Speaking up about incontinence
Why speak up?
Do you feel too embarrassed to talk about your incontinence? Here's how speaking up can help you:
- Incontinence can usually be managed, treated, or even cured. Talking to your doctor can help you find a treatment plan. Visit the Incontinence channel to learn more about treatment options.
- Incontinence can be caused by medical conditions outside of the bladder. If you don't talk to your doctor, these medical conditions could go undetected and untreated.
- Avoiding social activities and staying close to home to hide incontinence can leave you feeling isolated or depressed. Telling family or friends can give you the support you need to get out and enjoy life again.
- Incontinence can affect your productivity and job performance. Talking to your doctor can help you find a treatment plan to minimize the impact of incontinence at work.
- Speaking up about incontinence can help break the stigma of the condition, increase awareness, and encourage others to seek help.
Who should I talk to, and what if I'm too embarrassed?
Speak to your doctor. Your doctor can find out what is causing your incontinence and what can be done to treat it. This can give you a better sense of control over your condition and the confidence to speak to others. If you feel embarrassed:
- remember that your doctor is a professional who is there to help
- before your visit, fill out the urinary incontinence assessment and bring it to your doctor's appointment to get the conversation started
Reach out to family and friends. You may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but remember that your family and friends will want to offer help and support. They may have already noticed that something is wrong and may think you are avoiding them. Telling them will help them understand what is going on in your life and ease the emotional burden of keeping incontinence a secret.
Remember that you're not alone. Incontinence affects over 3 million Canadians. You may already know someone whose life has been affected by incontinence, and hearing your story may encourage them to seek help, too.
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