It’s the 3rd week of Bladder Health Awareness Month and this week is all about when and how to seek help. Talking to someone about incontinence can be hard, (most people wait 6.5 years before seeing a doctor!) but it is often a necessary step in order to get the treatment you need. And remember that what you share with your doctor is likely something he or she has heard many times before. Incontinence is a very common (but not normal!) condition, and once you take the first step in opening up about it, it won’t seem as big of a deal as it may now.
So, how do you know it’s time to talk to someone? Hopefully, you’ve tried some of the tips we’ve discussed in the past (see our post last week for a Step By Step Guide on things you can try). Often, making small changes can make a big difference and can reduce or even eliminate symptoms of incontinence. If, after taking these steps you’re still having problems, it’s probably time to seek professional help. This is nothing to be ashamed of – different treatments work for different people. And the steps you’ve taken so far will help your doctor in determining a solution that might work better for you. So take notes during your self-treatment process and note what does and doesn’t make a difference. Then take them to your doctor and start the discussion.
Opening up about incontinence may not be limited just to your doctor – your significant other, close friend or family may also be someone you’d like to share with. Don’t live with this condition in silence – many people who open up to loved ones learn that they are not alone – many people have this problem and it helps to be able to talk about it with others who understand. Not only that, having someone in your corner as you make the changes needed overcome and treat the condition can be invaluable. And, if you’re too nervous to talk to someone you know, there is always the NAFC Message Boards, which provide a safe place for you to share your concerns and thoughts with others like you.
So make that appointment, and follow along with us this week as we talk about how to talk with your doctor, and others, about incontinence!
Need an extra push to make a doctor's appointment? Sign up for our 8-Week Challenge!
Have you missed the past couple of weeks? Here are some of the things we’ve been covering this month to help you live a #LifeWithoutLeaks!
Week 1: Accepting That You Have Incontinence
Week 2: What You Can Do To Manage Bladder Leaks Before You See Your Doctor