Stress incontinence becoming more frequent…

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inconsurferdude

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Hi, this is my first post :) I've read the forums in the past, but just recently joined the site.

A little background: I wet the bed several times a week during high school, but this mostly stopped when I started college, although it sometimes still occurs when I drink beer/alcohol at night. I've always had to urinate frequently (every hour or two), and started experiencing slight stress incontinence a few years ago, about a year after I stopped wetting the bed. It only happened in small amounts when sneezing or stretching, until early last year when I began having to manage it with male guards… basically maxi-pads.

I'm not sure if it's because I started to feel more secure knowing that I was padded, but in the past few months it's become increasingly frequent, to the point where I often leak when climbing stairs, bending over, standing up, sitting down… etc. It's still in small enough amounts to manage with pads, although I am having to change them more frequently. While I do have a small diaper fetish (I sometimes look forward to putting on a diaper when I drink a lot, and sometimes wear around my apartment when I'm relaxing by myself) I have no real desire to wear diapers any more often than I currently do.

So, my question: Is it possible that my stress incontinence is becoming more frequent because I started using pads? I do feel that, before, I would actively focus during the day on holding my bladder when doing activities that might cause me to leak. I tried going without pads this past week to see if any control would come back and ended up having an accident a few hours into the first day that required changing clothes -- I definitely need some form of protection. My follow up question: There are situations (going out with friends, hiking, road trips) where changing pads every hour becomes impractical. I've considered pull-ups for these situations, but should I be concerned that I'll begin relying on them too much? I still have to make frequent trips to the restroom, even with the pads I'm currently using, so I don't want to slowly lose more control to the point of needing pull-ups in another year or two. I've also been apprehensive about wearing diapers to relax ever since I started needing pads to manage my stress incontinence… should I be doing everything I can to keep from worsening my incontinence, or should I try using pull-ups occasionally for the sake of convenience? I've already stopped drinking soda and coffee (which I miss) and it feels like I'm constantly concentrating on holding my bladder during the day, to the point where it's almost a distraction.

TLDR: I think pull-ups make more sense than what I'm currently doing, but I'm nervous about acknowledging that I might need them, and even more nervous about the future possibility of actually needing them.

Any thoughts / recommendations are very much appreciated, and thanks for reading my long post!
 

PlotTwist

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Whereas my urologist did say that you mentally become comfortably with the protection and "don't try as hard", it definitely sounds like you have no choice regardless. I guess this is why urologists are frequently against diaper usage, as it represents "giving up" to them, but in my case (and many others) it's a choice that adds freedom and avoids drugs with bad side effects.
 

ST50

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My urologist never discussed how I was going to manage my incontinence. He just refered me to the continence service for practical help. The nurse was and still is great. She wasn't keen for me to go 24/7 as she said I would soon loose any control I had left. She agreed in the end it was me that had to live with IC and of course she was right I did fairly quickly become dependant on nappies. I now have very little feeling and am usually wetting before I realise the need to go.
 

inconsurferdude

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and of course she was right I did fairly quickly become dependant on nappies

That's what I'm afraid of :/ But did you begin to consciously use the nappies once you began wearing them? My issue is that small leaks have become too frequent to continue using pads in some situations. I've never had a daytime accident where my entire bladder emptied, even though my stress incontinence has slowly become more frequent (but not severe). So I guess I'm looking for reassurance that using pull-ups instead of pads in some or even most situations won't somehow increase my reliance on protection if I still try to use the toilet as often as possible, before going for longer walks or climbing stairs, etc.

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Whereas my urologist did say that you mentally become comfortably with the protection and "don't try as hard", it definitely sounds like you have no choice regardless. I guess this is why urologists are frequently against diaper usage, as it represents "giving up" to them, but in my case (and many others) it's a choice that adds freedom and avoids drugs with bad side effects.

I haven't discussed the increased frequency with a urologist, but my general practitioner knows about my past bedwetting. When my stress incontinence became more frequent last year we agreed that I could wear absorbent guards and see a urologist if it persisted. I'll see if he can recommend someone, but I don't have another appointment until December. So I'm open to any advice from other incontinent people in the forums that might be helpful until then. :) I'll probably try some sort of pull-up over the next few months and monitor how much I notice myself using them, I can always switch back to pads if I feel like I'm beginning to rely on the pull-ups too much.
 

dayannight

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We can get so much advice and it is always worrying until you get to the point where you have a firm diagnosis - or sometimes have to accept that there is no clear causation to be identified.

The key for me has been managing the incontinence as effectively as possible and this includes following advice, exercising as much control as possible,but not beating myself up if I am not aware of the pee leakage or have a uncontrollable bowel movement.

Lots of us find that inco is variable,not a constant state and although it is tempting to feel bucked by what seems to be improvement the flip side is that it then feels devastating if things get worse. Better to accept what you cannot control and treat good days as a bonus.
 

inconsurferdude

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Thanks for reminding me that it's variable, it definitely helps to remember at times when it's worse that there will still be good days to look forward to. How much control do you have at this point? I'm still trying to exercise as much control as possible, but I decided to stop stressing so much about what might happen and take steps to manage what is happening. So I went ahead and bought pull-ups yesterday… today's been my first day wearing them. It's not as big of a deal as I thought it would be; I was out with friends all afternoon, and not having to change pads every hour was a really nice change of pace. I kept worrying that I was going to have a leak, but the pull-ups are more than enough protection for my current level of incontinence. Even though I'll probably still try to use pads most of the time, I think I might start drinking coffee and soda again, since I know now that I can just wear a pull-up if I end up wetting too frequently for pads.
 

MetalMann

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I have to dai if you're combatant changing pads by the hour, your incontinence sounds more severe than what you've lead on to. I think that male guards typically hold about a cup I believe? You may want to try heavier pullups. Especially if you intend to start consuming caffeine, it'll make it worse.
 

inconsurferdude

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if you're combatant changing pads by the hour, your incontinence sounds more severe than what you've lead on to

I've only had maybe half a dozen small leaks with the guards/pads since I started using them, but I'm still really self-conscious about having to wear them, so I probably change pads more often than I need to. I had coffee for the first time in six months this morning and wore a pull-up to the grocery store, it was definitely more saturated than pads would have been in the same amount of time, but I was wearing it for four or five hours. I'm going to keep wearing pads for now whenever I'm home, but so far I'm definitely liking the pull-ups for when I'm out during the day. The ones I bought were just from CVS, but I'll order some better ones online once I start to run low (I bought forty of them at CVS). I know the Tranquility pull-ups are pretty popular, but do you have any other recommendations? The more discrete the better, but I'd also like something that will last 6-8 hours with my level of incontinence… I'd guess that I'm wetting about half a cup every hour, maybe 3/4 cup if I drink caffeine. :/ Four or five cups seems like a lot for a single pull-up, but I know the diapers I had to wear for bedwetting would hold nearly two liters. I'll probably spend some time looking through the forums when I get ready to order, but any advice to point me in the right direction would be helpful :)
 

rennecfox

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you really might want to see a urologist to determine if there is anything you can do, I mean if its getting worse... it can get much worse... to the point that "the thiner the better" is going to be more "The thiner the more leaks I have"
 
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DiscreetlyPampered

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It may be your wearing pads and feeling more secure and releasing more, or it could be a health problem,
I'd see a urologist anyway. They don't care if your wearing a oversize adult diaper or a maxi, their there to offer medical advice, so you can be honest.
I'm 24/7 IC, I love wearing my diapers but I'd also like to have some control. anytime I go to do anything like the mall, movies, dinning out and of corse with girlfriends I have to stop and go change.... it can get old.
Get and appointment with a urologist and since you have to stay padded, try to enjoy it, it makes all the difference.
 

inconsurferdude

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you really might want to see a urologist to determine if there is anything you can do

I'm going to call this week and make an appointment with my regular doctor, he suggested referring me to a urologist when I first started having to wear guards, but since my bedwetting eventually went away I thought maybe the stress incontinence would too. I was going to wait until my next appointment in December, but I hadn't considered that it could be something that might be harder to fix later if it continues to happen with more frequency.
 

rennecfox

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I'm going to call this week and make an appointment with my regular doctor, he suggested referring me to a urologist when I first started having to wear guards, but since my bedwetting eventually went away I thought maybe the stress incontinence would too. I was going to wait until my next appointment in December, but I hadn't considered that it could be something that might be harder to fix later if it continues to happen with more frequency.
better now before you have to learn how to fix tapes,
 

inconsurferdude

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Get and appointment with a urologist and since you have to stay padded, try to enjoy it, it makes all the difference.

lol thanks, this is pretty much what I plan to do. It's funny, because I started to really enjoy being padded at night after about a year of bedwetting, to the point where I would sometimes wear diapers even after I stopped wetting the bed. But I stopped enjoying them as much when I started having issues with urge incontinence, I thought it might be related. At this point I'm pretty sure it's a medical issue… it's been happening with more frequency, and I haven't worn a diaper in at least six months. Thanks for the advice! Have you always been incontinent, or did it develop over time?

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better now before you have to learn how to fix tapes,

:) I had to wear diapers with tapes every night pretty much all through high school for bedwetting issues, so I definitely know how much of a hassle that can be! Not something I'm sure I'd like to deal with on a daily basis lol
 

dayannight

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All the time products are getting better - When I first used adult diapers they were nowhere near as comfortable,effective or easy to use as the ones I use today. I hated the very idea of having to wear a diaper, and needing to is very different to choosing to for pleasure or emotional release. A lot is to do with those attitudes in society that mean you don't feel even a little bit guilty or ashamed if you need a walking stick,eyeglasses or a wheelchair, but feel almost dehumanised if you have to wear protection.

There is a lot of satisfaction from managing your continence problems well in a way that causes minimum inconvenience to yourself or other people.I try to think of myself as "differently continent",rather than incontinent because if "incontinence" means not being able to contain your waste material, then that is not me, I just replace a failed internal control system wit.h an effective external one.

I em very grateful that I was't born even 100 years ago when incontinence meant social isolation and probably being housebound or in a care home. Sadly there are parts of the world where people are not so lucky and have to cope without access to even basic supplies-realising this and imagining what it must be like makes my problems seem a little bit less upsetting.
 

inconsurferdude

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I try to think of myself as "differently continent",rather than incontinent because if "incontinence" means not being able to contain your waste material, then that is not me, I just replace a failed internal control system wit.h an effective external one.

This is a really good way to look at it! And I definitely agree that having to wear protection out of necessity is a completely different feeling from in the past when I still had full control and occasionally wore diapers at home to relax… thinking about how I'm going to manage my incontinence in every situation has really been stressing me out, so thank you so much for your perspective :)
 

MetalMann

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Pull ups are all generally discreet. They are made for light to medium incontinence, whether it says overnight or not, it doesn't mean that it can handle large voids. People often confuse Pullups for diapers. What it does do is handle light to medium incontinence for an extended period of time. It's made to last longer do to work or some other extended events.

I suggest to go with pull-ups because it would be cheaper in the long run. If you're going through 8-10 pads per day, you're pretty much wasting money on a lot of pads when you can spend on pull-ups and go through 1 or 2 per day.

Now, I'll go ahead and tell you one of the cons of pull-ups. While they are designed with a higher capacity, they can be difficult to change if need be. You'd have to completely strip your bottom half to do so. There are two other options, one being a diaper, the other being a pad and pant system. These pads are bigger than the male guards at the store, and have a better design.

For example:
http://www.xpmedical.com/abrisan.html

They'll be cheaper to maintain as well and are relatively discrete as pull-ups.
 

inconsurferdude

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Now, I'll go ahead and tell you one of the cons of pull-ups. While they are designed with a higher capacity, they can be difficult to change if need be. You'd have to completely strip your bottom half to do so. There are two other options, one being a diaper, the other being a pad and pant system. These pads are bigger than the male guards at the store, and have a better design.

Really good advice, I've only been using the pull-ups for a few days now, and since I've been ripping them off when I get home and getting in the shower before changing into underwear with a guard I hadn't thought about how I'd have to undress to change a pull-up in public. That would definitely be more of a hassle if I end up switching to pull-ups. The pads that you mentioned sound like they would be a good compromise… I haven't been wearing underwear over the pull-ups, but would you recommend buying the pants that are designed to hold the pads, or would boxer-briefs work just as well? I'm also not opposed to diapers (especially since you pointed out how they'd be easier to change than pull-ups) but I would probably need something that could be re-taped if I went that route… I've never had any issues with bowel incontinence, but I do typically have four or five small bowel movements during the day, and I haven't seemed to have any fit issues with pull-ups after using the restroom. (Hopefully that's not too much info lol) I'm also worried that I'll eventually become lazy about exercising control over my bladder if I were to wear something as absorbent as a diaper. Thank for the advice :)
 

rennecfox

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I hadn't thought about how I'd have to undress to change a pull-up in public. That would definitely be more of a hassle if I end up switching to pull-ups.

It is dooable... but basicly it involves pullilng your pants down to just about your shoes and then one leg at a time sliding it in
 

inconsurferdude

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It is dooable... but basicly it involves pullilng your pants down to just about your shoes and then one leg at a time sliding it in

I can kind of picture that, but it would probably take me just as long as changing a diaper, so I guess the main advantage of pull-ups is discretion. When I wore diapers for bedwetting I got pretty good at changing while standing up (summer camp, traveling, staying over, etc.), so if I ever decide that it makes sense to wear something with tapes during the day I shouldn't have too much of a problem with public changes. I'm going to be away from home tomorrow for ten or twelve hours, so I'll pack an extra pull-up with my guards and if I have to change before I get home I'll see how long it takes to do it your way… it definitely sounds quicker than getting fully undressed in a bathroom stall, which is what I probably would have done at first. lol Thanks!
 

MetalMann

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Really good advice, I've only been using the pull-ups for a few days now, and since I've been ripping them off when I get home and getting in the shower before changing into underwear with a guard I hadn't thought about how I'd have to undress to change a pull-up in public. That would definitely be more of a hassle if I end up switching to pull-ups. The pads that you mentioned sound like they would be a good compromise… I haven't been wearing underwear over the pull-ups, but would you recommend buying the pants that are designed to hold the pads, or would boxer-briefs work just as well? I'm also not opposed to diapers (especially since you pointed out how they'd be easier to change than pull-ups) but I would probably need something that could be re-taped if I went that route… I've never had any issues with bowel incontinence, but I do typically have four or five small bowel movements during the day, and I haven't seemed to have any fit issues with pull-ups after using the restroom. (Hopefully that's not too much info lol) I'm also worried that I'll eventually become lazy about exercising control over my bladder if I were to wear something as absorbent as a diaper. Thank for the advice :)
Those underwear are designed to keep the pad next to the skin, ultimately reducing chances of sagging. They have a form fitting fit. If you wore it in regular underwear, the pads would be loose and would come out the legs of the underwear and would easily allow a leak. Thru also have a wider crotch to support the pads all the way around. It would be more comfortable than the male guards routine your on now with your regular underwear.
 
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