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Incontinence is Not Just an Old People Problem

March 27, 2014 2 min read

When most people think of adult diapers, they tend to think of the elderly. Old people lose control over their bladders all the time and adult diapers are there to help. Surely someone young, say in their 30’s, would never need to wear diapers. Why would they need to? Their bodies are healthy; their bladders are strong. Adult diapers won’t be a necessity until you’re at least 80. Right?

Wrong.

Adult diapers aren’t just for grandmothers and grandfathers; urinary incontinence can affect anyone at any age. Sure, incontinence does get more common with old age, but that doesn’t mean younger folks are out in the clear. In fact, one study from Melbourne included over 1,000 incontinent women whose average age was just 22. That’s barely out of college! And the condition doesn’t just target women; men – young and old – are also at risk.

Affecting more than 25 million people in the United States, urinary incontinence is a symptom of an underlying problem. Common causes for incontinence include weak pelvic floor muscles, pregnancy and childbirth, prostate cancer, constipation and being overweight. Incontinence can also occur in those with spinal cord injuries, nerve damage, and neurological disorders. Those who participate in sports or physical exercises, like running, may also experience bladder control problems.

Treatment depends on the type of incontinence experienced. Those with stress incontinence (leaking while doing something physical) are usually advised to practice kegel exercises. People with urge incontinence (sudden and frequent urges to urinate) may try retraining their bladder. Many people with incontinence will learn to manage their problems by wearing absorbent undergarments, or adult briefs. Incontinence briefs of today are more comfortable, more reliable and more discreet than diapers of the past.

Urinary incontinence can strike at any age, whether you’re in your 80s, 70s, or in your 20s, 30s or 40s. It’s often underreported in younger people because they’re embarrassed and think it only happens to elderly adults. However, if you experience bladder control problems, whatever your age may be, be sure to contact your doctor. Incontinence is not normal at any age, and it can be treated or managed with the right tools.


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