Are you a woman living with urinary incontinence?
Maybe you provide care to a loved one or patient struggling with urine leakage? Do they say that it is very embarrassing, distressing, or uncontrollable? These are very commonly used adjectives when patients discuss their urinary incontinence.
Unfortunately, many will not even speak about it because of some false thinking about it. For example, many women don’t mention it to their doctors during annual exams because they:
- Are embarrassed to say they are wetting themselves
- Believe that it is inevitable due to childbirth or pregnancy, menopause, hysterectomy or aging
- Believe that it is a natural part of aging
- Think there are no remedies once it begins
- That it is a condition rather than a symptom of something else
All of these thoughts and feelings are unfortunate because more than 500 million people on the planet live with urinary incontinence, with 25 million in the U.S. alone (and an estimated 70% of them are women). So, there is nothing embarrassing about it.
It is also not inevitable, part of aging or untreatable. It may even be something that can be remedied or treated through an array of different options. Lastly, it is far less a standalone condition than it is a symptom of something else.
Consider that it is often something that women live with because of such issues as:
- Nerve damage from childbirth and other health issues
- Diseases like MS, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, Parkinson’s and even stroke that damage nerves
- Surgery, including bowel surgery, hysterectomy or lower back surgery
- Lack of exercise
- Chronic cough
- Lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking a lot of caffeine or alcohol, using certain drugs
In addition to the many causes behind female urinary incontinence, there are also ways that it actually occurs. These are known as the “types of incontinence,” and they include:
- Stress incontinence
- Urge incontinence
- Mixed incontinence
- Overflow incontinence
- Functional incontinence
So, it comes as no surprise that treating any instance of female urinary incontinence starts with recognizing the type of incontinence and then working to find out what is causing it. If the condition that has female urinary incontinence as a symptom can be treated, it may mean the urinary leaking is eradicated, too. If the condition cannot be treated, there are non-surgical and surgical remedies for incontinence.
Female Urinary Incontinence Products as a First-Line Defense
Among the most commonly used non-surgical options are female incontinence products. Unlike men, women are often used to reliance on similar products like panty shields and liners, menstrual pads, and deodorants.
In fact, women are at a bit of an advantage over men because of a life-long reliance on products similar in design to many of the female incontinence products. They already know that using them will allow them to become more active, more social and improve their overall quality of life.
It is important to note this because of those terms so commonly used by those living with any sort of incontinence, like embarrassing or uncontrollable. The use of the right female urinary incontinence products make it possible to avoid the leaks, odors and unpleasant moments that urinary incontinence can create. They can become a trusted resource at all times and a first line of defense against this issue; preventing it from interfering with quality of life.
What female urinary incontinence products are recommended?
The most useful include:
- Pads – Think of them as similar to sanitary napkins with a similar design, but with an emphasis on wicking away and absorbing far more moisture than the average sanitary pad. They can be quickly changed, block odor and will effectively trap urinary leaks.
- Panties or briefs – You will find them as disposable or reusable options. The reusable styles wear similarly to traditional panties but have two layers. The outer layer is soft and comfortable while the inner layers often trap up to ten ounces of fluid. They are impregnated with odor-controlling compounds and will keep skin comfortable and dry. The disposable types may be styled as pull-on pants or as adult diapers that are quickly adjustable. These are even more moisture-trapping and can be found in “underwear” styles that can be worn beneath everyday garments without being easily detected.
- Underpads – Place them on your furniture, car seat, and bed to protect from any leaks.
- Pessaries – These are devices that slip into the vagina and compress the urethra. They are meant to be worn almost constantly, with cleaning done at least once a week. There are medically inserted models, but also over the counter designs. They take a bit of practice but can offer a great deal of control over urinary leakage.
- Electronic kegel trainers – Devices that are inserted into the vagina and which issue electronic impulses that are identical to the contractions done when doing pelvic floor exercises.
Making Plans to Use Female Urinary Incontinence Products
Using incontinence products is not a thrilling aspect of ones life. After all, it can be quite embarrassing to pick up packages of adult diapers and other items in the grocery store or pharmacy. However, with the option for online shopping, that sort of discomfort is over. Not only are many online retailers able to provide far more choices, but also better pricing. Products are available in single packages or cost-effective cases and then discreetly delivered right to the door.
For others, it is that concern mentioned a bit earlier, that using these products is a sort of resignation to a permanent reliance on female urinary incontinence products. This sense of failure is not an accurate response. Why not? Because you should not live with urinary incontinence without first seeing a doctor. They will examine you, run tests and treat the condition causing urinary leakage.
They may be able to give you treatments that erase the problem.
In the end, the female urinary incontinence products may be only a temporary thing, but even if a condition causing incontinence is not treatable, these products will improve your quality of life; often from the moment you begin to use them. They will allow you to socialize, do the kinds of activities you have always enjoyed, and live without constant worry about accidents. Wear your favorite garments, do the things you love, because female urinary incontinence products have you protected.