5 Myths About Bladder Incontinence

Lynn Wilson

by Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership

In recognition of Bladder Health Week Nov. 11–15, here are some common misconceptions about bladder incontinence and solutions for managing the condition.

Bladder Health Week, created by the National Association For Continence and the American Foundation for Urologic Disease, is recognized the second full week in November every year to encourage individuals to talk to their friends, loved ones and health care professionals about bladder health.

One thing we’ve learned from years of research is what matters most to caregivers is being able to speak to someone who is knowledgeable. The women who staff our call center, who all are current or former caregivers with years of training, often hear from people who think they simply have to accept incontinence as part of getting older, which is not true.

Here are five common myths about bladder incontinence:

Myth: Loss of bladder control is a normal part of aging. It’s not true people are destined to experience urine leakage once they reach a certain age. Although pelvic floor muscles may weaken over time, they can be strengthened, just like other muscles in the body.

Myth: People with bladder incontinence just have to live with it. In many cases, urinary incontinence is temporary, such as after childbirth or prostate surgery, and treatable with Kegel exercises, bladder retraining, surgery or medications, like over-the-counter patches for overactive bladder. In all cases, bladder incontinence is manageable with the right products and lifestyle changes.

Myth: Adult diapers are the only option for managing incontinence. New products offer discreet comfortable protection that’s more like regular underwear, such as Depend Silhouette for Women and Prevail Boxers for Men. Try an Incontinence Product Finder to narrow down hundreds of choices by gender, size, absorbency, style and price.

Myth: It’s necessary to spend a lot of money trying products. According to Wilson, the first-time buyer of incontinence products spends an average of $130 in trial-and-error purchases, which is why she created the Try Before You Buy sample service. Customers can order a sample pack of more than 100 different incontinence products available from The CareGiver Partnership.

Myth: Nothing can be done to improve bladder health. Urinary incontinence is sometimes reversible and always manageable. Simple lifestyle changes that can help include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking, limiting caffeine and alcohol, treating urinary tract infections and high blood pressure, and preventing constipation. Fluid intake can be reduced after working with a health care provider to determine the proper amount.

For more information on the types of incontinence, how to change products, skin health and much more, visit our Incontinence page.

About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their
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loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wis. Visit http://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353. Help support this ad-free blog by answering several questions about caregiving here. It will take just two minutes.


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