About 51 million men and women suffer from incontinence, and the prevalence of a wide variety of myths surrounding the condition causes many to suffer in silence. Here are a few of the most common misconceptions surrounding urinary incontinence:
Myth 1: Only elderly people are incontinent.
While the condition is more prevalent among older individuals, incontinence affects younger people too â€“ including women whoâ€™ve never been pregnant. In one study of more than 1,000 young women who had never given birth, between 11 and 27 percent reported symptoms of incontinence. Conditions like diabetes, nerve injury, overactive bladder and other medical issues can cause incontinence in young patients of both sexes.
Myth 2: You can treat it by drinking less water.
Fluids, including water, are vitally important to good health. Limiting your intake wonâ€™t â€œcureâ€ incontinence and it can cause other, more serious conditions to develop. A better option is to limit beverages with caffeine as well as carbonated and alcoholic drinks which may irritate your bladder.
Myth 3: Long-distance travel is out of the question.
Actually, traveling can reduce the symptoms of depression that often accompany incontinence. Depression and feelings of anxiety are not uncommon side effects of both bowel and bladder incontinence, and avoiding the activities you enjoy can exacerbate these problems. You can avoid some of the uncertainty of long-distance travel by carrying extra undergarments and taking frequent rest stops.
Myth 4: If you’ve given birth, your bladder is weakened for life.
Itâ€™s true that the weight of pregnancy can weaken your pelvic floor muscles, and an episiotomy can have an effect on both bowel andÂ bladder control. Still, incontinence symptoms usually disappearÂ within a few weeks of giving birth, and if they persist, there are many treatments that can help.
Myth 5: Prostate surgery causes long-term incontinence.
While there may be a temporary period of incontinence following surgery, in most cases, it clears up in a few weeks or months.
Myth 6: You just have to live with it.
This is perhaps the biggest myth of all, and it is absolutely WRONG. Today, there are more treatments than ever to treat and even eliminate incontinence. From medication to behavioral therapy to a simple outpatient surgery, solutions are available and your doctor can help you decide what is best for you.
If youâ€™ve fallen victim to these or other myths, forget what you think you know and talk to The Incontience Institue today. Itâ€™s the first step toward a better tomorrow.