There are many common misconceptions about incontinence, including the idea that it only affects certain types of people of a certain age group, or that it’s really not that big of an issue at all, impacting a relatively small number of people. However, recent research shows that more than 44 million people in the U.S. alone – one out of every six adults – and 500 million people globally experience some type of incontinence.
Myth: Urinary incontinence is a normal part of getting older.
Fact: While changes do occur in our bodies as we age that make older adults more likely to experience incontinence, it should not be considered a normal or inevitable part of the aging process.
Myth: Only older people are affected by incontinence.
Fact: While 42% of those with incontinence in the U.S. are 65 and older, the largest percentage of U.S. adults who experience some level of incontinence is actually the 40-64 age group. Incontinence is also prevalent among children and teenagers who have a physical or mental disability, such as autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, down syndrome and spinal cord injury.
Myth: Men don’t experience incontinence often.
Fact: About 20%-25% of Americans with incontinence are men.
Myth: Most of the time, incontinence cannot be cured.
Fact: There are many treatment options for urinary and bowel incontinence, such as Kegel exercises, electrical stimulation, dietary changes, medication and surgery. In some cases, incontinence can’t be cured, but can be managed with the assistance of absorbent products or urine collection devices.
Myth: Drinking less fluid will make incontinence less severe.
Fact: Some older adults limit the amount of fluid they drink in hopes of producing less urine and experiencing milder incontinence. However, limiting fluids leads to more concentrated urine, which irritates the bladder and can make the problem worse. This can also cause dehydration. Drinking adequate fluids and allowing about two hours between trips to the bathroom helps you stay hydrated, keeps urine diluted and maintains a normal bladder capacity.
Myth: Only people living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities need to use absorbent products for incontinence.
Fact: According to third-party research commissioned by Principle Business Enterprises, 97% of people with incontinence live at home.
If you experience incontinence, there are many products available to help improve your quality of life by controlling urine odor and stopping leaks to keep your skin, clothes and furniture dry. Find the right product that suits your needs.