Have you talked to you doctor yet about your LBL? Seeking a medical professional for advice specific to your body is important as sometimes simple changes (like the way you do Kegel exercises) can reduce or possibly even eliminate leaks. To help you find the right type of doctor, read our helpful article, Who's on Your Team. It offers suggestions on how to prepare for your appointment along with a checklist of useful questions to ask your doctor.
Of course it makes sense to talk with a doctor. But that doesn't mean it's necessarily easy to start the conversation. I put together some common stoppers that might be preventing you from getting the help you need. Read on to see if any of them are what’s stopping you from talking to your doctor about LBL:
Stopper #1: “I'm too embarrassed to tell my doctor.” I remember wanting to ask my gynecologist about an incident that happened while jumping on my kids' trampoline, but I just couldn't. At the time, I didn't know something like this was common. Embarrassment stopped me. Has it ever stopped you? The way to get over embarrassment is to remember you’re not alone. One in three women experience LBL and any doctor trained to help with bladder issues will be kind and receptive when you start the conversation. Indeed, it’s likely this isn't the first time your doctor has had this conversation, and it certainly won’t be the last.
Stopper #2: “I'll talk to my doctor next time.” Postponing uncomfortable conversations doesn't make problems go away – and it can even make things worse. The best way to overcome avoidance is to focus on the outcome you’d most like to have happen. Imagine what it would be like to reduce or possibly even eliminate future leaks. With that in mind, I’ll bet the desire for what you want will outweigh the discomfort of taking action.
Stopper #3: “I'm afraid of what the doctor might say.” In my coaching practice I encourage women to examine what type of fear they’re feeling - fear that comes from danger, or fear that comes from a growth opportunity. Both feel the same in your body. Good opportunities like going on a job interview, asking for a raise, and telling your doctor you experience LBL can be as scary as getting chased by zombies. The way to overcome the fear is to ask yourself, “Is this fear coming from danger or growth?” The way to put LBL in check is to grow into the type of woman who is willing to seek out support and solutions. That awareness can help you get a handle on your fear so you can move forward.
Stopper #4 “It's not a big deal.” Are you minimizing the impact LBL is having on your life? Does it stop you from doing things you used to enjoy doing? If it only seems trivial when you’re about to tell someone about it, remember this - talking to your doctor maximizes your ability to manage LBL so you can get on with your life.
Stopper #5: “If anyone finds out, what will they think of me?” Negative judgments can hurt. No one likes being laughed at, ridiculed, or pitied. It’s your self-judgments that matter most. Do you judge yourself harshly? Before you answer that, ask yourself, “What would you think of your best girlfriend if you knew SHE experiences LBL?” My guess is you’d be compassionate, and not judge her because of it. Can you do that for yourself? I've interviewed gynecologists, urologists, nurse practitioners, and pelvic floor physical therapists for my blog, and I always ask them, “How do you feel about the women who come to see you?” Not one of them ever laughed at, ridiculed, or pitied their patients. They’re overall feelings are, “I’m so glad you told me because I can help.”
What about you? What's stopping you from talking to your doctor about LBL? And do you have any tips on starting the conversation?