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Tips For Traveling With SUI

The anxiety that haunts many women with incontinence can only get worse when it comes to traveling.

Stress urinary incontinence occurs when physical pressure on the bladder—like that caused by coughing, laughing, sneezing, running or heavy lifting—causes you to leak urine. Besides the physical condition, there are psychological impacts too. Incontinence can lead to depression and anxiety, and may cause you to isolate yourself, or limit your work and social life.1

Part of that anxiety comes from worrying about getting to a bathroom on time, preventing embarrassing accidents in public. When you’re traveling, that concern is magnified.

Here are helpful tips for traveling with SUI.

Traveling By Air With SUI

If you’re planning a vacation and need to fly to your destination, some preparation can help you feel better about being in airports and on a plane.

Here are some ideas:2

  • Book a seat in the aisle, or near a toilet at the front or back of the plane, where it’s easy for you to get to the bathroom quickly.
  • Find the bathrooms ahead of time, by checking airport maps and airplane descriptions.
  • Pack extra absorbent pads in your carry-on luggage in case of travel delays, and take baby wipes to freshen up after an accident. If you use inserts for your SUI, pack extra too.
  • Ask for assistance to board the plane early, due to a medical condition. However, this could mean you have to wait to deplane last, too.
  • Wear comfortable clothes that are easy to remove in a cramped airplane bathroom. Elastic waisted-pants and loose-fitting, long tops will also keep pressure off your bladder when sitting for long periods of time. A jacket, large scarf or cardigan can be placed on a chair or disguise your pants if you do have an accident. Pack a change of clothes in your carry-on.
  • You can also consider wearing compression stockings, and get up occasionally to keep your body moving. 

Traveling By Car With SUI

If you’re driving, or taking a bus, you can still plan bathroom breaks. Choose a seat on the bus near the bathroom, and enquire about stops along the way. There are helpful apps that locate bathrooms for you, allowing you to find what you need before you arrive—whether you’re a driver or a passenger. 

For instance, Bathroom Scout has over 1,800,000 bathrooms listed worldwide, and Flush operates worldwide with 190,000 restrooms stored in its free app.3

The tips for traveling by plane apply to ground travel too—wear comfortable clothes, pack an extra change of clothes, bring extra absorbent pads and wipes, and watch what you eat and drink.

Tips For Traveling With SUI

Whether you’re driving, hopping on a bus or taking a plane, be careful what you eat and drink before you depart and during the journey. Avoid drinking bladder irritants like coffee, tea, alcohol, chocolate drinks, fizzy soft drinks and sports drinks; and avoid spicy or acidic foods too. Drink water to stay hydrated; don’t be tempted to cut back on water completely as it could make things worse.2

It’s also a good idea to stay active while you travel. If you can’t get up and stretch or go for a short walk, you can perform Kegel exercises in your seat.4

In fact, you should add Kegels, or pelvic floor muscle exercises, to your daily routine year-round. Research has proven that pelvic floor exercises help keep pelvic floor muscles “fit,” and can be used as an effective treatment for women suffering with stress urinary incontinence. Ask for guidance from a pelvic health physical therapist to be sure you’re performing them properly.

Or, you can use a product like the INNOVO Urinary Incontinence Kit. These “smart shorts” are designed to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles from the inside out, and have been cleared by the FDA. Using the kit, you perform 180 perfect Kegels in 30 minutes. 

A clinical study guided by the FDA had amazing results: 87% of women were defined as dry after just 12 weeks, and 90% of users would recommend the therapy to others. Subscribe to the INNOVO newsletter to receive a $20 discount code for your purchase! You can also pack your kit to keep up with your treatment plan while you’re traveling with SUI.

Ask Your Doctor 

Before leaving on your trip, speak to your doctor for ideas about traveling with SUI. Use our Physician Finder to locate a doctor near you with expertise in women’s health.

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