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If you're prone to leaks when you exert yourself, wear a tampon, which provides bladder support. It can give you peace of mind during an important company event.

“If there's a particularly busy day with a lot of stair-climbing or a company-sponsored hike, this is a good on-demand treatment,” Comiter says.

If you truly can’t risk leaks or accidents -- say during an important meeting -- an incontinence pad can be a lifesaver.

“They do protect from embarrassing social situations of leakage,” Comiter says. “But a wet pad is a risk for UTIs, so pads must be changed regularly.”

Some patients worry that co-workers will smell urine, but incontinence pads often have built-in odor protection.

“Urine-soaked clothes present an odor, but pads come deodorized,” Comiter says.

Consider Medication

If you can't reduce the urge to urinate with lifestyle changes, ask your doctor about medication. Prescription drugs for overactive bladder may reduce your need to excuse yourself from meetings.

“They relieve the sensation of urgency, and they work reasonably well,” Wein says.

How to Talk to the Boss

It isn't always easy to explain to your boss what's going on, or that you need to get to the bathroom ASAP when the urge strikes. Relax. You don't need to give all the details; a vague description is fine.

“It's really difficult for women to discuss urinary incontinence with their bosses, particularly if they're male,” Wakamatsu says. “I tell women if they have to go to the bathroom frequently, just tell their bosses it's a female issue. They usually won't ask other questions.”

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