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Ads for Fancy Adult Diapers Might Make You Think Incontinence Is Normal. It’s Not

There’s no question that all boundaries have disappeared when it comes to the subject of adult incontinence, with advertising in all sorts of venues sending the message that incontinence is not only common, but easily addressed. The message, of course, is that you can solve incontinence problems with adult diapers, specially padded underwear or any myriad other incontinence products that soak up what’s leaking out.

But, as The Inquirer reports, just because adult incontinence may be “common,” it doesn’t mean it’s normal. And, no matter how normal a TV or magazine ad tries to make it, incontinence doesn’t have to be a normal part of your life. There are multiple treatments available, depending on your situation.

Let’s repeat that one more time: Just because millions of people experience problems with urinary incontinence, it doesn’t make it “normal.” And, just because urinary incontinence products are largely targeted at women, it doesn’t mean men can’t become incontinent as well. If you or someone you know is having trouble with leakage or a sudden urge to urinate that ends up in embarrassing incidents, there is hope that you can go back to the REAL normal of not having accidents, with just a little help that includes special exercises and effort on your part.

If you experience incontinence, the first thing you need to do is accept that it’s NOT normal, and talk openly with your doctor so you can find the cause. Do you have a urinary tract infection you weren’t aware of? Do you have an illness or injury that could contribute to the problem, such as multiple sclerosis or an injury to the spinal cord?

If you’re a man, do you have undiagnosed prostate problems? If so, your doctor may talk with you about ways to support prostate health. For women who have experience incontinence since having a baby, your doctor may decide your pelvic muscles simply need a little boost with something called kegel exercises, which are done with your pelvic floor muscles.

For men and women both, it’s also important to address muscle control and strength in other areas of the body, and to lose weight if you need to. Begin your search to a cure by keeping a bladder diary you can share with your doctor, so you can identify patterns of when accidents occur.

Do you experience leakage when you laugh or cough? Or do you have sudden unexplained urges to “go”? Share your diary with your doctor and ask about what might be best for you. There are certain drugs that can help you control bladder urges, but before you resort to drugs, be sure you’ve exhausted all nondrug options first.