Incontinence isn’t exactly easy to deal with. It’s messy, it’s embarrassing, and nobody likes to feel as though everyone is staring when they are holding incontinence pads at the checkout line. After a major surgery, it’s probably the last thing you want to deal with.
Luckily, there are some ways to deal with it, and make the process a little more pleasant as you work your way back to normal.
1. If you can, try to avoid diuretics.
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), a diuretic is “A type of drug that causes the kidneys to make more urine.” This doesn’t just apply to drugs, either; alcoholic beverages contain diuretic properties, and caffeinated beverages can to a lesser degree. Having your kidneys fill with less urine will make you less likely to have an accident, or need to rush to the bathroom at inopportune times.
2. Do pelvic floor exercises.
When people mention this, the first things that usually come to mind are kegel exercises, but there are some others that you can do, such as squats or bridge exercises. These can be done safely and at home; just make sure that you have a nice flat surface to do them on.
Or, you have trouble getting around, you can do kegels from your chair, so you don’t have to worry about inaccessibility.
3: Drink plenty of water.
This sounds a bit counterproductive, but according to the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, drinking less water can actually shrink your bladder, so you want to keep your water at healthy levels.
The typical range for a healthy individual is four to six cups a day, but this can vary depending on medications, medical conditions, and other factors. If you aren’t sure, please consult your doctor.
4. Be prepared in case of an accident.
Hey, accidents happen. All good plans can fail sometimes, so it’s always good to be prepared. This may mean keeping a portable urinal (either for men or women) near the bed in case of an emergency, or keeping some waterproof throws lying around in case things get a little wet.
5. Listen to your doctor.
More than anything else, please listen to your doctor’s instructions. Depending on the surgery and what your level of incontinence is, your instructions may vary.
Please use any layman’s advice at your own discretion.