How to Look After a Teenager with Incontinence

As if teenage girls didn’t have enough to deal with, incontinence is not an uncommon problem amongst teens. Incontinence is defined as the uncontrolled trickle of urine occurring continuously, intermittently, throughout the day or only at night. There are different teenage incontinence causes as well as solutions. 

While you’re dealing with getting to the root cause, Proof ® Teen undies are a great way to manage symptoms and let your teen feel comfortable, dry, and most importantly, normal. They  feel and look like any other pair of cute underwear, but they are really (truly!) Leak Proof® . Made of super absorbent materials that actively fight odors, Proof ® undies can help your teen feel confident again no matter what they are doing. 

How common is incontinence in young adults?

Urinary incontinence in teenage girls and boys impacts approximately 3 percent of 15 to 16-year olds, according to Incontinence United Kingdom. Another study cited by found that 3 to 4 percent of children between 4 and 12 years of age experience daytime leaks. Urinary incontinence in teenage girls is more common than it is in teenage boys.

Signs of teenage incontinence include: 

  • The need to urinate more often than normal. The frequent urge to urinate may impact one’s focus in the classroom or ability to participate in sports. 
  • Having to urinate before the bladder is full again.
  • Frequent accidents or leaking urine while rushing to the bathroom – this is technically referred to as urge incontinence (more on that below). 

Common causes of incontinence in teenagers and young adults

There are a wide variety of teenage incontinence causes. Some of the most common causes include: 

  • A bladder infection, which is treatable with medication.
  • Fluctuating hormones.
  • An underlying condition that impacts the nerves and creates damage, such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis. 
  • High impact sports like gymnastics or track and field can lead to injuries that result in incontinence in teenage girls and boys. This reason is most common in females and results from hitting the ground with force over and over, and thus damaging the pelvic floor muscles over time.
  • Teenage incontinence may also be a hereditary problem.
  • Weaker than normal pelvic floor muscles. 
  • Obesity is a risk factor because excess weight puts additional pressure on the bladder. Other risk factors include childhood nocturnal enuresis, cystic fibrosis, and chronic constipation. 

Types of incontinence in teenagers

There are several types of teenage incontinence including daytime wetting, bed wetting, and urge incontinence. 

Daytime Leaks

Daytime wetting is defined as any sort of bladder leakage that occurs during waking hours. The most common causes include an overactive bladder and issues with the pelvic floor. Daytime wetting is two times more likely to impact girls than boys. 

Overnight Leaks

Bedwetting is very common in childhood, but the issue may carry over into teenage years as well. The brain is supposed to naturally control bladder function at night, but bedwetting usually stems from the brain not developing in this sense. The issue is generally not medically related, although talking to your doctor is the only way to know for sure. 

Urge Incontinence

A sudden and strong desire to urinate that results in accidents or uncontrollable loss of urine is known as urge incontinence. The average bladder fills up about half-way (or 300mls) before you even feel the desire to use the restroom. This should give you plenty of time to make it to the bathroom as you still have 300mls of space left to fill. Yet, those who suffer from urge incontinence will feel a very strong urge to urinate, and even the inability to hold it in, before the bladder is actually full. 

How can I help my teenage child with incontinence?

A study conducted by the University of Bristol and later published in the British Journal of Health Psychology assessed the social and mental impacts teenage incontinence can have on young adults. Many are hesitant to tell someone about the issue for fear of embarrassment. It can also create additional stress that impacts their studies. That’s why if your teen brings it up to you, it’s so important to be understanding, supportive and to help them find solutions that’ll help. 

Luckily you can help your teenager work through teenage incontinence by trying the following: 

Leak Proof® Underwear

Leak Proof® underwear offers an instant solution to teenage incontinence. Yet, not all absorbent  underwear is made equally. Here at Proof® we offer cute and stylish underwear that combats leaks and boosts confidence. The magic lies in our four-layer design that wicks moisture away from skin while absorbing leaks and fighting bacteria and odors. 

Pelvic Floor Therapy

If your doctor thinks the issue may be related to a weak pelvic floor, then pelvic floor therapy may help your teen gain more bladder control. This form of therapy exercises and strengthens the muscles responsible for controlling the bladder. Pediatric pelvic floor therapy is specialized for children and teens four to seventeen years old. 

Create a Schedule 

Using the bathroom at consistent time intervals, for instance at least once every two hours, may help. 

Watch Out for Certain Foods 

Certain foods and beverages may actually irritate the bladder and increase the likelihood of nighttime accidents, such as citrus fruits, acidic fruits, caffeine, and carbonated beverages. 

When to seek professional help

Talking to a professional may be exactly what you need to start finding solutions and teenage incontinence causes. Some signs it’s time to seek advice from your doctor include: 

  • Having accidents during the day for 2+ months.
  • Pain when urinating
  • Frequently wetting the bed
  • Not urinating enough as well as urinating too often (for reference, the average person urinates between 6 and 7 times in a 24-hour period).  
  • An overwhelming urge to urinate, often without enough warning to make it to the bathroom. 
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • You only experience a small trickle of urine when you feel the urge to go. 

Shop Proof®

There’s a pair of Proof® undies for every situation, from school to sports to sleep. Our super-light collection matches the absorbency of 1 light pad, while our super-heavy collection can hold up to 5 regular pads, or 10 teaspoons. So, no more stressing teenage incontinence, we’ve got you covered! 

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