Are you worried about leaving a cinema numerous times because of incontinence?
You’re not alone in this; between 3 and 6 million people in the UK are living with some degree of urinary incontinence. Luckily, there are some things you can do to make your experience less worrisome.
Look into Bladder Re-Training
Bladder re-training can be essential in dealing with incontinence confidently and is often preferred over surgery. Once you are confident about managing incontinence, you will feel much more relaxed in a cinema. As urologist Roger Dmochowski states, “people can be very strategic. It’s amazing how good some people are at estimating their own bladder problem. They have a fairly good idea of the time frame they’re working with.” Bladder re-training involves lengthening the amount of time between toilet trips to train your bladder to hold more urine. You can talk to a GP or Urologist about an effective bladder training course that could work for you.
Take Your Mind Off Incontinence
Thinking about it can only make it worse, as stress is closely linked to incontinence accidents. There is evidence that emotional problems such as anxiety and stress can lead to or aggravate already existing bladder problems. It is essential for messages between your nervous system, your urinary tract muscles and your brain must coordinate properly for you to stay continent.
Pack a Bag of Essential Items
If you are watching a film, you should always pack a spare incontinence product “just in case”. Packing sprays and scented products can help mask any odour you are worried about. Cleansing products, such as hand sanitisers and foam can help you feel fresh and pleasant if you need to change products. Creams and ointments are essential in maintaining a good skin cleansing routine, as they create a waterproof barrier between the skin and other substances. Bringing along incontinence wet wipes can also be useful, as they do no require the use of foam or lotion in order to be effective.
Select your Fluid Carefully
Carefully select your fluids. “Many people dehydrate themselves,” Dmochowski tells WebMD. That’s never a good idea. So take a careful look at which fluids cause problems more often. “Some have more problems with caffeinated products or alcohol, so they avoid them or cut back — and that certainly can help.”
Avoid Problem Foods
An excess of sugar can worsen incontinence. Although it is tempting to go mad with the pick n’ mix, try and limit the amount of sugar you consume to a sensible amount. Sour or citrus sweets can also be a trigger for incontinence leakages. High-acid foods such as citrus fruits and juices can also make urge incontinence worse in particular.
Don’t Drink Immediately Before the Film
Drinking just before the film is a ticket to trouble. Remember, however, that it is important to stay hydrated. Becoming dehydrated can further irritate the bladder and even cause leakages. Try and fluids up to one hour before the film starts to keep yourself hydrated. It is also a good idea to go to the toilet prior to taking your seat.
Choose a Seat Near the Toilet
Before going to the cinema, make this your top priority. Try and choose a seat that makes it convenient and easy to take a trip to the toilet. As the Department of Health and Ageing advises, “whether you are on a plane or at the theatre, always choose a seat that is as close to accessible toilets as possible”.
Watch How You’re Positioned
Sit upright, yet relaxed. Slouching puts more pressure on the abdominal area. Sapsford et al. published a paper studying sitting postures and the effect on the pelvic floor. The study found that upright sitting requires postural control and core activation. The pelvic floor muscles are part of the core, and the authors point out that pelvic floor muscles activity influences bladder inhibition and provides support to the pelvic organs. Adopting the non-slumped position during a film may prevent unwanted leakages.
Attending events with incontinence also requires an effective product. Read our Product Guides Section for tips and advice on choosing a product.