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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.

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    What Is a Shy Bladder?

    When you’re on the go and you have to go, a public restroom is where you head. For millions, though, that’s not an option. It’s a place where peeing seems physically impossible. That’s because being near other people causes your sphincter muscles to lock up. Those muscles control the flow of urine from your bladder. Once they freeze up, you simply can’t pee. It can happen in a public restroom, a bathroom in someone else’s home, and even in your own place if other folks are nearby. As many as 20...

    Read the What Is a Shy Bladder? 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?