Psst! Honey, Let’s Talk About Bladder Leaks
If you want to talk to your partner about bladder leaks but don’t know how to start the conversation, this read is for you.
Bladder leakage isn’t usually discussed, so you may not realize how common it is. According to the Canadian Urinary Bladder Survey, 16% of men and 33% of women over the age of 40 have leaks.1
The topic shouldn’t be taboo. Your partner, family and friends can be a great support and valuable sources of information and solutions that work for them. Below is a checklist of things to keep in mind for your heart-to-heart. Put the kettle on, get cozy and let’s talk about bladder leaks.
How do your leaks affect everyday life?
Bladder leaks may be a minor occasional inconvenience or an ongoing frustration that affects daily activities. Think about how your life is influenced by it. Are you able to get a good night’s sleep? Do you avoid certain things (like travel, exercise or long walks) because of your leaks? Do you rush out unexpectedly because of accidents? Worried about sitting in case you leave a damp spot? Your leaks may have more of an impact than you thought.
How do your bladder leaks make you feel?
Communicate your emotions, be they embarrassment, loss of control, anger, lack of confidence, sadness or loneliness. If you’re receiving intimate personal care from your partner because your urinary incontinence is caused by a medical condition (such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or diabetes), this may affect your feelings, too. Getting it off your chest may provide relief, especially if your partner is being an attentive listener.
Are bladder leaks affecting your relationship?
Bladder leaks may make you feel unsexy, avoid intimacy or not be able to relax and enjoy sex because you’re worried about leaks or odour from leaks. In fact, leakage during intercourse is estimated to affect up to a quarter of women with bladder leakage.2 Things like urinating before and after sex, avoiding triggers that cause leakage (e.g. alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, carbonated drinks), making hygiene part of foreplay or having sex on your side can help.
How can your partner help?
Let your partner know what they can do for you. If your partner is the one experiencing bladder leakage, ask how you can be a support. Saying “I’m here for you if you want to talk about it” or “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about” can be reassuring. For some, bladder leakage is intensely private. Partners should be sensitive to that, helping them to feel at ease by being a good listener and keeping an open mind.
There’s no shame in using absorbent products.
They don’t have to be your little secret that you keep stashed away. Feeling comfy, protected and less worried about leaks can be a weight off your mind. Products that are specifically designed for bladder leaks, such as Depend®, keep you fresh, dry and odour-free. They come in a variety of styles, absorbencies and colours for your best protection — both day and night. Plus, the entire line of Depend® Products for Women and Depend® Products for Men is comfort and protection guaranteed*.
Make a plan together.
Bladder leakage can almost always be cured, improved or successfully managed. Talk to your doctor about what can work for you. Together, you and your partner can get through it.
*Purchase by 3/31/22. Mail in by 4/30/22. Online access required. Limit 1 per household. Original receipt/UPC required. Restrictions apply. See www.depend.com/guarantee for details.
1 The Canadian Continence Foundation. (2018). The source: Your guide to better bladder control. Retrieved December 4, 2020, from https://www.canadiancontinence.ca/EN/the-source-guide.php
2 The North American Menopause Society. (n.d.). Urinary incontinence. Retrieved December 4, 2020, from http://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/causes-of-sexual-problems/urinary-incontinence