Diabetes Self-Management Articles

These articles cover a wide range of subjects, from the most basic aspects of diabetes care to the nitty-gritty specifics.

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Urinary Incontinence

by Jeanette S. Brown, MD, and Janis Luft, NP, MSN

FemSoft is a flexible, soft, fluid-filled device that is inserted into the urethra and acts as a temporary plug against urine leakage. The user must learn the insertion technique and change the device with each urination or every four to six hours. Many users reserve FemSoft for high-impact activities such as running or aerobics. It is available by prescription only.

Other treatments. There are other treatments available, including injections and surgery for stress incontinence, but they should only be considered once simpler treatments have failed. Women who have longstanding or complicated problems, who are interested in surgery, or who fail to improve after initial treatment should be referred to a continence center, urogynecologist, or urologist, who can perform more extensive testing and offer further treatment options.

The bottom line
Urinary incontinence can steal sleep, make social events difficult, and get in the way of physical activity. It is common, chronic, and costly, but it is not a normal part of aging. A wide variety of treatment options are now available, and they can help improve quality of life considerably. If you believe that you are affected by incontinence, learn all you can about it and talk to your health-care provider about which treatments may be right for you. Don’t let urinary incontinence continue to keep you from the activities you enjoy.

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