Many men and women suffer from urinary incontinence making travel difficult or nearly impossible. Here are 10 tips and tricks that you might consider before your next flight to lessen the embarrassment of urinary incontinence.
1. Request an aisle seat in back of plane so you have ready access to the restroom. Reserve your seat ahead of your departure dates. Plan to go to the restroom and empty your bladder before your plane departs. Once on board the aircraft and after take off plan to use the restroom before the drink cart come down the aisle as you may be sent back to your seat before you can use the restroom.
2. Explain your medical condition to flight attendant before take-off. The flight attendant can alert you before they turn on seat belt sign making it possible for you to use the restroom. The attendant can help you get off plane for connecting flight if you are at the back the plane.
3. Be aware that you cannot use the bathroom during ascent (short) and descent (long)
4. Wear adult diaper or protective underwear for the trip. You should have a carry-on duffel bag with extra undergarments, pads, antibacterial soap, and an empty plastic bag for soiled clothing.
5. Be mindful of your fluids. It is not a good idea to dehydrate yourself for long periods before departure. To do so will lead to a concentrated urine which is irritating to the bladder and may promote bladder contractions. Drink 6 cups of fluid per day but time it appropriately to your flight departure.
6. Avoid bladder irritants (coffee, alcohol, carbonate drinks, artificial sweeteners, citrus)
7. Suppress the urge by doing Turbo Kegels, which I will describe in the next blog.
8. Voiding by the clock. Don’t wait for your bladder to become full or over distended. Urinate every 2-3 hours especially on long flights.
9. Take your medications prescribed by your doctor. I suggest that you make sure to take at least for 2 weeks before travel
10. Use a waterproof skin barrier ointment (zinc oxide) to protect skin if you do have frequent accidents
Bottom Line: If you have urinary incontinence, you may have problems with airline travel. Applying a few of these principles may just make that flight more enjoyable and less stressful.
For more information on urinary incontinence, I recommend my new book,
The Complete Guide To Women’s Pelvic Health which is available at Amazon.com