Although more than 25 million adults in the U.S. experience sensitive bladder issues, it’s still a sensitive topic for conversation – even with your doctor.
In fact, so many women avoid talking about their symptoms that research shows it takes them an average of six-and-a-half years to get diagnosed! Don’t let that be you!
Don’t miss out on the fun, or even normal, everyday things in life because you are too embarrassed to talk to your doctor about your urinary incontinence. Talking to your healthcare professional – primary care doctor, urologist, gynecologist or nurse – can help you find overactive bladder solutions that work for you and your lifestyle.
Talking about Your Sensitive Bladder
Bringing up urinary incontinence isn’t easy, but there are a few things you should know that can help you feel a bit more confident about the conversation.
- You’re not the first. You definitely won’t be your doctor’s first conversation about urinary incontinence. Doctors have heard it all. It’s true!
- It’s a two-way conversation. Second, you just need to get the conversation about incontinence started and then your doctor can help it along from there. Healthcare professionals are trained to ask questions that will help them understand the full picture better. Easy ways to begin the conversation could be saying, “I have to use the restroom a lot more,” or, “I have the urge to go to the restroom all the time” or even simply, “My bladder leaks.”
- Being prepared helps. Every healthcare professional will tell you that the more information, the better. A good diagnosis depends largely on the information you can give your doctor when you talk. The questions listed below can help facilitate a productive conversation about your sensitive bladder with your doctor that will allow you to start discussing next steps.
Questions to Answer before You go
Here are questions your doctor or nurse will likely ask when you bring up your incontinence issue. Be prepared to answer these questions so that your healthcare professional can better diagnose you and help you find the most effective solutions for you.
- When do you experience urinary losses?
- How often do you urinate each day?
- How often do you get up during the night to use the restroom?
- How much liquid do you drink daily?
- Do you experience unexpected bladder leaks? Do you leak when you sneeze, cough, or exercise?
- Do bladder leaks prevent you from participating at work or in your social life?
Your healthcare professional may also decide to perform a physical examination. They may be looking to inspect the way your abdomen contracts. They may also check the firmness of your pelvic floor when you cough.
Based on your talk, your doctor will be probably be able to diagnose the possible causes of your incontinence and which of the types of urinary incontinence you’re experiencing. From there, you can work together to find sensitive bladder solutions that work for you.