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Living With Incontinence

Don’t wait. With a little effort, you can overcome the challenges of a leaky bladder. It can be as easy as few simple changes in your daily routine.

First, you’ll want to know what’s going on. You might have leakage when you laugh, cough, or sneeze. Doctors call that “stress incontinence.” Or you could feel an unexpected, sudden urge to pee. That’s called “urge incontinence.” Though it happens mostly to women, it can happen to anyone at any age. Although people who have it may not talk about it, it’s more common than you think.

Recommended Related to Urinary Incontinence/OAB

Oops, I Leaked: Tales of Incontinence

"I'm more sensitive now to women when they say they've 'gotta go,'" says 51-year-old professional speaker, author, and prostate cancer survivor Chuck Gallagher. The Greenville, S.C., resident experienced mild incontinence for six weeks following his laparoscopic surgery. "Guys don't want to talk about it; it's embarrassing. They think they have to suck it up and deal with it." And men aren't the only ones who don't want to talk about their little leaks or mild incontinence. According to the National...

Read the Oops, I Leaked: Tales of Incontinence article > >

What You Can Do

Great news. You have plenty of treatment options, and the outlook is good. About 80% of those who are affected by urinary incontinence can get better with treatment.

Sometimes a simple dietary change, such as cutting back on fluids, is all that is needed.

Try a combination of approaches. For instance, your doctor may recommend that you do Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and to use pads or disposable underwear just in case. Experiment to see what you’re comfortable with that works best for you.

If you need a little more help, your doctor may recommend prescription medication or a surgical procedure. He might suggest “sling surgery,” an operation designed to support the bladder or urethra and prevent leaks.

Does incontinence limit your social life?