Unfunny Business: Laughing and Incontinence
Leaking when you laugh is no joke. Don’t give up your sense of humour just yet, though: Some simple steps can help you manage incontinence and get back to seeing the funny side of things.
No Laughing Matter
Leaking while laughing is a form of stress incontinence – the involuntary release of urine during sudden actions like sneezing, coughing, jumping or lifting heavy objects. While the condition is more common among women, men can also experience stress incontinence.
The effects of stress incontinence are often anything but funny. For too many people, this condition can lead to self-consciousness and social isolation.
But while certain factors – like childbirth, advancing age and some forms of medication – can make stress incontinence more likely, that doesn’t mean you just have to put up with leaks. Educating yourself, establishing some basic routines and finding the right protective products can help you manage the condition and get back to living — and laughing — with confidence.
Reading up on incontinence — its causes, treatments and strategies for management — will help you understand your options. There are many good online resources available, through Health Canada, The Canadian Continence Foundation and other sites.
Follow up by talking with your physician. If you feel embarrassed or hesitant, keep in mind that even if this is your first conversation about incontinence, it certainly won’t be your doctor’s. (They really have heard it all.)
Kegels, Kegels and More Kegels
You can strengthen your pelvic floor by squeezing your pelvic muscles, imagining them lifting upwards. Hold for a count of three, then relax for a count of three. (When doing Kegels, make sure you’re working only the pelvic muscles — don’t clench your abdomen, buttocks or thighs.)
Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day. That might sound like a lot, but the handy thing about Kegels is you can do them while stuck in traffic or binge-watching your favourite TV show.
And, yes, men can do Kegels, too.
Tracking what you eat and drink, marking when you experience leaks and when you make bathroom trips, can help you identify your triggers. Caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks, citrus fruits and certain spicy foods can irritate the bladder. Keeping a journal will let you see how these factors affect you.
Scheduling regular bathroom breaks throughout the day – and going before it feels really urgent — can also help reduce leaks.
Get the Right Products
When it comes to incontinence protection, it’s important to find the right products and the right fit for your needs. Depend® Silhouette® briefs for women offer sleek fit that’s unnoticeable under clothes for all-day confidence and trusted protection and the sleek Depend® Real Fit for Men provide all-day confidence, peak comfort and ultimate protection from leaks and odours.
Knowing you have protection for any unexpected leaks means you can go about your daily routines and everyday activities with confidence.
Most importantly, you can get back to enjoying life’s comic moments.