You may feel embarrassed talking to your gynecologist about urinary incontinence, but do it anyway. Do it for yourself and to find a treatment. Do it because your gynecologist is the person who is most knowledgeable and who will give you the straight answers.
Some Facts About Urinary Incontinence
50% of women experience urinary incontinence during their lifetime. Those numbers increase with age, and by age 60, one third of women will deal with it. Women are twice as likely as men to have some type of urinary incontinence.
Don’t be fooled and think that this issue is only for older women, because many women even in their 20’s and 30’s can suffer from it. Childbirth, your work, medications, and recreational activities can all contribute to urinary incontinence.
Two Types Of Urinary Incontinence
The two types of urinary incontinence women often suffer from are stress incontinence and urge incontinence.
Women with stress incontinence often experience leaking urine when lifting something heavy, coughing, or laughing, thus, causing stress on the bladder.
Urge incontinence, known as an overactive bladder, causes one to feel like they always need to go. They also find it difficult to reach the bathroom in time.
Some women can have a combination of both.
Having The Talk
Once you have decided about talking to Virginia Women’s Health about your urinary incontinence, prepare for your appointment.
Here are some helpful tips:
Keep A Bladder Diary
- Start at least one week before
- Keep track of how many times you urinate at night
- How often do you go
- How much leakage
- Describe your symptoms
History Of Symptoms
- When did symptoms start
- Has it gotten worse
- Have you withdrawn and started to avoid social interactions
- Do you carry a change of underwear
- List all prescription and over the counter drugs you take
- Make special note of antidepressants, narcotic painkillers, sleeping pills, hormone therapy, blood pressure meds, and diuretics
- List foods and drinks you commonly consume
- Do you perform strenuous exercises
- Do you typically lift heavy objects
- What are your recreational activities
No matter how old you are or how long you have had symptoms, now is the time to get advice, treatment options, and discuss possible solutions from a specialist.
Time to take control.