection which I used to suffer perhaps 2 or 3 times a year. Cranberry is such a great help.

  • Report it

I'm glad I read the comments after reading the article I drink cranberry juice often. I won't be drinking it just to keep healthy anymore, I had no idea it promotes the production of urine.

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tracey

Reported

After an accident 2 years ago I became wheelchair bound and almost complete loss of sensation below the waist, its been a total humiliating time, I need to use products 24/7 and also have internal botox, this helps a lot please talk to your Gp, I went through too many tears due to this, were human and that means were not all perfect whatever that is x

  • Report it

I think when we were younger we thought of old incontinent women as something to be ashamed of as we didn't really realise that this was a common problem, maybe we thought it was "not clean", hence we don't want to admit this is us. I recently found that anything acidic can irritate the bladder, orange juice, vinegar, lemonade, etc., drinking water seems to "dilute" the urine so as not to irritate down there. I find that drinking plenty of water and keeping hydrated does make a difference.

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I think because it's deemed as something we shouldn't talk about therefore we don't talk about it. Vicious circle. Although I tried to bring it up in conversation with my friend at lunch. I said 'oh I'll have a cranberry juice that's supposed to be good for downstairs and stop me running to the loo' To which she ended up giving me tips! As whilst cranberry juice would be great if I had an infection, it's not so great for sensitive bladders as it promotes the production of urine.

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