The Incontinence Interviews Episode 2: What is the self care for down there?

Did you know it typically takes a woman 6 - 8 years before she seeks help from a doctor about her incontinence? Don’t be this statistic! In the second episode of the Incontinence Interviews, celebrity OB-GYN Dr. Suzanne discusses the proper self-care for “down there” with actress Garcelle Beauvais, including why using period products for bladder leakages is a big no-no.

Transcript of The Incontinence Interviews Episode 2

Garcelle Beauvais: What is the self care for down there?

Dr Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz: Ah, down there… The infamous down there. So here's the thing: When people are busy taking care of everybody else, we know that women over 40 are typically not thinking of themselves first. And self-care is part of healthcare.

So, so, so important. So number one, we've got to prioritize ourselves. We've got to look at some of the issues of down there. So, taking control of incontinence is something that can happen. People really can have a big impact, but if they're scared of it and they're not talking about it and they're not getting the information, nothing good is going to happen. So, quality of life, like daily quality of life, is severely impacted by leakage of urine. We know this.

I think one of the biggest problems I see out there is that people don't realize that there are solutions and don't know what the solutions are. They also don't know that there are things that they can do themselves to change that, or that there are products like TENA’s that are out there that can help them. So, a couple of things that people can do, I mean, just the basics: focus on sleep, focus on exercise, focus on general health, focus on eating. Not in a punishing, “I'm horrible” way, but in a nourishing way of like, “How can I love myself and take care of myself?”

That's always going to be first line. Specifically with leakage of urine, it's been interesting for me with people working from home and sitting there. It's definitely changed things. And one of the things that people can do, in addition to doing Kegels, which they think they know a little bit about, like trying to work that pelvic floor, the muscles that are actually holding up the bladder and helping to manage some of that incontinence is also something called bladder training.

So not running to the bathroom every time you have to go, which will help you to hold the urine a little bit longer, believe it or not, not all day, that's not so good, right? You got to find a happy meeting. But the biggest disservice I find that people do is they don't head down the right aisle in the pharmacy for pads. Okay? So now you've admitted to yourself…..

Garcelle: So period products…

Dr Suzanne: That's a big no.

Garcelle: It's very different.

Dr Suzanne: Yes.

Garcelle: With TENA.

Dr Suzanne: Yes.

Dr Suzanne: Okay

Dr Suzanne: So, TENA is making products that first of all are going to absorb this material. Urine is very different than menstrual blood, okay? And we want to wick it away. So, we want to move it away and we want to keep the intimate skin dry and clean because otherwise, like a baby with a diaper, right, if they don't have the right product or it's on too long, they're going to get irritation and infections. And when you add in menopausal changes to the tissue, you really can have a big problem.

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