If you are amongst the millions of people throughout the world experiencing urine loss, have you ever wondered, “How much is normal?” or “When should I be concerned?” Where do you draw the line between just ignoring it and calling a doctor? Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer, nothing that differentiates between good amounts and bad amounts. Nothing that says one leak a day is okay and two or more require a trip to the doctor.
Instead, everyone deals with incontinence differently. For some the occasional leak may be no big deal. They may throw on a pad and get on with their day. Others may be too embarrassed to leave the house. No matter how you feel, it’s important to talk with your doctor because urine loss may be a symptom of bigger issues. Once those issues are ruled out there are some things you can do to ease leaks and possibly eliminate them all together.
If leaks occur while coughing, exercising, lifting, or any other type of strain, you likely have stress incontinence. This type is the most prevalent, especially with women whose experience with pregnancy and childbirth tend to leave them with weakened pelvic floor muscles. For instance, Jane gave birth to her daughter a year ago but still feels little leaks during intense workouts. Then there is Mary who is six months pregnant and often notices a slight, unpleasant ammonia smell coming from her underwear. Obesity could also be to blame. At nearly 280 pounds Rebecca tires easily, suffers from high blood pressure, and her pelvic floor is weakening under the strain, leading to leaks. With such a wide range of cases, there is no “normal” amount of urine loss, but it’s clear to see that a stronger pelvic floor could provide a solution.
An occasional dribble here and there is rarely a cause for concern, especially if you are pregnant or recently had a baby. Pregnancy wrecks havoc on your pelvic floor. It takes time to rebuild the muscles that keep your bladder in place and functioning properly. Some people use pads, but many have found success with Carin. Their underwear is not only ultra absorbent but it’s also comfortable and attractive, a bonus for those already suffering from low self-confidence. However, the underwear is only part of the package. An accompanying app provides six weeks of easy to follow exercises designed to help you find and strengthen your pelvic floor, which goes a long way to eliminating leaks.
A quick glance through the Internet will tell you any amount of urine loss is a reason to see your doctor, but definitely make an appointment for more severe types of incontinence. For example, urge incontinence, the type that occurs when you suddenly need to urinate and/or are unable to make it to the toilet in time could signify diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease. Treatments for urge incontinence include behavioral techniques (bladder training or fluid and diet management), medications, pelvic floor exercises, and even surgery.
Whatever you choose to do about incontinence, do not assume it is just a normal part of aging or having a child. There are solutions and treatments available so do not be ashamed to make that doctor’s appointment. Since there is no “normal” when it comes to incontinence everyone must do what he or she feels is best. Just remember, as mentioned earlier, millions of people suffer from the same condition. You are not alone and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.