Incontinence is a health condition characterized by the involuntary loss of bladder or bowel control, leading to leakage of urine or feces. It’s a common issue, but incontinence is still often misunderstood and under-treated in medicine. This lack of understanding leads to numerous challenges for those affected, such as stigma, embarrassment, and reduced quality of life. Why is incontinence so misunderstood and why is the impact it has on sufferers not more appreciated?
Addressing the Stigma & Misconceptions of Incontinence
First and foremost, the stigma surrounding incontinence is a significant factor in its misunderstanding. People often view incontinence as a trivial problem or weakness, and many are embarrassed to discuss it or seek help. This embarrassment can create feelings of isolation and a lack of support for those struggling with incontinence. The taboo around this topic also leads to a lack of public education and information, which perpetuates the stigma and reinforces the idea that incontinence is a personal issue rather than a medical one.
The misconception that incontinence only affects the elderly is another issue. While incontinence can occur in the elderly, it can also affect people of all ages, including young children and women during and after pregnancy. This wide range of sufferers is often ignored, and the issue is reduced to a single demographic, leading to a lack of recognition of the true range of people who are often struggling in silence.
Finally, incontinence is often not taken seriously by healthcare professionals, which means sufferers aren’t advised on proper treatments, nor do they receive the care they deserve. Many medical providers fail to consider incontinence as a serious medical issue and may dismiss it as a normal part of aging. It’s an outright failure to understand the severe effects on quality of life. This lack of attention from the healthcare system means people dealing with incontinence don’t receive the support and resources they need to manage their condition, which only isolates them further and decreases quality of life, while also perpetrating the stigmas and stereotypes.
The Bottom Line
At The Continence Center here in Nevada, we see patients who have managed their symptoms in silence and struggled with feelings of shame and embarrassment. They’ve explored natural remedies, medications, and other failed treatments, until finally discovering sacral neuromodulation, a treatment that dramatically improves and even resolves incontinence for so many. Every day, we’re working to raise awareness and promote education about incontinence to reduce the misunderstandings and provide appropriate care for those in need. Treatments are more effective, safer, simpler and less invasive than ever before—and often covered by Medicare and other insurance plans.
If you’re ready to learn more about your options for treating incontinence, we’re ready to help. Contact the Nevada Surgical team today.