How to Help Your Husband Cope with Urinary Incontinence
It isn’t discussed much, if at all, so you and your husband might feel alone in coping with urinary incontinence. Know you aren’t alone. In fact, millions of men manage bladder incontinence annually. The U.S. Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health estimates that as many as 11% of men younger than 65 are coping with urinary incontinence. Reasons vary across the lifespan, with the most common being prostate surgery. Averages rise significantly with age. WebMD estimates at least 25% of men over 65 have some form of bladder incontinence.
The good news is that it has never been easier to manage incontinence. Still, getting to the right solution can be challenging when your husband isn’t willing to talk about incontinence and is having trouble coping with the diagnosis. Hang in there. In the meantime, here are some ideas that can help.
Encourage Him to Focus on Solutions
Start with learning about the types of incontinence. They include stress incontinence, overflow incontinence, functional and stress incontinence or a mix. Overflow incontinence is most common, and symptoms vary. Your husband may have difficulty emptying the bladder completely, feel pain or discomfort with urination or feel the need to urinate frequently.
It is important to understand symptoms as well as how incontinence impacts your husband so you both know what to expect and can develop an individualized game plan. Encourage him to notice patterns and symptoms that will be helpful in talking with the doctor. Your husband may even want to keep a record for a few days. Remember, the goal is to understand the problem so you can choose the most effective solution.
Always Plan Ahead
Encourage your husband to look for ways to feel more comfortable. One easy strategy is double voiding: urinate, wait a few minutes and try to urinate again. This can help him empty his bladder. Another strategy is to attempt urination more frequently. Head to the bathroom every two to four hours rather than wait for the urge to go. Add a soft night light to minimize sleep disruption after bathroom trips. Progressive muscle relaxation exercises may also make it easier to fall back to sleep after middle of the night bathroom trips. Planning ahead can help your husband regain a sense of control and confidence when coping with urinary incontinence.
Learn about Kegel exercises, which strengthen the pelvic floor to ease incontinence. You may also want to use an external male catheter. Men’s Liberty offers a discreet, easy to use option that lets your husband enjoy the freedom to carry out daily activities with comfort and without embarrassing adult diapers or medication side effects. He can even use the catheter overnight for uninterrupted sleep.
Model a Positive Outlook
Urinary incontinence can shake confidence and even lead to anger, frustration and depression. Help your husband understand that although these are normal responses they need not be permanent ones. It is possible to have a vibrant and satisfying life (and sex life, too) with bladder incontinence. The key is helping your husband face the challenge head on and find the solutions that work best so he can get back to the business of life. Bladder incontinence impacts millions of men every year. If your husband is among them, you are not alone. Men’s Liberty has helped many men coping with incontinence regain their freedom and confidence. The Men’s Liberty unit seals tight and only needs to be changed once a day keeping your loved dry 24/7 and odor free. Learn more to see if we can help your husband, too.