When to say the I word

talking about incontinence

One of the toughest things about managing male urinary incontinence is talking about incontinence and deciding if, when and how to discuss it.

Talking about incontinence is not easy

These strategies can help you get the conversation started.

Start with self-reflection

Your partner will take cues from you about managing incontinence. The best way to prepare to share is to remind yourself that incontinence is common. You are not alone, and you are still as capable and masculine as you were before. How you think and talk about incontinence will depend on how you feel about it. Be confident in your decision to move on with your usual activities. Your partner will pick up on your positive attitude and follow your lead.

Deciding when to share

Every situation is different but, in many cases, it is only necessary to share based on the situation at hand. For example, maybe you are excited about the freedom you now enjoy with Men’s Liberty to hike and enjoy a picnic lunch without worry about accidents or leaks. You could share that excitement, but it really isn’t necessary. Alternatively, if you are planning an overnight trip together mention the I word, but without great fanfare. Again, your attitude will help shape your partners attitude. You can discuss any adjustments you may need to make regarding intimacy. Use adjustments as an opportunity to have fun and be creative together. Doing so can lead to greater enjoyment and closeness.

Deciding how much to share

Maybe your diagnosis is new or causing undue anxiety. Particularly if you are in a long-term relationship it is a good idea to start a dialogue. Remember that your partner is concerned about you and your well-being. Communication is very important now. You may just start by saying you are experiencing some changes and would appreciate some support as you adjust. Be clear about what kind of support you will need. Offer to share more details as you are ready. Depending on your relationship with your partner they most likely already know, so it may take a big weight off your shoulders and theirs to speak about it openly.

Responding to questions

Millions of men are managing incontinence every day. It’s a sure bet that there are no questions that haven’t been asked before. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you need help thinking through. For questions that seem inappropriate or make you feel uncomfortable, try a little humor. You can also say you aren’t ready to talk about it yet. Follow up with a suggested time to revisit the conversation, if appropriate. More than 18% of men hide their incontinence from their healthcare provider and are missing out on solutions to get back to living their life.

Talking about incontinence gets easier over time

Bringing up the I word can feel awkward at first. It gets easier. That is especially true with Men’s Liberty. Men’s Liberty was designed with your freedom, dignity and confidence in mind. You are free to get back to the things you and your partner normally enjoy.