Try products designed
to control leaking
Leaks can happen at any time and catch you off guard. For some tāne, leaks happen more in the evening than during the day. This is because our muscles get weaker as we get tired later in the day. Just like your other muscles, the muscles controlling your urine (wee/mimi) get tired too.
To keep you comfortable and protected no matter what time of day, you might want to try incontinence products.
Your options may include:
pads that sit inside your underwear.
underwear briefs that slide on and absorb leaks easily — many tāne say these feel just like regular underwear
Where can I buy them?
Ask at your local pharmacy or look in the health product aisles of supermarkets and retailers to find the products to try. It’s important to find what works for you, and then you can stock up.
If you’re worried about buying them in person, check online for options that can be delivered to your door.
What kind should I get?
There are a variety of options for men depending on where you live. Your doctor, nurse or hauora provider can also recommend some good options that may be cheap and convenient.
Tip: Some tāne prefer to use women’s pads. Women’s pads are often very absorbent and designed to be comfortable and undetectable.
These products are meant to keep you confident and comfortable, day or night, so you can continue to do the things you love without slowing down.
Pelvic floor muscles
Pelvic floor muscle exercises (Kegels) help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and reduce urine (wee/mimi) leakage. Speak to your doctor before starting Kegels to make sure they're safe for you.
Eat plenty of whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables
Constipation can make your leakage worse by adding pressure against your bladder. Make sure you’re getting plenty of fibre daily to get your bowels moving. Start with small portions and gradually increase the amount of higher fibre kai in your diet.
Drinking alcohol can make urinary (wee/mimi) problems worse. While you’re trying to get things under control, aim to cut back on alcohol as much as possible. Reducing the amount you drink, or not drinking at all, can help improve your symptoms.
Drink more fluids
When you don’t drink enough water and fluids, your urine (wee/mimi) becomes darker and more concentrated. This can irritate your bladder wall and cause leaks. Make sure you stay hydrated, avoiding any type of alcohol and caffeine, to improve your bladder control and bowel function. You can start by sipping fluids slowly throughout the day, versus drinking large amounts at once.
Reduce or quit smoking
Quitting smoking can improve your health all around. Talk to your doctor, care team or hauora provider about options to help you stop smoking or gradually cut back.
You can also get free support and advice from Quitline.
Some tāne will find it helpful to reduce caffeine, as caffeine can irritate the bladder and affect how well it works. Kai and drinks with caffeine include:
• fizzy drinks, such as Coca Cola & Pepsi
• energy drinks
More about steps to take for a healthy lifestyle
In the early stages of recovery, you may need to adjust your exercise routine. High impact exercise can increase leakage. If your routine includes heavy strength training (using weights), reduce your weights. Speak to your doctor or nurse about a suitable exercise program for you.
Know your medications
Some medications can affect your urinary health. Please talk to your doctor or pharmacist to ask any questions, and understand what you’re taking.
Avoid kai that irritate your bladder
Some kai can also irritate your bladder. These include spicy foods, some acidic citrus foods such as oranges and grapefruit, fruit juices, and tomato-based foods. You can try using a food diary to track how these foods might affect you. Eliminate these kai for about a week and re-introduce them back, one by one, to see if there is any change.
Talk to your doctor, care team
or hauora provider
If your leaking is heavy and preventing you from doing your usual daily activities, speak to your doctor, hauora provider or a continence nurse specialist about getting help.
Look for continence services
and resources online
Know where to find
To help ease your mind and to make sure you know where to find public wharepaku/toilets when you’re out, download a toilet map for city centres around New Zealand or download the CamperMate™ travel app for locations outside cities.
You can also apply for a Toilet Card which clearly states you have a medical condition requiring you to access a wharepaku/toilet quickly.