August 07, 2019
How to Talk to Your Doctor about SUI
Opening up about Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) can be embarrassing. No one wants to bring up their occasional leaks and bladder problems in conversation. But there is one person you should be talking about it with - your doctor. Here are some tips to help start having an open and honest conversation with your doctor about your SUI.
Be HonestIt is crucial to be honest with your doctor about the symptoms you’re experiencing for them to accurately diagnose and treat you. It’s also important to be upfront with your doctor about everything your body goes through - alcohol consumption, diet habits, medication, past surgical histories, etc. It’s their job to make sure you are living a happy and comfortable life and to do that, they have to know the whole story. So be honest! Past medical and physical history may be contributing to your SUI, such as obesity, surgery, or vigorous activity over many years. Make sure you’re detailed in describing symptoms so that your incontinence can be accurately diagnosed. For instance, if your leaks are a result of sudden urgency and being unable to make it to the bathroom, you may be suffering from Urge Incontinence and not stress incontinence. Accurately conveying this information would allow your doctor to help you find the cause and get treatment for the kind of incontinence you are experiencing.
Come PreparedIf you’re nervous about your upcoming appointment with your PCP, don’t be! A lot of the fear and anxiety that stems from seeing the doctor and talking about symptoms comes from not knowing what the doctor is going to say. Doing some research beforehand can help relieve some of those nerves. Here are some great medical websites with trustworthy information about illnesses, conditions, treatments, and medications: It is also good to go into appointments having some knowledge about what’s going on with your body to help communicate with your doctor more accurately, instead of using layman’s terms and vague descriptions of what you are experiencing. Plus, learning more about your own body is never a bad thing! If you need to write down some notes or bring in your phone, go for it. Anything that will help you be prepared to face the doctor and have an honest discussion about your health.
Ask the Right QuestionsBeing honest with your doctor is your job, and being honest with you is theirs. Ask your doctor questions! It's a good thing to be curious, especially when it comes to your health and wellness. But it's crucial to make sure you’re asking the right questions when it comes to your SUI. Here are some questions you can ask your doctor at your next appointment.
- Am I experiencing stress incontinence, urge incontinence, or overflow incontinence?
- What can I do to help reduce my leaks?
- What are the side effects of surgical options?
- Should I be worried about a UTI or other infections?
- Should Kegels hurt? Am I doing them correctly?
- Could my symptoms be a sign of something more?