Talking to someone about incontinence can be hard, (most people wait 7 years before seeing a doctor!) but it is often a necessary step in order to get the treatment you need. And while you may feel uncomfortable telling your doctor about your bladder leaks, 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 Step By Step Guide on things you can try). Often, making small changes to your behavior can make a big difference and can reduce or even eliminate symptoms of incontinence (aka - those pesky leaks or the constant visits to the bathroom).
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 doesn’t have to 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 other people experience urinary incontinence and it helps to be able to talk about it with those who understand.
Not only that, having someone in your corner as you make the changes needed to overcome and treat the bladder leaks 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!
Here are some other great posts to help you manage your incontinence and live a #LifeWithoutLeaks!
Accepting That You Have Incontinence
What You Can Do To Manage Bladder Leaks Before You See Your Doctor