What Now? Advice For Newbies From The Depend Community.
When you first start experiencing leaks, it can send your head spinning with anxiety and confusion. We asked members on our Depend.com forums for tips to help those new to incontinence, and here is some of the great advice they shared.
Know that you’re not alone. According to the National Association for Continence, “one-third of men and women ages 30-70 have experienced loss of bladder control at some point in their adult lives.” That means that one in three of people you know (in that age range) are managing incontinence. One community member advised, “Don’t be discouraged. You may feel like you are the only one, but that is so far from the truth.”
Get medical attention. Even if you’re only experiencing urgency or small leaks, you should still see your doctor. There are so many different causes – from overactive bladder to damaged nerves – and each presents unique treatment options. If you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor’s recommendations treatment, get a second opinion, perhaps with a urologist, a gastroenterologist or a pelvic floor therapist. Explore and try different options before you decide which one/s will work best for you.
Tell someone. While it can be challenging to discuss with others, incontinence is caused by a medical condition. You can give up any shame or self-blame you feel in discussing it with your loved ones. Talking about incontinence can help you release any fear you have of being discovered or having to hide your condition.
Experiment with protection. Different types of protection work for different situations, times of day and even body types. Experiment and try pads, briefs, adjustable underwear, and maximum absorbent protection with tabs. Certain fits and styles may suit you better than others for daytime use, outings (and proximity to restrooms) and overnights.
Don’t worry, people won’t automatically know. In the beginning, you may be supersensitive to your use of protection. “But 99.99% of people will never know what you are wearing,” noted one Depend community participant.
Our male commenters suggest wearing dark colored pants, one size larger than necessary to ensure a good fit with your protection. Women frequently recommend wearing slimming garment, tights or control top hosiery for compression and better fit under work clothes.
Keep a stash handy at work and in your car. It’s not uncommon these days for both men and women to carry a backpack, briefcase or messenger bag, which can be used for carrying a change of clothing and extra protection wherever you’re going.
Know that it will get easier. We often hear “this is hard” or “this is so embarrassing” from people just beginning to adjust to incontinence. We also hear “it gets easier” from those who have been managing their condition for decades. You will figure it out and you will adjust. Fortunately for all of us, human beings are resilient that way.