Urinary Incontinence is Embarrassing, but Hiding it Doesn’t Help
More than 5 million American men deal with urinary incontinence. That number rises significantly when including males from other countries. In many cases, embarrassment causes men to hide this condition. But hiding a health problem only makes it worse. A better solution is to learn productive ways to cope.
Support from Friends and Family
Urinary incontinence is a source of anxiety. This anxiety can negatively affect marriages, friendships, working relationships, and relations with family members. It’s important to get emotional support from those closest to you.
It's likely that your spouse will be more affected than anyone. That's the person who will see your stress and anxiety up close. Talk to your spouse about the problem. Share your concerns, and talk honestly about how you’re feeling. Failing to do this can put undue strain on your marriage.
Incontinence can also damage self-esteem and confidence. It’s not uncommon for men with incontinence to feel humiliated. This humiliation can cause other emotional problems, such as depression. If you’re facing this situation, then reach out for help. Even if you feel you can’t speak with friends and family, discuss the issue with your doctor.
When incontinence is triggered by physical activity, medications are less likely to work. For example, if coughing or heavy lifting triggers your incontinence, then medications likely won't provide any relief. But medications generally work well in situations where the urge to urinate happens for no known reason. The intense urge to urinate just suddenly happens, no matter what you're doing.
Behavioral changes are an option when medications fail. Some easy options are to reduce your alcohol and caffeine consumption. It’s possible that caffeine and alcohol can irritate the bladder, and make urinary incontinence worse.
Try eliminating drinks such as alcohol, coffee, soda, and tea. You might not see immediate results. Keeping track of how often you need to urinate will help you see if a change is occurring. Smoking can also increase incontinence symptoms. Chronic coughing is common among smokers. This encourages incontinence by placing undue pressure on your bladder. Smoke is also a known bladder irritant. So if you’re a smoker, dropping the habit can possibly solve your urinary problem.
There are also products, such as the Wiesner Incontinence Clamp, that control urine leakage. These clamps keep the urethra closed, which in turn prevents urine flow. The clamp is small, so you can wear it discreetly and comfortably inside your pants.
Surgery is a possibility if no other options work. But once again, the options depend on the cause of your incontinence. If your incontinence is the result of an enlarged prostate, then your doctor might recommend surgery. Surgery is also an option if you’ve had your prostate removed or the condition is caused by a blocked bladder.
So you see, there are options. If you’re tired of struggling with incontinence, then seek the help you need. The right treatment can possibly end your urinary incontinence.