“Individuals with Urinary Incontinence showed significantly higher levels of depression and anxiety than those without Urinary Incontinence”
Journal of International Medical Research, May 2020
Until recently, Mary had let bladder leaks get the better of her! It started a few years back, and steadily worsened. One day while standing in the line to pay at a shop close to home, the unthinkable happened! …she leaked onto her clothes. The level of shame and embarrassment was more than she could stand. In that moment she vowed not to leave her house unless it was absolutely, entirely necessary! Within a month, Mary found herself avoiding social interaction, getting up later and later each day, staying in pajamas for large portions of the day, finding no joy in any of her hobbies… her life had lost it’s magic!
Mary was showing signs of depression. Her embarrassment had led to isolation which was now leading to depression. Mary recognized what was happening, and getting all the courage together that she could, she made an appointment to see her doctor. Mary was then ready to start her come-back! She understood her condition, had a management plan, and was wearing underwear that protected her from leaks. Fast-forward 2 months, and Mary is standing in the same line to pay at the same shop close to home, but this time with no worry about a leak and all the confidence in the world!
Medical Research has confirmed it!
The Journal of International Medical Research (May 2020) published an study that reviewed 12 articles (which included a total of 31 462 people). There is a link between incontinence and depression! This makes it one of the most important reasons not to ignore bladder leaks.
We (Smartunderwear) asked 450 people with incontinence how it affected them the most, and 90.1% reported embarrassment, decreased confidence and/or loss of independence. This is cause for concern, but the good news is that for many people, there is help THAT WORKS!
Here is what you must do:
1. Talk about it!
Remember you are not alone! Having bladder leaks can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Our research tells usthat more than 200 million people worldwide are affected. Too many people are too embarrassed to talk about itand suffer in silence and shame. Talk to a friend, spouse, partner, sister, brother, doctor, or join an online supportcommunity. Talking about it to someone you trust lessens the burden and starts the process of getting help.
Speak to your doctor. This is an excellent first step or if you have tried everything else! Try to see a doctor/physio/nurse that specializes in incontinence- they will be able to discuss medical treatment options available, including medications, surgery and exercise programs.
2. Educate Yourself
- Types of incontinence: There are many different types of incontinence and each has specific treatment options. Know which you have. This will greatly increase the chances that your management plan will work.
- Bladder Irritants: Get the list. Know the list. Test the list! There are known foods and drinks that irritate the bladder and make leaks worse. Not everyone is affected by the same thing in the same way, so it’s best to test! When you know what to avoid, then the only challenge is to actually avoid it! (Coffee… chocolate…!)
- How much fluid: Too much is bad (increased bladder volume), too little is bad (very concentrated urine).
Take in the right amount of fluid and all is well!
- Exercise: Get fit, get active! General strength and fitness are important, but if bladder leaks are due to aweakened pelvic floor, doing specific targeted exercises will greatly assist with bladder control.
- Health and lifestyle: Body weight, smoking, and healthy diet have all been linked to incontinence!
Do any of these need attention in your life?
3. Get A Good Absorbent Product
The treatment and management plans for incontinence can occasionally treat incontinence completely, but in many cases, it will just lessen the symptoms. It’s therefore very important to have an absorbent product to keep you clean and dry and prevent leaks! The choice of product available to you will depend on how much you leak.
A. Disposable Pads:
These are easy to find and come in a wide range of absorbency options. The disadvantages of pads include:
- Pads are expensive and cost roughly R10 per pad.
- 1 Pad a day = R3650 per year
- 2 pads a day = R7300
- 3 pads a day = R10950
- Pads tend to shift around which causes them to leak.
- They are bad for the environment! We all know our world is struggling with plastic waste. Single use products are currently the largest contributor to plastic waste!
B. Disposable Adult Diapers:
These are very readily available and have un-matched absorbency levels. They are currently one of the only absorbent options available to people with bowel incontinence, and full urinary incontinence (as opposed to only “leaks”). The disadvantages include the high cost and the negative effect they have on waste.
C. Absorbent “regular” underwear. (our personal favorite!)
Smartunderwear has a range of washable, absorbent underwear that look and feel like regular underwear.
They have a few big advantages:
- Cost Saving
They are washable 200 times. Most of our customers order every 6-12 months depending on their needs.
- No Leaks. No Embarrassment
The waterproof layer and built-in pad prevent leaks.
- Incredibly absorbency
Our maximum absorbency panty’s and briefs
absorb 50ml per leak, up to a total of 600ml!
- No Smell
The absorbent pad is treated with an anti-microbial
solution which prevents bacterial growth.
- Comfortable to wear
The underwear is made from textiles like regular underwear.
- There is a men’s and lady’s range
which both include a range of styles and absorbencies.
The disadvantages include that they are only suitable for bladder “leaks” and not bowel or full bladder incontinence.
Follow these 3 steps and address the problem of bladder leaks before it becomes an even bigger problem!
We want to make sure you have all the knowledge you need, so we are offering our digital Guide to Stress Incontinence FREE!
This is not just a guide, it’s an opportunity to take control of your leaks, get your confidence back and do what you want to do!
Be like Mary!
All you have to do is fill in your name and email address below and the Guide is yours immediately! Absolutely FREE.
In this guide we cover:
- Our anatomy (do you know what your pelvic floor is?!)
- The types of incontinence
- Management Options
- Exercise program (included bonus)
- The list of bladder irritants (you need this!)
- Medical and surgical treatment options
- A bladder diary (another included bonus!)
Download The Stress Incontinence Guide Free
Complete Your Details Below Now:
PS. If you have any questions or need someone to talk to – contact us!
PPS. If you would like to see our underwear range, it’s available from our online store www.smartunderwear.co.za (we deliver to anywhere in SA), Essential Health PharmacyStrand Cape Town, ForteAbility Continence Care Clinic Cape Town.