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Does the thought of talking with your healthcare provider about urinary incontinence make you feel uncomfortable? Explore how to overcome this hurdle and get the care you need, and learn what questions you can ask.
Addressing urinary incontinence begins by talking to your doctor. For many, however, that's not an easy thing to do. People with bladder control issues can feel embarrassed to talk to their physician about their accidents or sudden urges to urinate. Older adults often accept frequent incontinence or other urinary problems as part of the aging process.
To solve your urinary incontinence issues, however, it’s important to gather the courage to discuss what you’re experiencing, provide useful information for a diagnosis, and ask the right questions.
If you’re embarrassed to see a healthcare provider about your urinary incontinence, here are a few facts and tips that might motivate you to make an appointment:
Bringing a bladder diary to your doctor appointment
One of the ways you can help your healthcare team understand what's going on with your urinary function is by keeping a bladder diary . A bladder diary is simply a log of:
Be aware that there are several types of urinary incontinence. Identifying the correct type is like detective work that relies on good information. The more details you can provide to your healthcare provider about your incontinence, the easier it will be for them to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe a recommended treatment. If you don't have a bladder diary ready, bring detailed notes to your appointment.
Asking your doctor questions about your urinary incontinence
Once you've overcome any embarrassment, and filled out a bladder diary or written up notes, it's a good idea to come to your appointment prepared with a list of questions. The conversation will focus on your specific situation, but here are a few general questions you can ask:
As with any medical issue, talking to your doctor is an important first step. Once you overcome any apprehension, come to your appointment with information, and ask the right questions, you'll be well on your way to addressing your urinary incontinence issues.
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