13 Tips for Managing Incontinence at Work
1 Comment20 September 2023
Focusing on your work and navigating office days is so hard when you are worrying about bladder leaks.
Please be reassured that at least a third of women that complete our pee and period questionnaire ask for incontinence advice too. This is a common issue that people hide because of the stigma, taboo and shame surrounding it - we want to break that down!
Incontinence infiltrates all areas of work preparation - what should I wear to make sure no-one sees or smells anything? How long are the meetings I need to attend and when can I nip to the toilets?
When you want to be professional and fully present for your career it helps to feel you can confidently manage your urinary needs.
At cheeky wipes we hear from women daily who are taking action to stay in control, no matter what type of urinary incontinence. We thought we would compile all the advice we give out over our live chat, social media platforms and via email.
Here are 13 tips on managing incontinence at work -
1. Wear Incontinence Protection
2. Schedule Bathroom Breaks
3. Do Pelvic Floor Exercise
4. Stay hydrated
5. Bring Spare Clothing
6. Request a Desk Near the Toilet
7. Limit Caffeine
8. Change Incontinence Pads as Soon as you Leak
9. Avoid constipation
10. Wear Darker Clothes
11. Check your Meds
13. Speak to your boss
This seems obvious but exploring different options can feel intimidating. Wearing disposable incontinence pads every day just in case you have an accident can be really sore on sensitive skin leading to chafing and rashes.
Cheeky wipes have a range of washable incontinence pants to suit all.
You can wear reusable pee protection 'just in case' with no wastage, then wash and wear again. Made of cotton or bamboo, washable incontinence pants are designed to be breathable, cooling and comfortable. They absorb urine leaving you feeling dry and fresh.
"After having a few children my bladder is not as good as it was. Incontinent. This caused me no end of upset and stress.
Let alone the expense and constant use of disposable non friendly product. My good friend recommended this site so i ordered a few briefs. Game changer.
I have since reordered more." Hayward, Trustpilot review
Set a timer and visit the bathroom hourly whether you feel the need or not. You risk bladder leaks if you wait til your desperate. Timed voiding of your bladder can make you feel more in control and confident when in the office and avoid putting pressure on your bladder.
These are so easy to do at your desk - I am doing mine now! Have a look at the facebook group linked to our secret whispers pelvic toner. You can find exercises and support through the group. Regularly doing kegel exercises can train and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles over time which will improve bladder control.
If you're unsure how to do them, talk to your doctor about a referral to a pelvic health physio.
"I already had a few of the fearless superlight incontinence pads. I use these as panty liners and they are really great for that. I bought some more as I kept running out of them before they came back from the washing pile.
They are the best at staying in place. They don't slip and don't spin round your pants." Trustpilot Review
4. Stay Hydrated
Suprisingly, not drinking enough can increase bladder weakness. When you are dehydrated, your urine becomes more concentrated and will irritate your bladder and make you feel more urgency.
BUT take care with the volume you drink right before meetings (or bedtime), keep sipping water all through the day - little and often.
Your bladder weakness can change over the month, in the luteal phase where hormones dip you may find your weakness increases.
This can make your leaks unpredictable so keeping some washable cloth pads, reusable pants and a change of trousers at the office could ease your mind in the worst case scenario that you aren't wearing absorbent pants and you have a leak.
"Confidence restored! Great product. Has revolutionised my daily life. Never buy disposables, always feel confident in the pants. I am a runner with bladder incontinence." April '23 trustpilot
Having the loo nearby will mean that you can nip backwards and forwards without drawing too much attention to yourself. Great for stress incontinence!
Coffee and carbonated drinks that contain caffeine are diuretics and bladder irritants. They increase the volume of urine by drawing fluid from the body. This can leave you dehydrated yet peeing more.
Stick to water or herbal teas.
8. Change Incontinence Pads as Soon as you Leak
If you are going into a long meeting, start with a fresh pad, even if you have only had a little leak. This will reduce the chance of you filling a pad if you get caught later on in a meeting. This will also minimise smells and skin irritation.
More pressure in the colon and gut can cause pressure on the bladder so opt for fibre filled desk lunches and snacks. Easy to transport foods can be stored in a fruit bowl on your desk -
- pears (3.1g of fibre)
- strawberries (2g)
- avocado (6.7g)
- bananas (2.6g)
- raspberries (6.5g)
Darker colours will help disguise any wet patches if they occur. Washable incontinence pants and pads will stop any leaks and as they don't show from the outside, you won't need to alter the way you dress.
11. Check your Medication
Chat to your doctor about the medications you are taking. Some drugs can exacerbate incontinence symptoms, so they may recommend adjustments or alternative treatments.
It is worth making space in your day to exercise as the benefits are vital. I park at the beach and walk to work, it's slightly too far from home so I drive halfway. Claire our warehouse manager cycles in, Emma in the warehouse often runs in.
Maybe take a stroll round the block with a colleague.
Choose exercises that strengthen your core and pelvic muscles, as these can positively impact bladder function.
Staying active and fit with a sedentary job is really hard but studies show that obesity links to incontinence. Women who lose 10% of their body weight improve their urinary incontinence reducing the risk of leaks by up to 50%.
Don't be afraid to be open and honest with your Boss or HR department about your condition. They may be able to provide flexible work arrangements to help you manage your incontinence more comfortably.
They may be able to give you a key to the disabled toilet which will give you more room to change and a sink in the cubicle.
Managing incontinence at work may present challenges, but with these thirteen tips, you can regain control over your professional life.
Remember that you're not alone in dealing with this condition, and seeking support from healthcare professionals and your workplace can make a significant positive difference in your daily routine.
Recommended Products for Incontinence Protection:
If you found this article useful you may benefit from reading our blogs on -
How mindfulness / meditation can help an overactive bladder
Menopause and Incontinence: What you should know
Incontinence pads V's Pants: What you should know
Best incontinence pads for sensitive skin
When to change your incontinence pads and pants
Can you use incontinence pants for periods?
Bladder incontinence and your periods: What is the connection?
About the Author : Kirstin on our customer services team loves spending her days helping customers with their reusable period product needs and advising cloth nappy using families. Kirstin lives with her three teenagers and loves walking and sea swimming year round in our beautiful bay.