Break the Taboo | Incontinence
Let’s Start a Conversation About Bladder and Bowel Weakness
Confidentiality is hugely important in healthcare, often due to situations or conditions that can feel uncomfortable for some patients, but why should you have to suffer any further stress. Break the Taboo is a series of blog posts designed to start the conversation around conditions that can lead to feelings of embarrassment for some patients.
Bladder or bowel weakness can often lead to uncontrollable leaks happening when you least expect. Many suffering from the condition can be self-conscious even choosing to avoid social events in case of an accident. It can also feel like an awkward subject to talk about, but when it comes to incontinence, nothing should be off limits.
Is it contagious?
There are many different reasons for bowel or bladder weakness resulting in incontinence. Weak pelvic floor muscles, nerve changes, overactive bladder or diarrhoea can all impact daily life and result in leaks but none of the causes can be caught.
Can you have sex?
Sex doesn’t need to be affected by bladder or bowel leaks, which can happen to anyone at any age. In order to make you feel more confident and comfortable it can be helpful to discuss any concerns you have with your partner, which can also improve the intimacy between you. Reducing your fluid intake in the hours before or emptying your bladder can help reduce the chances of leaks.
How do I avoid any odours?
Using good quality products that fit perfectly, meaning it is snug and not shifting, will disguise or prevent any unwanted odours from escaping. These pads are designed to lock in moisture and smells but ensuring the correct fit is vital. Changing wet clothes as soon as possible and putting them in an airtight container or sealed bag will also help.
Will not drinking help me?
Aiming to drink 6 to 8 cups of liquid daily and avoiding fizzy, caffeinated or alcoholic drinks can help to keep your urine clear, reduce smells and avoid irritation on the bladder. Therefore, you should be aiming to drink normally, even if this seems counter-intuitive, it will help improve symptoms long-term.