Am I Incontinent?

Date: 12/04/21

Incontinence is not a black and white issue, but more like a sliding scale, from complete control of your bladder to a complete lack of control, including all levels in between. Since most cases are caused by problems with the muscles and sphincters, incontinence may start as a minor issue and gradually get worse. However, that does not mean that you should simply learn to live with it, adapting as you go along. Tena products for incontinence are excellent in managing your condition, but finding an effective treatment solution is far preferable to even the best products.

See your GP 
If you are having problems with continence, then you should see your GP sooner rather than later. That way they can diagnose the cause and start to help you before your problem starts to seriously impact your life. It is completely understandable that you may feel embarrassed or even ashamed to talk about such a personal problem, but rest assured, your GP has seen it all before and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. The NHS estimates that there are between 3million and 6million people with incontinence in the UK – that’s between 1 in 20 and 1 in 10, so you are not alone.

Keep a bladder diary
It will be helpful for your GP if you can keep a bladder diary for a few days before your first visit. There are several examples you can download online. You should record your fluid intake – what you drink, how much you drink and when you drink it – and your fluid output – when you need the toilet and how much urine you pass when you go. You should also record the time and severity of any leaks or any sudden urgency to go.  Using Tena products for Incontinence will ensure you are protected whilst documenting this. This will give your GP a good idea of the type of incontinence you have and help them to find the cause.

Standard questions
Your GP will ask you a number of questions, and once again, you should not feel shy or embarrassed by these. The more honest and accurate you can be with your answers, the easier it will be for your doctor to help you. They will ask about the circumstances of your incontinence, such as when and how often the incidents occur, whether you leak when you cough or laugh, whether you have trouble emptying your bladder and similar questions.

Finding the cause
Your GP may perform a number of tests and examinations to try to identify the cause of your incontinence, and to rule out more serious issues.  Depending on your symptoms, they may conduct one or more of the following:

  • Urine test – this is used to test for urinary tract infections, kidney problems or diabetes. It is a simple dipstick test which checks for bacteria, proteins and blood in the urine.
  • Rectal examination – since prostate problems are often the cause of incontinence in men, your GP may check the health of your prostate by inserting a finger into your rectum.
  • Vaginal examination – this can be used to check the muscle tone of the pelvic floor as well as to check to any prolapses into the vaginal cavity.
  • Residual urine test – this is used to identify overflow incontinence, and measures how much urine is left in the bladder after you have urinated. This may be done using ultrasound or by emptying the bladder with a catheter.

These few simple tests are usually all it takes to identify the cause of your incontinence and help your GP to come up with a treatment plan. Treatment may be as simple as using Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor, prescribing antibiotics to treat an infection or minor surgery to correct the problem. You can continue to use Tena products for incontinence while your treatment takes place, but in many cases, you can get your problem sorted out completely and take control of your bladder.

Don’t live in denial
There is nothing to be gained by ignoring incontinence, yet everything to gain by seeking help and advice. People facing these symptoms, do not have to live in denial and can reach out to any of our professional team for help, advice, and potentially the solution, that you may need.

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