Urinary incontinence is a big problem; however, unfortunately people refuse to acknowledge it due to the taboo around it and shy away from seeking medical help. Moreover, there are several myths around the issue which has further elevated the problem, like –
Myth 1 – Urinary Incontinence is a disease
Contrary to popular opinion, urinary incontinence is in fact not a disease but a symptom of an underlying medical or physical condition; it might even be an indicator that something is wrong in your daily habits and lifestyle, for example, consumption of excess caffeine and alcohol. This makes it even more important to seek help for your condition so that you can detect what is causing this issue in a timely manner to avoid any complications further.
Myth 2 – Urinary Incontinence is a normal part of ageing
Even though it is true to a certain extent that our bodies undergo changes as we age, especially women whose bodies undergo changes after delivery as well; it would be wrong to say that urinary incontinence is part-and-parcel of ageing. It can happen to anyone at any point of time in their life due to lifestyle, daily habits or underlying physical and medical issues.
Myth 3 – It is not a treatable condition, especially in older adults
Urinary incontinence, even in older adults, is treatable; however, the important thing is to assess and understand the reason for the incontinence. Thereon the issue is treatable with medications and therapies; it can be improved and even cured in many cases.
Myth 4 – Drinking fewer fluids will result in an improvement in incontinence
This is a very prevalent myth in people that limiting fluid intake will produce less urine thereby resulting in improvement in incontinence. However, taking such a step is not going to help and might even further worsen the condition by leading to complications due to the body getting less water; it can even make the bladder irritable.
Myth 5 – Surgery is the only treatment for urinary incontinence
Surgery is not the only treatment option available for urinary incontinence; it is primarily used for patients suffering from Stress Urinary Incontinence, referred to as SUI. There are various treatment options available that are considered, and tried, before surgery is even considered; especially in older adults, surgery is likely the last option. Other, and widely used, treatment options include lifestyle modifications, exercises, medication and behavioral treatments among various options. The important thing about such treatment is that it has no side-effects.
It is important to break-free of the shame that we carry about issues like urinary incontinence and talk about it. Talking about it will also help break these myths and make the issue (and its solutions) more known to people. If you are suffering from urinary incontinence then –
- Seek medical attention; consult an urologist at the earliest.
- Make changes in your eating and drinking habits; limit alcohol and smoking.
- You can also try a pair of incontinence panties for dry and odor free days.
- Exercise daily and make lifestyle choices that promote good health.