Overcome the Stigma

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Joy Bahar
Living with an overactive bladder can cause you to worry about embarrassing leaks. But you're not alone. I'm Joy Behar talking with an expert on OAB about how to deal with that rather personal issue. How can you possibly let this not affect your confidence? You might have to leave a meeting. You're in the middle of a love affair. I don't know. Things could happen. How do you deal with that?

If you know you're going to be in a meeting, maybe avoid having that extra cup of coffee. If it's a consistent and persistent problem, that's when we start to talk about introducing medications into the situation to allow them to better deal with it.

There are support groups for everything else.

Most people don't wind up going to support groups for this type of a problem just because once we get them started, they find something that's effective for them. And they run with it. There are a few people who do decide to go for support groups. And they can be found very easily on the internet.

And they see she keeps running to the bathroom. What do you suggest about that? How do you deal with that with your partner?

look, you know, sometimes I go to the bathroom a little bit more frequently. Certainly nerves affect this. So early on in a relationship, it probably would be more of an issue. But once you get comfortable with somebody, it tends to--. that part of it tends to pass. If it is a persistent problem, behavioral modification, talk to a doctor, get medications for it, and really just do whatever makes the most sense for you.

But most doctors have to be shrinks at some point in their practice, I think. So what would you tell a patient-- how would you tell a patient to prepare for something like this? To prepare for the difficulties that he or she is going to encounter shortly. What do you tell them?

is get them to better manage their situation. So what I'll tell them is number one, start doing the Kegel exercises early on because for a lot of people when you feel that urge, if you give a good, tight contraction-- a good kegel-- that will break the contraction and allow them enough time to get to the bathroom in a more comfortable situation. And then just in terms of strategizing-- if you know you're going to go out on a date, don't be drinking a lot beforehand. Certainly avoid things like coffee. Avoid alcohol beforehand. That way it'll give yourself a little bit of a head start. If you're going to go to a play avoid liquid for an hour to beforehand. Go to the bathroom before it starts-- just practical things and strategies is to get people through the day. If it's a very serious issue for you-- if these behavioral modification steps don't work for you, that's when we start to talk about medications, surgical procedures, biofeedback, and a variety of other things.

Tell your doctor what's going on. And get the help you need.