How to Manage Incontinence

What you need to know about bladder leakage and how to manage it

In Canada, there are an estimated 3.3 million people, nearly 10 per cent of our population, who experience some form of bladder leakage. Obtaining accurate information and developing an understanding about bladder leakage enables you to find the right products to best manage your symptoms. In this way, it is possible to improve your quality of life and regain confidence. Fortunately today we have so much more information about bladder control issues, practical tips to consider, along with a variety of dependable products to try.

Bladder leakage, also known as urinary incontinence, is a problem with the urinary system. In normal conditions, the bladder stores urine that is produced by the kidneys, until it sends a message to the brain that it needs to be emptied. If at any time the urinary system malfunctions, or if there is any interruption with the signals between the bladder and the brain, urine leakage can result. 

Bladder leakage is a symptom, not a disease, and may be caused by a number of factors:

  1. Physical conditions such as pregnancy, childbirth or menopause can contribute to urinary leakage in women.
  2. Excess body weight has also been shown to be a risk factor since the extra weight puts pressure on the bladder and surrounding muscles.
  3. As men and women age, so do the bladder muscles causing them to lose their strength and weakening their ability to control urination.
  4. Certain medications prescribed for conditions unrelated to the urinary system may also cause unwanted changes in bladder control.
  5. Certain foods and drinks, including caffeine, alcohol, acidic foods (like tomatoes and citrus fruits) and drinks, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, hot spices and carbonated drinks, can contribute to frequent urination.

Credit: Depend
Type Description Symptoms Causes
Stress Incontinence Urine leakage when pressure or stress is exerted on the bladder Bladder leakage when coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting something heavy • Physical changes resulting from pregnancy, childbirth and menopause
Urge Incontinence The sudden intense urge to urinate, often followed by urine leakage • A sudden or frequent emptying of the bladder
• Getting up two or more times a night to urinate
• Urinary tract infections
• Bladder irritants
• Bowel problems
• Parkinson’s disease
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Stroke
• Multiple sclerosis
Mixed Incontinence A combination of both stress and urge incontinence
See above for stress and urge incontinence symptoms
See above for stress and urge incontinence causes
Overflow Incontinence The frequent or constant dribble of urine The feeling that the bladder is never completely empty, and/or only producing a weak stream of urine when you urinating
• Damaged bladder
• Blocked urethra
• Nerve damage from diabetes
Functional Incontinence The inability to make it to the bathroom in time Physical or mental disabilities that prevent reaching the bathroom in time • Mobility or manual dexterity issues (e.g., arthritis)
• Pain with movement
• Certain medications such as sedatives
Total Incontinence The continuous total loss of urinary control Constant leaking of urine or the periodic uncontrollable leaking of large volumes of urine • Injuries to the spinal cord or urinary system
• Birth defects
• Severe trauma
• Neurological disorders

Within our lives, we are all inevitably going to experience physical changes and these changes most always have an emotional drain. Depend aspires to find ways to positively and effectively address these changes. The emotional journey of giving up regular underwear to absorbent undergarments may be challenging and embarrassing. By openly discussing the topic of incontinence, it will allow you to obtain the correct information and products to help manage your symptoms of incontinence with ease.

Being armed with tools such as Depend will also help improve quality of life, with confidence and discretion.

In terms of regaining personal confidence along with some practical tips for becoming more active, Depend has partnered with motivational speaker, Linda Edgecombe, to provide you with helpful confidence essentials:

  1. First get out there and try something new. Challenge yourself and build some confidence in your own abilities. Go with what interests you, make a decision and follow through with it. There are lots of possibilities out there, just choose what you like! Either solo or with a friend or partner, break out of your comfort zone and have some fun!
  2. Change your environment to match the person you want to become. Your surroundings, as well as different kinds of people can have a significant impact on your life.
  3. Face your fears! One step at a time, as you face a fear, your confidence improves dramatically, helping you live more boldly each and every day.
  4. Be kinder to yourself! Build a positive sense of self and one that is more tolerant and at peace. Go shopping and/or get a makeover, both are quick and easy ways to boost your confidence and create that feel good vibe! If you’re looking good you’ll feel more secure, confident and in control of your life!
  5. Refresh those social relationships! Building and maintaining relationships is one of the most important areas of life that doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start with small steps and gradually build that confidence and self-esteem.
  6. Finally, remember to celebrate your achievements, big or small they are worth recognizing. Make a list of all the things you have done and that you should be proud of and take it out whenever you need a little pick-me-up.

Depend, the front runner for incontinence solutions is dedicated to enhancing the lives of those who are experiencing bladder leakage problems and are providing dignified solutions that offer protection, comfort, style and confidence with their innovative line of products. Depend offers a variety of choices designed to meet the personal needs of individuals today. Depend allows both men and women to continue with their lives, unhindered by issues with bladder control by choosing the right garment to effectively provide adequate protection for different types of urine leakage. 

Credit: Depend

Depend has designed products to help with meeting the needs of different types of urine leakage. For example Depend Real Fit and Silhouette Briefs for men and women offer moderate absorption and fit and feel like real underwear. The maximum-absorbency briefs feature a cloth-like fabric with a discreet fit, as well as all-around leg elastics to help protect from leaks. Depend Silhouette Active Fit Briefs for Women feature a lower-rise, cloth-like fabric that is designed to lie flat and smooth under clothes. The moderate absorbency briefs feature a thin design and are available in black and beige colours.

In addition Depend has introduced its new, improved Fit-Flex underwear. This soft, quiet, breathable garment provides effective protection, outstanding comfort while having less bulk and more flexibility to move with your body. Available in moderate to maximum absorbency. Today incontinence does not have to hold you back. Depend products provide outstanding comfort and confidence that allow men and women the freedom from worry so that they can reconnect and live happy, active lives.

Available at food, drug and mass merchandise stores nationwide; online stores. To find the product best for your needs, use the Depend online product finder

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