We are in the midst of a pandemic which seems to have disrupted everything. By now, you must have adjusted to the new normal, ventured out to take a socially distant walk, grocery shopping, trying to remember the time gone by. And if you have noticed the life around, you might have noticed one major inconvenience i.e. a lack of public washrooms. And even if they were available in abundance, the time is inapt to use them, considering the risk of catching the virus. And this makes us all wonder: will wearing adult diapers be as ubiquitous as wearing face masks? The answer is “yes” for those in need.
Urinary incontinence often makes us rush to the bathroom at the worst time and when it’s something like COVID-19 pandemic, even more so. The only thing people find relief in during such times is adult diapers. Let’s understand what causes urinary incontinence:
What causes urinary incontinence?
Urgency Incontinence: It occurs due to an irritable or overactive bladder that loses its capacity to stay relaxed and goes into the state of intermittent spasms. It causes urgency with or without incontinence.
Stress Incontinence: This is common in women who have given birth and as a result, have a weak pelvic floor. It happens during activities such as sneezing, coughing, trampolining and jogging, etc. when the patient’s abdomen is subjected to physical stress.
Mixed Incontinence: This is a type of incontinence in which the symptoms of both urgency, as well as stress incontinence, are combined.
Overflow Incontinence: This is an uncommon version of urinary incontinence, usually associated with an extremely full bladder due to prostatic obstruction in men.
How to Manage Urinary Incontinence during COVID-19?
Although hospitals are open and can be visited anytime, people are hesitant to visiting one expect in the case of an emergency. Under such a situation, the following are the steps that can be taken:
Virtual Consultation: It helps in ascertaining the type of incontinence and getting the prescription from the comfort of one’s home.
Fluid Intake Optimization: Fluid restriction or dehydration can lead to concentrated urine and therefore, an irritated bladder that can make things worse. Therefore, it is advisable to drink the right amount of fluid.
Bladder Re-Training: This involves holding back urine with the help of distraction techniques such as counting backward from 100 whenever there’s an urge to go. Holding time can gradually be increased from 5-10 minutes to more.
Vaginal Oestrogen Cream: Also known as a pessary, it is particularly useful for post-menopausal women with an overactive bladder.
Timed Voiding: This means scheduling urination by the clock and emptying the bladder every 2-4 hours. The technique is more useful for those suffering from stress incontinence.
Pelvic Floor Exercises: Pelvic exercises are designed for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and are thus effective against stress incontinence. It involves holding the pelvic muscles for 10 seconds or longer before relaxing and repeating.
Urethral Devices: These are devices that look similar to tampons that can be inserted into the urethra to prevent urine leakage. These devices are removed when urinating and re-inserted.
Incontinence Pads: All the steps mentioned above take time to improve incontinence and are not always effective. Therefore, the usage of old people diapers is the ultimate way to contain urinary leakage and prevent embarrassment especially in times like these when using public washrooms is the worst choice and using home washroom might not always be possible.
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