Conversations with your doctor about intimate concerns are sometimes uncomfortable. Conversations about urinary incontinence can be particularly difficult because of the embarrassment associated with the condition. But trust us, your doctor has heard it all and seen much worse. In fact, around 25 million adults in the United States alone suffer from some level of urinary incontinence.
It is important to remember that incontinence is not a normal part of aging. If you are beginning to experience, or have been living with, urinary incontinence, the sooner you talk to your doctor, the sooner you can get relief. It may be an uneasy topic to broach, but it will be worth it. After you schedule your appointment, here is some of what you can expect during your visit.
On your initial visit to your regular care physician, he or she may refer you to a specialist, possibly an obstetrician-gynecologist or urologist who specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction. Although you may feel uncomfortable sharing your concerns with yet another doctor, this referral will place you in the care of a doctor who helps patients with urinary incontinence on a regular basis.
A request for details
The specialist will need you to be as detailed as possible in your description of your condition. Don’t be shy about discussing your concerns and your symptoms. Tell your doctor whether you leak urine when you laugh, sneeze, cough, exercise, or have sex. Also, explain whether you frequently have the urge to urinate but can never empty your bladder completely. Discuss how the issue is impacting your life. Prior to your visit, try to recall exactly how long you’ve experienced the symptoms of urinary incontinence, and be sure to list all your medications, including over-the-counter, as well as any other illnesses you may have. The more details you provide, the better chance your doctor will be able to help you find relief.
A discussion of treatment options
Once the specialist has all of the necessary information, he or she will come up with a treatment plan for you. This will often begin with the simplest options first before suggesting more complex ways to resolve your concerns. When discussing treatment options for your urinary incontinence, be sure you understand whether the treatment is a complex cure, or simply a tool to manage symptoms.
You do not have to go it alone
The most important thing to remember is that you do not have to go it alone. Talking to your doctor about urinary incontinence is an important step in finding solutions that allow you to live your best life possible. Initiating this conversation with your doctor is a wonderful step in speaking up and taking control of your health.
If you or someone you know is living with urinary incontinence, we can help. At PA Healthcare, we offer a variety of incontinence products, including underpads, control pads and briefs, and more. For our customers’ discretion, the products are also shipped in plain boxes. Browse our website or give us a call at 619-568-2360 or 866-984-2763. We’re happy to help in any way we can.