Summer spritz. No, we don’t mean a fancy drink. (That’s a spritzer, right?). We mean those pesky bladder leaks that can make summertime less fun and more of a drag. Leaks aside, summer is usually pretty great. The sun’s out, kids are out of school, and adventure awaits. But planning out every little detail in advance to avoid the stress of bladder leaks just leads to more stress. And adding panty liners to the mix isn’t always enough (or even a good idea).
We get it. You want to get out there to enjoy the sun. Thankfully, we have a few tips and tricks to help you navigate through the summer months. You don’t have to hide under an air conditioner between June and September – that is, unless you want to. (And no judgement if you want to. Hot flashes are the real deal). The point is, leaks don’t have to spoil the party.
Summer Vacations and Bladder Leaks
When you take your family on vacation, know that you’re taking your incontinence, too. Even if you’d rather not think of it as part of the family. We certainly don’t. The leaks don’t stop just because you’re having fun, as you’re likely well aware. The secret is to work around them and plan in advance. Always knowing where the bathrooms are can not only help with leaks but also with anxiety, so you aren’t worried about skipping to the loo at the drop of a hat. Scheduling bathroom breaks into your busy sight-seeing schedule isn’t a bad idea either.
Still got a few weeks before your vacation? Now’s a great time to get working on some Kegel exercises. Any pelvic floor exercise can help strengthen your pelvic muscles, which makes getting to the bathroom a little easier. Plus, Kegels also help out in the bedroom, so why not work on both at the same time?
In case all else fails, remember to bring spare clothes along and stash some pads or disposable undies in your bag. You’re not supposed to be stressing out on vacation, so having this peace of mind can help out in a lot of ways, even if it means extra luggage. A quick change and you’ll be back at ’em.
You’ve got it. A genius idea: just drink less when you’re busy. Can’t have leaks when there’s nothing to leak, right? Well, this idea isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be. After all, you kind of need water. Drinking less can lead to migraines, UTI’s, kidney stones and other things that are worse than leaking. Dehydration makes your pee more acidic, too, which can actually make leaks worse.
But you are on the right track to a brilliant breakthrough. Drinking less of the wrong things can help out a lot. Cutting down on alcohol, soda, caffeine, and even fruit juice can make a huge difference to turn off that leaky faucet. The summer is actually a great time to practice better hydration, especially if it gets really hot where you are. So stay hydrated and fight the leaks in smarter ways. (Lily Bird can help with that).
Don’t Get Irritated
Skin rashes suck but they’re nothing to be ashamed of. If you leak every now and then, you’ve likely encountered them before. They’re not exactly fun and can put a damper on vacation time. Investing in some high quality absorbent products made specifically for bladder leaks can help to ensure that you have as little rash as possible, no matter how small your leaks may be. Remember that absorbent pads and menstrual pads are two different things!
A rash may be coming for you, anyway, unfortunately. They happen to almost all of us at some point, even for those of us who don’t leak on the regular. So here are some things to do if a rash does cross your path. For one, as soon as you have a leak, dry your skin with a gentle washcloth. Barrier creams to keep moisture in the skin and cleansers to balance your body’s pH levels are also extremely helpful.
Summer Swimming With the Leaks
Due to the nature of leaks, you’re probably wanting to avoid the pool as much as possible. The thing is, you don’t have to! You can jump right in with everyone else. The thing with pools is that they’re filled with chlorine. All that chlorine is there to deal with small leaks, making them disappear just as soon as it happens.
Swimming is also a really great exercise for managing leaks, just like Kegels! So jumping in the pool can actually help you out.
There aren’t really options for absorbent products made for swimming because they’ll just soak up the water, but there are tampon-like products you can try that press against the urethra and slows leaks down. Either way, swimming is still an option for you.
Enjoying the Summer
There’s no reason why you and your leaks can’t get along. Working to get rid of them completely is a great goal but living life while they’re around should be its own milestone. You’re not alone with combating leaks. Other people who have gone through the same have a lot of tips to help you continue enjoying whatever it is you like. So enjoy your summer vacation time even if the leaks persist.
Got a summer vacation coming up? Lily Bird has you covered with pads and underwear so you can enjoy all the sights without worry. And they’re delivered right to your door. Start your trial today.
By Jessica Thomas, MPH