5 ways to talk to friends and family about incontinence

While it might feel uncomfortable to talk about incontinence, there are ways to make it easier.
While it might feel uncomfortable to talk about incontinence, there are ways to make it easier.

Symptoms of urinary incontinence and a weak bladder often affect older women or mothers, especially those who have given natural birth or have pelvic floor dysfunction. Studies have however found that it can also affect much younger women who have never given birth.

The involuntary leaking of urine involved with incontinence is embarrassing, especially in intimate situations. But you don’t have to hide this from your partner. Here are some tips on how to initiate a conversation about incontinence with your partner or loved ones.

1. Pick the right time

You might be tempted to wait until your partner brings up the topic, but it’s better to start the conversation yourself. Wait until you and your partner or family members are in a relaxed environment. 

older couple talking about incontinence

2. Stay calm

Make sure that you and your partner are both relaxed. Because incontinence can be an embarrassing topic, it’s easy to get defensive or feel nervous about tackling the subject. Keep in mind that your partner might be more supportive than you think.

older couple talking about incontinence

3. Explain the cause of your condition

Whether your incontinence is due to hormonal imbalance, stress or pregnancy, explain the cause of your condition to your partner. While people may be supportive, they might not know anything about incontinence.

woman talking to her female doctor about incontinence

4. Encourage questions

Keep an open dialogue and allow your partner and/or family members to ask as many questions as possible. The more informed they are about the condition, the better. Tell them that while you might feel embarrassed, incontinence is not ruling your life and that you can control it. 

question marks

5. Talk about your treatment plans and options

It’s important to find the right treatment options for incontinence to help you feel more at ease and live your life normally. Talk to your partner about what your treatment plan entails. 

urologist

Image credits: iStock

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
34% - 9260 votes
No
66% - 17840 votes
Vote