Don’t Let Incontinence Spook You! 7 Scary Myths Busted
Many Canadians are used to wearing a snowsuit under their costumes some Halloween nights, but at Healthwick we know that many people are also wearing absorbent products.
There are quite a few myths out there regarding incontinence. It is important to know what's true and what isn’t. We want our Healthwick readers, especially those who are new to incontinence, to have a good understanding of the myths vs. the realities of incontinence. In the spirit of Halloween Let’s debunk 7 scary myths about incontinence and outline the facts behind each one.
Myth #1: Only seniors experience incontinence.
It is estimated that in Canada, 1 in 5 senior adults experience some form of urinary incontinence. Incontinence may be more prevalent in seniors, however they are not the only group to experience continence issues. Incontinence is most commonly associated with aging, but can also be caused by pregnancy and childbirth, some medications, side effects of surgery, weakened pelvic muscles, stroke, physical conditions, urinary tract infections (UTI), neurological injury or disease, prostate issues in men, and smoking and alcohol consumptions, just to list a few. These causes can affect many groups of people, regardless of age.
Myth #2: Incontinence is an inevitable part of aging.
This isn’t true! While incontinence is more common in the elderly population, it should not be considered an inevitable part of aging. If you are experiencing incontinence, you should seek out the advice and assistance of a medical professional. Incontinence is not a disease, it is often a sign or symptom of another problem within the body. A healthcare professional will be able to help guide you in treatment options and/or successful management of incontinence.
Myth #3: Incontinence cannot be treated.
Incontinence can be managed with the right products, and can often be treated. The first step to treatment is to be assessed by your healthcare professional, as there are many possible treatment options. Often simple lifestyle and behavioural changes combined with new techniques and certain exercises can assist in treating and managing incontinence. There are different types of incontinence, and each type will usually have a different preferred treatment method. A few examples of therapies for urinary incontinence are: Pelvic floor muscle training, bladder training, diet changes, hormone replacement, medications, injections and surgery, as listed by the Canadian Continence Foundation.
Myth #4: Adult diapers are the only option for managing incontinence.
Adult diapers are not the only option. There are so many products on the market to help with managing incontinence. If you’re not comfortable with adult diapers, you can try absorbent underwear, incontinence pads or male guards. Healthwick offers a wide selection of incontinence products to suit individual preferences. If you’re not sure what incontinence product you’d like to try, you can always order free samples from our website to get you started. Catheters (external and intermittent) are also a viable option for managing incontinence. If you’re interested in catheters, you should first speak to your healthcare professional.
Myth #5: You should limit your daily fluid intake to control your bladder.
Adults often try to limit their fluid intake in the hopes that they will urinate less frequently and have better control over their bladder. This is not the case. It is very important to stay appropriately hydrated. Drinking too much or not enough fluids can actually irritate your bladder and make the problem worse.
Myth #6: Incontinence only affects women.
Both men and women can experience continence issues, however it is more common in women. Incontinence can affect men of any age, particularly those with prostate issues, but is most often associated with aging; the US Centers for Disease Control estimate more than 50% of senior men experience incontinence. Healthwick carries a variety of incontinence products specially designed for the male anatomy including; male guards and male catheters.
Myth #7: Incontinence will limit you in life.
This is NOT true. Incontinence is manageable. With the right products and/or treatment plan, you can continue to live your life the way you want to. You may have to make a few adjustments (ensuring you have supplies, access to a washroom, etc.), but you shouldn’t let continence issues rule your world. If you feel that incontinence is impacting your quality of life, you should reach out to your healthcare professional.
We hope busting these 7 myths about incontinence helps put your mind at ease. Don’t let incontinence myths scare you! We hope you and your loved ones enjoy a safe and happy Halloween. Take care!
- Amy C