Talking to your doctor about urinary incontinence may feel daunting and embarrassing, but it’s an important conversation to have. It is important, to be honest with your doctor and provide as much detail as possible so that they can understand and diagnose your condition accurately. Bring any relevant medical records or results with you. Also, be sure to ask any questions you may have regarding treatment options or the expected prognosis of your condition. Your doctor should address your concerns, so don’t hesitate to speak up if you feel like something isn’t right. With the right approach, talking to your doctor about urinary incontinence need not be a difficult experience.
Understand the Causes and Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence involves the involuntary leakage of urine. Common causes include weakened pelvic floor muscles, pregnancy and childbirth, menopause, neurological disorders, certain medications and urinary tract infections. Symptoms range from slight drips or leaks to complete loss of bladder control. Other common symptoms are frequent urination and a strong urge to urinate even when the bladder is empty. If you experience any of these symptoms it is important to speak with your doctor in order to get an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment.
Prepare for the Conversation With Your Doctor
Before talking to your doctor about urinary incontinence it is important to do some research. Know the words or terms associated with your condition so you can properly express what is going on. It can also be helpful to keep a bladder diary, keeping track of when you have accidents and any other relevant information such as what medications you are taking. Writing down any questions or concerns ahead of time can also help ensure that the conversation flows smoothly and that all of your needs are addressed. Gathering information and being prepared will make talking to your doctor easier and more productive.
Discuss Treatment Options With Your Doctor
Once you have discussed your symptoms and any other relevant information with your doctor, it is important to discuss available treatment options. Treatment for urinary incontinence can range from self-care methods such as bladder retraining and Kegel exercises to medical treatments such as medication or surgery. Make sure to ask your doctor about the potential side effects of each treatment option so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you. It is also important to keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another, so be prepared to explore different approaches.
Follow Up After Visiting the Doctor
After visiting your doctor, it is important to follow up on any recommendations or treatments. Keep up with any exercises you learned, take medications as prescribed and schedule regular follow-up visits to ensure that treatment is progressing as it should. Be sure to inform your doctor of any changes in your symptoms or if you experience any side effects from medication. It can also be helpful to keep track of questions you may have between visits so that they can be answered at the next appointment. Staying organized and following through will help ensure that you’re getting the best care possible for your condition.
Talking to your doctor about urinary incontinence can be intimidating and uncomfortable, but it is essential to get the right treatment. Be prepared with information and questions prior to the appointment, ask for clarifications if you need them, and follow up after the visit. By being an active participant in your care, you can work with your doctor to find the best possible solution for managing your incontinence.