Don't let incontinence get in the way of summer fun!


Ah, summer - a time to get outside and enjoy a day at the beach, a boating trip, or some summer sports. Sounds like fun, right? But for people with incontinence, thinking about these summer activities - and those lighter, more revealing summer clothes - can bring a lot of anxiety over having an accident.

But it doesn't have to be this way. Here's how to enjoy some summer fun in spite of incontinence.

Get proper treatment. Some people with incontinence try to manage the problem themselves by sticking close to home so they'll be near a bathroom if they need it. But this means they can miss out on life and become isolated. Incontinence can be managed - see your doctor to find out what might be causing your incontinence and what you can do about it. You have many options for managing your incontinence, including absorbent products, medications, medical devices, and lifestyle changes (to learn more, see the Incontinence channel). A combination of techniques is often used to manage incontinence. Finding the right treatment can help give you the confidence you need to get out of the house this summer.

Ease into it. If you're feeling uncomfortable about leaving the house this summer, start slowly. Plan an activity that's outdoors, but close to a public washroom, like a picnic in the park (choose a park that has washrooms and make sure they're open). Then you can gradually add other activities as you get used to your treatment plan and increase your comfort level with summer activities.

Stay hydrated. All too often, people with incontinence restrict their fluid intake to try and avoid accidents. This, combined with the summer heat and being active, can cause you to get dehydrated, which can make your incontinence worse by irritating your bladder. Be sure to drink enough fluids, usually about 6 to 8 glasses per day, and more on hot days or if you are active. But think about what you drink - too much alcohol and caffeine can make your bladder control worse.

Take care of your skin. People with incontinence may be prone to rashes or skin infections because urine can irritate the skin, and the summer heat can make this worse. The best way to prevent these problems is to keep your skin clean and dry. Keep an extra set of clothes on hand in case of accidental leakage. If you wear absorbent products, make sure you change them regularly. You may also use creams to protect your skin from urine, as recommended by your doctor.

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