Having incontinence can put a damper on a lot of activities for many. Some people are so scared that they will have an accident they won’t leave their home, let alone go out with friends or on dates. If this sounds like you, you should know that there are things you can do to treat your incontinence, and tricks you can use to survive the dating world. See below for our top four tips on dating when you have incontinence.
1. Know Your Options. Being educated about what treatment options are available to you is half the battle. Make an appointment with a doctor to talk about your symptoms and find a solution that’s right for you. Don’t be scared of this step – your doctor can educate you on many types of treatments, ranging from very conservative, non-invasive approaches to more advanced options such as surgery. Once you start treating your incontinence, you’ll gain more confidence in your ability to go out without having to worry about leaks.
2. Change up your habits. Avoid indulging in bladder irritating foods when out and about to lessen the risk it will cause an accident. Things like alcohol and caffeinated items are high on this list. Keeping a bladder diary for a couple of weeks can help you identify your triggers so that you know what you need to avoid in social situations.
3. Plan ahead. Know where the closest restrooms are so that if you need to head there in a hurry you won’t lose time searching around. It can also be helpful to have an extra change of clothes on hand just in case an accident does happen. Keep a spare in your bag or car for emergencies.
4. Be open with those you love. Thinking about being intimate when you have incontinence can be nerve-wracking, but opening up to your partner can help ease the tension and take a weight off your shoulders. Talk to them before you’re in a situation to have sex so they know what to expect. If they get hung up on it, chances are they aren’t worth your time anyway. However, you’ll likely find that being open and honest with them will help you both relax a bit and will create an even more trusting and caring relationship.
Don’t let incontinence limit your social life. Learning how to treat and manage it, and knowing your personal triggers, will give you the confidence to get out there and start living a more connected – and full – life.