Urinary incontinence involves the involuntary leaking of urine. While incontinence itself isn’t a disease, it’s a symptom of another condition and can affect everyone.
Urinary incontinence affects about 5% of the population, with 8% of females and 3% of males affected respectively. It's more common in old age and in debilitated patients, but some factors such as stress can cause younger people to suffer from incontinence.
The question is, how do you deal with incontinence while at work? Whether you have a job where you spend the day standing, or whether you are in and out of meetings all day, incontinence can be uncomfortable and embarrassing at work.
We investigated a couple of ways on how to deal with urinary incontinence in the workplace.
1. Pack an emergency kit
Having the comfort of clean clothes will make you feel less stressed out about urinary incontinence at the office. Also pack a spare set of absorbent underwear and a plastic bag if you have an emergency. While you won’t necessarily use these items, being prepared will put your mind at ease.
2. Wear dark clothing
If you are worried about a visible leak, stick to dark colours and thicker material. Choose absorbent materials like cotton.
3. Do regular pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic floor exercises are effective for women who suffer from mild urinary incontinence. Clench and unclench your pelvic floor muscles to strengthen them.
4. Go to the bathroom regularly
Schedule your bathroom breaks between meetings or conference calls, and take your time when you are there.
5. Make it easier
Don’t wear clothing with fiddly, complicated zippers. Choose skirts or pants with elasticated bands to help you save time.
Talk to a trusted colleague, line manager or HR staff member about your condition.
7. Go easy on the coffee
Caffeine is a diuretic which can stimulate urine production and irritate the bladder. If you are worried about incontinence at work, limit your amount of coffee per day. Skip the coffee altogether if you know you have a meeting.
8. Locate the bathroom
Not working in the comfort of your office? Locating the bathroom in an unknown place such as a conference venue, or client meeting, will put your mind at ease.
9. Don’t skip the water
Your first reaction would be to avoid drinking water. That can actually have an adverse effect since not drinking enough water can irritate your bladder. However, don’t drink too much water.
10. Talk to your doctor
Consult your doctor about possible medication and treatment to keep incontinence under control.
Image credits: iStock