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Incontinence Support Blog

Mens Liberty

Recent Posts

What kind of incontinence do I have? Stress, Flow or Urge

Posted by Mens Liberty

Apr 19, 2018 10:59:10 AM

Although urinary incontinence impacts 1 in 6 men in USA and millions of men annually, how it impacts them individually can vary. Learn more about the kinds of incontinence here.

Types of Incontinence

If you are managing urinary incontinence it probably looks like one of the types described below.

Stress incontinence - This type of incontinence is typically caused by undue pressure on the bladder as with lifting, coughing, laughing or sneezing. Stress incontinence and associated leakage of urine is common in men immediately following prostate surgery. Obesity is also a frequent cause of stress incontinence as the pressure of extra weight (particularly abdominal fat) places a strain on the bladder. Weight loss has been shown to be effective in reducing or eliminating some urinary incontinence. Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor and urinary sphincter also provide some relief.

Urge incontinence – With urge incontinence bladder contractions produce an urgent need to toilet. The urge may feel so great that accidents and urine leakage may occur because of inability to reach the bathroom in time. This type of incontinence is common in men who have had radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Other common causes of urge incontinence are bladder inflammation, brain injury (for example, stroke), bladder cancer and spinal cord injury.

Mixed incontinence – Some men experience more than one kind of incontinence. Managing both stress and urge symptoms of incontinence is called mixed incontinence.

Overflow incontinence – If you are experiencing overflow incontinence your bladder does not empty completely with urination. It may also be difficult to sense when the bladder is full. Overflow incontinence symptoms include leaks and maybe even wetting the bed. Certain medications, enlarged prostate, nerve damage (such as with Parkinson’s disease) and diabetes are common causes of overflow incontinence. Urinary tract infections are common with overflow incontinence as bacteria proliferate when urine stands in the bladder for long periods.

Managing incontinence

In addition to making lifestyle changes such as:

  • Avoiding foods that irritate the bladder (acidic or spicy foods)
  • Losing weight if your BMI (body mass index) is greater than 25
  • Quitting smoking

You can also make behavioral changes such as daily Kegel exercises, timed drinking, timed toileting and double voiding. To double void, urinate and wait a few moments and urinate again to completely empty the bladder.

Your healthcare provider is a good source of information about the latest available medications and surgical options. You can also talk with your doctor about Men’s Liberty. We offer an easy to use, discreet incontinence management system. Covered by many insurance plans including Tricare, Medicare and most private insurance you may be able to enjoy stress free protection at little or no out of pocket costs (standard deductibles and copays apply). Give us a call if you have questions. We are here to help.

How to help your loved one maintain their independence while struggling with incontinence

Posted by Mens Liberty

Apr 17, 2018 3:28:27 PM

How to help your loved one maintain their independence while struggling with incontinence

It is possible to maintain independence while managing incontinence. Help your loved one do so with these tips.

Arm yourself with information

Start by learning about the kind of incontinence you are dealing with. The main kinds are stress incontinence or urine leakage with bladder pressure when you do things like lift, laugh, sneeze or cough. Overflow incontinence is owed to weakened bladder muscles that make it hard to completely empty the bladder. The bladder may empty involuntarily, even without signaling that it is full. Also common is urge incontinence where contractions of the bladder create a sudden urge to urinate. The urge may be so strong and sudden that your loved one will not make it to the bathroom in time to avoid an accident.

Use what you know to decide what you will do

Maintain independence by getting a game plan for more control of incontinence. For example, your loved one may practice Kegel exercises to improve symptoms of stress or urge incontinence. You can generally expect to see stronger pelvic floor muscles, and thus better control, in two to four months. For overflow incontinence your loved one should try double voiding. To do this, urinate then wait a few minutes and try again. The idea here is to completely empty the bladder.

Look for patterns and adjust as you go

Other strategies include planning and lifestyle changes. Encourage your loved one to use the bathroom every three hours, even if he doesn’t feel like he has to go. Try running water to encourage urination. Wear easy to remove clothing. Avoid foods that irritate the bladder like citrus, caffeine, and anything too spicy. Notice if symptoms worsen with stress. If so, practice deep breathing or other stress management techniques. Cut back on liquids an hour or so before sleep and sex. If your loved one is overweight or smokes, encourage him to quit. Both contribute to incontinence.

Keep the focus on solutions

It is normal to feel frustrated or anxious about managing incontinence. Encourage your loved one to not stop there. Move beyond disappointment to a search for solutions. Men’s Liberty is one solution that has helped millions of men maintain their independence. Our skin friendly, external catheter provides hours of worry free wear. Work, play and sleep without fear of accidents, leaks or pop-offs. Your loved one may be able to get Men’s Liberty with little or no out of pocket cost. Give us a call or chat online to learn more.

Do Veteran Health Benefits Pay for Incontinence Treatment? 

Posted by Mens Liberty

Mar 7, 2018 8:00:00 AM

 

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Do veteran health benefits pay for incontinence treatment?

Urinary incontinence impacts veterans of all age groups. In fact, it is more common than many veterans realize. Despite increased attention and research on incontinence veterans are often reluctant to seek help.  More awareness about available options may change that.

Talk with your healthcare provider

Incontinence treatment options such as Men’s Liberty external catheter are covered by Tricare and most other insurance providers, including Medicaid and Medicare. To qualify for coverage, your healthcare provider will need to document medical necessity.  You can enjoy worry free protection day and night for little or no out of pocket costs. No prescription is required.

Why is incontinence so common among vets?

Urinary incontinence is common among vets across age groups. Moreover, it is higher among veterans younger than 55 than in non-veterans younger than 55. There are a number of contributing factors.  Physical injuries such as traumatic brain injury, combat trauma or spinal cord injury are common causes of bladder incontinence. Other factors, such as PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder, weight, and prostate health may also play a role. No matter the cause of your incontinence, Men’s Liberty can help you get back to the business of living without worry about embarrassing accidents.

Why incontinence treatment?

Relief is available for veterans experiencing incontinence.  Often, embarrassment makes it too difficult for veterans to talk with a healthcare provider.  As a result they may become depressed, and/or isolated from family, friends and regular activities. Incontinence treatment gives you the freedom to enjoy life without fear of accidents or infections. Take your life back with long lasting protection at home or on the go.

Why Men’s Liberty?

Men’s Liberty offers an easy to use external male catheter that is appropriate for almost all male anatomy, regardless of size. Our product carries less risk of bladder infection than indwelling catheters, too. Depending on your abilities, you can apply Men’s Liberty without the help of a caregiver. Our latex-free, hypoallergenic adhesive forms a complete seal to keep you dry; reducing irritation and sores.

Help for urinary incontinence is available. Talk with your healthcare provider to learn about how you can stop thinking about your bladder and get back to the active, independent lifestyle you want.  Call or visit Men’s Liberty online to learn more.

Young Veterans at High Risk for Urinary Incontinence 

Posted by Mens Liberty

Mar 1, 2018 8:00:00 AM

 

 

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The Journal of Urology reported in an article titled Military Exposure and Urinary Incontinence among American Men, that young veterans more frequently experienced urinary incontinence than young non-veterans. The study is important for two reasons: 1. Previous research did not find higher risk among veterans younger than 55, and 2. Current research clearly identifies the correlation, so young veterans are now more likely to be asked about problems with incontinence and receive appropriate treatment.

The Study

Researchers surveyed nearly 5,000 men over the age of 20 during a three year period. About a quarter of survey participants had served in the military. The study focus was on urge incontinence, frequent strong urges to urinate that may lead to accidents if the toilet isn’t reached in time. Urge incontinence is most frequent in men. Researchers found that ten percent of men without military service experienced urinary incontinence while 18% or almost twice as many men with military service experienced urinary incontinence.

Probable Causes

Researchers have not been able to say definitively what the relationship is between young men, incontinence and military service. They have, however, identified some patterns. In general men with urinary incontinence are also managing chronic health conditions such as obesity, diabetes or depression. An enlarged prostate is another common health factor.

The Role of Stress and Trauma

Military service takes a heavy physical and physiological toll on veterans. This may provide some explanation. Traumatic brain injury and combat injury also pose risk for urinary incontinence.  Physiological stress and PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder may also increase the likelihood of bladder incontinence in veterans.

Treatment options are available

Younger veterans are now more likely to be screened for problems with urinary incontinence. Options such as behavioral shifts (for example learning Kegels or practicing double voiding), medications, surgery, or external catheters are readily available. Talk with your doctor as soon as symptoms appear.  Explore different options and learn about the pros and cons of each. Finding the right solution can give you back a sense of freedom and control. Consider Men’s Liberty, too. We offer a discreet, easy to use system. Our external catheter is covered by TriCare and most other insurance plans. Urinary incontinence need not keep you from the activities you enjoy.

Kegels for Male Urinary Incontinence 

Posted by Mens Liberty

Feb 26, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Kegels for Male Urinary Incontinence

A big stressor with urinary incontinence is coping with the loss of bladder control and the impact it has on daily life. Kegels are important because they can help return a feeling of control.

What are Kegels?

Doctors have long recommended Kegels to women to ease childbirth and recovery. They have benefits for men, too. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor or pubococcygeus muscle. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscle can improve bladder function, so you experience fewer accidents and leaks. If you have ED or erectile dysfunction, Kegels can lead to improvements there as well. These improvements include stronger orgasm and longer erection.

How To Do Kegels

The Mayo Clinic offers these four tips:

1.      Identify the right muscle – Locate the muscle by stopping your urine midstream. Once you locate the muscle stop the practice of interrupting your urine flow as it may increase risk of bladder infection. You can also try tightening the muscles that keep you from passing gas. In a GQ article titled How Kegels Will Change Your Sex Life, author K. Aleisha Fetters quotes Dr. Darius A. Paduch giving this advice; if you’re doing it right, you’ll actually see your penis “jump” a bit. A urologist, Dr. Paduch goes on to say you can also identify the right muscle by placing a couple of fingers behind your testicles and noticing if the muscle tightens.

2.      Practice – start with short practice periods of about three seconds, alternating rounds of contraction and relaxation. As you become more comfortable with the practice try it in concert with regular activities such as driving, standing in line or talking on the phone.  No one will be able to tell what you are doing so you can practice often, and discreetly. You can also practice Kegels during sex to delay ejaculation.

3.      Hone your focus – check regularly to be certain you are isolating the correct muscle.  Notice how you are breathing. You should not hold your breath as you contract and relax.

4.      Practice regularly for results – Do three rounds of ten Kegels daily to notice improvements in bladder control. You can increase the number of Kegels performed over time. You may begin to notice improvements in six weeks or more.

 If you are experiencing bladder incontinence you likely feel distressed about how this change impacts your life and your sense of control over it. Kegel exercises are one strategy for managing urinary incontinence, and regaining some control.

If Kegels Don’t Work for You, Try an Alternative Solution:

Men’s Liberty provides discreet, worry free protection against leaks and accidents for up to 24 hours. Our alternative to the external male catheter is your odor free solution to urinary incontinence. Covered by over 3000 insurance plans including Medicare and TriCare, Men’s Liberty eliminates the awkwardness of adult diapers.  Return to a normal, active lifestyle without constant worry. One Men’s Liberty provides protection that lasts up to 24 hours, keeping you dry night and day. If urinary incontinence is causing stress and disruption for you, Men’s Liberty may be the answer. Email us or give us a call today to learn if Men’s Liberty is right for you.

How to Help Your Husband Cope with Urinary Incontinence 

Posted by Mens Liberty

Feb 14, 2018 11:00:00 AM

How to Help Your Husband Cope with Urinary Incontinence

It isn’t discussed much, if at all, so you and your husband might feel alone in coping with urinary incontinence. Know you aren’t alone. In fact, millions of men manage bladder incontinence annually. The U.S. Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health estimates that as many as 11% of men younger than 65 are coping with urinary incontinence. Reasons vary across the lifespan, with the most common being prostate surgery. Averages rise significantly with age. WebMD estimates at least 25% of men over 65 have some form of bladder incontinence. 

The good news is that it has never been easier to manage incontinence. Still, getting to the right solution can be challenging when your husband isn’t willing to talk about incontinence and is having trouble coping with the diagnosis. Hang in there. In the meantime, here are some ideas that can help.

Encourage Him to Focus on Solutions

Start with learning about the types of incontinence. They include stress incontinence, overflow incontinence, functional and stress incontinence or a mix. Overflow incontinence is most common, and symptoms vary. Your husband may have difficulty emptying the bladder completely, feel pain or discomfort with urination or feel the need to urinate frequently.

It is important to understand symptoms as well as how incontinence impacts your husband so you both know what to expect and can develop an individualized game plan. Encourage him to notice patterns and symptoms that will be helpful in talking with the doctor. Your husband may even want to keep a record for a few days. Remember, the goal is to understand the problem so you can choose the most effective solution.

Always Plan Ahead

Encourage your husband to look for ways to feel more comfortable. One easy strategy is double voiding: urinate, wait a few minutes and try to urinate again. This can help him empty his bladder. Another strategy is to attempt urination more frequently. Head to the bathroom every two to four hours rather than wait for the urge to go. Add a soft night light to minimize sleep disruption after bathroom trips. Progressive muscle relaxation exercises may also make it easier to fall back to sleep after middle of the night bathroom trips. Planning ahead can help your husband regain a sense of control and confidence when coping with urinary incontinence.

Consider Interventions

Learn about Kegel exercises, which strengthen the pelvic floor to ease incontinence. You may also want to use an external male catheter. Men’s Liberty offers a discreet, easy to use option that lets your husband enjoy the freedom to carry out daily activities with comfort and without embarrassing adult diapers or medication side effects. He can even use the catheter overnight for uninterrupted sleep.

Model a Positive Outlook

Urinary incontinence can shake confidence and even lead to anger, frustration and depression. Help your husband understand that although these are normal responses they need not be permanent ones.  It is possible to have a vibrant and satisfying life (and sex life, too) with bladder incontinence. The key is helping your husband face the challenge head on and find the solutions that work best so he can get back to the business of life. Bladder incontinence impacts millions of men every year. If your husband is among them, you are not alone.  Men’s Liberty has helped many men coping with incontinence regain their freedom and confidence. The Men’s Liberty unit seals tight and only needs to be changed once a day keeping your loved dry 24/7 and odor free. Learn more to see if we can help your husband, too.

5 Things That Will Make Male Urinary Incontinence Worse

Posted by Mens Liberty

Feb 6, 2018 12:55:51 PM

Don't let bladder incontinence keep you from the people and things you enjoy. Be proactive. There are things you can do to make managing urinary incontinence eaasier. Here are five that can help.

Certain Foods

You don’t have to give up your favorite foods but it is important to notice how certain foods impact incontinence. Common bladder irritants include:

  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Citrus
  • Chocolate
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Caffeine
  • Spicy foods
  • Sugar, artificial sweeteners
  • Acidic foods, such as spaghetti sauce

Start by noticing how your body responds when you consume these foods. You may even want to eliminate some, at least temporarily, and add them back to find your level of tolerance. Adjust as needed for better incontinence management.

 

Constipation

Some men reduce their liquid intake as a way of managing incontinence. This actually exacerbates the problem. Too little fluid can irritate the bladder and increase the urge to urinate. Moreover, concentrated urine has a stronger odor that is hard to mask if leakage becomes a problem. Too little liquid may also lead to constipation. Straining to move the bowels puts pressure on the pelvic floor and can aggravate urinary incontinence.

 

Extra Weight

Whenever possible, stay physically active to maintain or reach a healthy weight. Excess weight puts pressure on the bladder and can contribute to leaks. Physical activity isn’t only important for healthy weight; it can also improve bladder health. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular, moderate exercise improves bladder control.

 

Smoking

If you needed another reason to quit smoking, better bladder control may be the one you’re looking for. Smoking is highly correlated with urinary incontinence. Smokers also tend to have more difficulty managing incontinence than non-smokers. This is especially true if a smoker’s cough is present. Frequent coughing, like laughing and sneezing, can trigger bladder leaks.

 

Overhydration

Too much liquid in too short a period will overwhelm the bladder and produce a strong urge to void. The trick is to find the sweet spot so you don’t drink too much or too little. No need to trade in your big gulp or 20oz, just sip and savor instead.

Managing incontinence is easier than ever before. Widely available information about causes, contributing factors and solutions means more freedom to keep doing what you love. Learn more about how Men’s Liberty can help you immediately regain your freedom and confidence. Our alternative to the traditional external catheter is discreet, easy to use and covered by TriCare, Medicare and over 3000 insurance plans. Visit www.mensliberty.com to get started today.  

 

Does Stress Increase Problems with Urinary Incontinence? 

Posted by Mens Liberty

Jan 19, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Does Stress Increase Problems with Urinary Incontinence?

National Institutes of Health, Reviews in Urology, reports that substantial numbers of men are impacted by incontinence. Despite the prevalence of urinary incontinence among men, having such a diagnosis can lead to feelings of shame, depression, anxiety, isolation and stress. Ironically, the stress of managing bladder incontinence can increase problems.

Stress is Correlated with Increased Problems with Urinary Incontinence

Researchers Henry Lai, Vivien Gardener and others, published a study related article titled “Correlation between psychological stress levels and the severity of overactive bladder symptoms.” The 2015 article reports there is a positive correlation between perceived stress levels and urinary incontinence symptoms, and its impacts on quality of life among patients with overactive bladder.

What is Overactive Bladder or OAB?

Overactive bladder is likely the reason you feel frequent urges to urinate, even when your bladder is not full. Often the culprit is an enlarged prostate. The bladder involuntarily contracts, causing the need to void. OAB can be quite stressful in that it prompts frequent bathroom trips during the day and at night, which disrupts normal sleep patterns. OAB may also lead to accidents when you can’t make it to the bathroom in time.

Managing OAB

Strategies such as double voiding (urinate, wait a few minutes and try urinating again to fully empty your bladder) and strengthening your pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises can be effective ways to manage OAB. Chronic health conditions such as diabetes also contribute to OAB. Additional strategies like getting diabetes under control, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking and limiting caffeine and alcohol intake can also help.

Talk to Your Doctor

Bladder incontinence is a common problem. There are many solutions available to help you reclaim your independence and relieve the stress associated with the worry and embarrassment of incontinence. Your doctor may recommend some of the behavioral changes listed above. He or she may also prescribe medication or a medical device such as Men’s Liberty.

What is Men’s Liberty?

Men’s Liberty provides discreet, worry free protection against leaks and accidents. Our alternative to the external male catheter is your stress free solution to urinary incontinence. Covered by almost every insurance plan including Medicare, TriCare and the VA, Men’s Liberty eliminates the awkwardness of adult diapers.  Return to a normal, active lifestyle without constant worry. Men’s Liberty provides protection that lasts up to 24 hours with low-risk of infection. If urinary incontinence is causing stress and disruption for you, Men’s Liberty may be the answer. Give us a call today to learn if Men’s Liberty is right for you.

Helping Your Husband Talk About Incontinence and Solutions

Posted by Mens Liberty

Jan 9, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Talking about urinary incontinence can feel awkward. We have so many (wrong) ideas about people experiencing incontinence. It can be helpful to begin with the understanding that incontinence is a medical condition.There are ways to manage it without complete life disruption. Finding a way to talk about incontinence is the first step.

Own your feelings

Begin by examining your own feelings. Maybe you are sad, frightened or even angry about whatever health circumstances have led to your husband’s incontinence. It is okay to talk about your feelings, but not if your intent is to criticize or scold. Instead, talk about how you would like to find ways to restore as much of the life you enjoyed as possible. Choosing to face and manage incontinence is an important part of doing this.

Starting the dialogue

Choose a time and place when you can relax and give each other your undivided attention. Some couples might sit down together at the table or sofa. Others might find this kind of concentrated attention unnerving. Be creative. Maybe you can talk as you tackle an activity. The busyness of the task, say, playing with the dog or gardening, can make it easier to push through those awkward feelings.

Use hopeful language

Incontinence is a manageable health condition. Use words like when rather than if. For example: when we learn about solutions, when we find the right management system, or when we travel, all communicate the changing nature of circumstance. You may not be able to do everything exactly as you did before, but you will have more options with good incontinence management.

Share what you know

Tell your husband about options you already know of that may be a good fit for him. Encourage him to learn more. Remind him of your support, love and care. Urinary incontinence can lead to depression or undermine a strong sense of self. Help your husband distinguish between what is happening in his body and who he is as a person.

Do Your Research

Understand what options are available. It can feel overwhelming as there are so many types of supplies available, but we group them into three primary types of solutions beyond Men’s Liberty:

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Be Patient

You may have to broach the subject a few times before your husband is willing to talk openly. Use humor where you can, and stay focused on the benefits of dealing with the problem. Leave brochures or fact sheets about solutions, and give your husband the space to read them when he feels ready. Continue to be patient, encouraging and supportive.

Urinary incontinence is a medical condition. Although it affects millions of men it can be hard to talk about. Remind your husband that he isn’t alone and there are good solutions like Men’s Liberty that fit his lifestyle. Men’s Liberty offers an innovative solution that immediately gives men back their confidence, freedom and masculine vitality. Open a chat or give us a call to learn more.

 

 

UTIs and Catheters

Posted by Mens Liberty

Jan 3, 2018 3:51:25 PM

If your healthcare provider has said you have a UTI (urinary tract infection) that means you are experiencing an infection in some part of your urinary system. The urinary system includes the bladder and kidneys. Here’s what you need to know about common causes and strategies for prevention.

Common causes

Catheters – this may seem obvious but studies show that risk of UTI increases significantly with catheter use. In fact, 40% of men who use a traditional external catheter for an extended period of time contract a UTI*. You have better options than diapers or pads. Men’s Liberty offers an innovative alternative. Our external collection system attaches to the penis only at the head so you have less risk of infection, irritation or leaks.

Catheters increase risk of UTI because they expose the urinary system to germs as they are inserted and while they remain in place.

Symptoms of UTI

  • Burning during urination
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Blood in the urine
  • Fever

If you experience any of these symptoms or changes that concern you, call your healthcare provider. Your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic to clear the infection.

How to reduce the risk of UTI

Minimize exposure to germs – You and anyone in contact with your catheter should wash hands with soap and water or apply an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Observe sterile techniques when the catheter is being inserted (for example sterile product, clean skin).

Observe placement – the urine bag should always be below the bladder to prevent backflow.

Keep the catheter and drain tube connected.

Minimize use – If you must use a traditional catheter, talk with your healthcare provider about removing it as soon as possible.

Handle with care – be sure the lines are flowing properly and without any twists or kinks.

Consider alternatives for incontinence management – Men’s Liberty has developed an external collection system that directs urine away from the skin. It drastically reduces the risk of UTI and increases your peace of mind. Reliable for up to 24-hours of anxiety free wear, our system is covered by many insurance plans. Depending on your Medicare plan or private insurance you may even pay  little or no out of pocket costs. Don’t let incontinence rob you of your freedom. Call us today to learn more about our easy to use system so you can get back to enjoying life.

*http://www.mensliberty.com/the-mens-liberty-difference/