Make sure you only opt for special incontinence products
Many people who suffer from urinary incontinence try to deal with the issue by using common sanitary pads or panty liners. However:
- Pantyliners can only absorb a specific quantity of liquid, which is enough for daily discharge but not for light incontinence.
- Common sanitary pads are designed to absorb blood, which has a different density from urine. Their top sheet is completely different from that of special light incontinence pads and, in case of sudden or heavy urinary incontinence, is not able to offer immediate absorbency.
It is of crucial importance, therefore, that you choose the right product, specially designed for urine absorption, so that you always feel safe and comfortable. Remember that most brands of incontinence pads have been designed with a super-absorbing core that effectively blocks large quantities of moisture, leaving skin dry. In addition, heavy incontinence products (open diapers) are able to absorb even larger quantities that may reach 3 litres (12 glasses)!
What to avoid:
There are certain rules as to what not to do when you are experiencing urinary incontinence symptoms:
- DO NOT think you are alone. Thousands of people are facing the same situation.
- DO NOT conceal the issue from your friends and family. They are sure to suss it out. Even if you hide it, they will find it hard to explain the changes in your behaviour.
- DO NOT give up. Social isolation makes things worse.
- DO NOT hesitate to speak to your doctor. He or she is dealing with dozens of similar cases and he or she is the right person to suggest the best solution for you.
- DO NOT stop drinking as many fluids as you did before. If you significantly reduce your fluid intake, you will not manage to reduce urinary incontinence; on the contrary, you will harm your health.
- DO NOT try to hold it in.
You should not go to the toilet very often either (out of insecurity, without really feeling the urge); this will make it harder for you to go back to your normal frequency of going to the toilet.
- Avoid clothing that is very tight around the abdomen, especially if you are going to be out and about for many hours.
- Avoid very tight pantyhose or trousers.
- Don’t drink too many fluids when you are or are about to go out for a long time or if you have a busy work schedule.
- Don’t go to bed having drunk too many fluids. Reduce fluid intake after 19:00 as much as possible.
- Coffee, chamomile, green tea and beer are often diuretics and should be avoided.
- Ensure you lose any extra weight, as it exacerbates incontinence symptoms.
- For the same reason, try to regulate your bowel movements and avoid constipation.
- Urinate before going to bed.
- As elderly people often suffer falls on urgent visits to the toilet during the night, make sure that there are no rugs or obstacles in the way. It is advisable to keep a special seat with a receptacle next to the bed, to prevent visits to the toilet.
a) Urinary incontinence is common and does not just affect the elderly.
b) It has many different causes.
c) There are things you can do to improve your quality of life if you suffer from urinary incontinence; many cases can be cured completely and the rest can be treated. Don’t be embarrassed to discuss your problem with your doctor.
d) Choosing the right incontinence products helps people who experience urinary incontinence symptoms to retain their regular daily life. Sani incontinence products have been designed based on the Sensitive Concept, which combines maximum absorbency, safety and protection and is very kind to skin. Find the right product for you here.
Kindly contributed by Urologist – Andrologist Surgeon, Dr Charalambos P. Asvestis