We Surveyed Over 2,500 People During the Height of the Pandemic & Found...
- 40% of respondents sit for over 7 hours per day.
- 43% decreased their physical activity and increased their trips to the bathroom.
- 41% exercised less compared to before the pandemic.
- 22% of the 617 respondents who had Covid-19 reported more frequent urges to urinate.
- 25% have altered their schedules to urinate more often.
- Over 40% experienced increased urge to urinate and increased trips to the bathroom in the last year.
- 14% urinated more than 7 times in 24 hours.
- 74% have sat for more extended periods since the pandemic's start.
How Can COVID-19 Cause Urinary Incontinence?
- Coughing. When we develop upper-respiratory illnesses-- especially COVID-- we cough. Coughing causes our diaghragm to push on our abdominal muscles which in turn put pressure on our pelvic floor muscles. This weakens the pelvic floor and leads to bladder leaks.
- Resting. COVID-19 requires us to rest and recover, making us less active. These periods of rest lead to less movement which weakens our pelvic floors.
- Inflammation & Irritation. When our bodies are infected with COVID, our immune response launches a "cytokine storm" to fight the illness. This is a good, natural response in our bodies, but it causes inflammation and irritation of the body, the bladder, and its lining, leading to increased urges to urinate.
- Remote Work Environment. Working from home typically involves sitting for more hours and getting up less which is directly correlated to pelvic floor muscle atrophy.
Pandemic Living & Urinary Health
The Effects of COVID-19 On Incontinence
COVID-19 & Incontinence Treatment
Treatments for Incontinence During the Pandemic
Identifying Urinary Incontinence
We recommend visiting your healthcare provider to be properly diagnosed, but here are some common signs you may have urinary incontinence.
- Leaking urine when exercising, laughing, coughing, lifting heavy objects, or bending over.
- Urinating more than 8 times in 24 hours.
- Waking up frequently at night to urinate.
- Dribbling urine throughout the day.
- Having increased and very sudden urges to urinate.
Treatments for COVID-Related Urinary Incontinence
- Get Moving! Have a dance party, go for a short walk, or try yoga. All of these low-intensity exercises will help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
- Hydrate. Drinking an adequate amount of fluids while recovering from COVID is crucial and hydrating will also help reduce the chances of constipation (which can worsen symptoms of urinary incontinence).
- Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles. You don't need to focus solely on Kegels to bring strength back to your pelvic floor; Your core, glutes, and lower back are all important parts of supporting this area. Watch videos or read articles online from a pelvic floor physical therapist (PFPT) to ensure you're getting the best advice.
- Use Bladder Control Products. Absorbent incontinence products like bladder pads and adult protective underwear will keep you dry and prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) if you're leaking urine while sick.
- Monitor Your Diet. You body requires nutrients and fluids when batlling illnesses, especially COVID-19. And, certain foods irritate your bladder, worsening symptoms of urinary incontinence. Aim for healthy fluids like water and eat a balanced diet. Try to avoid bladder irritants, including: Alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, spicy foods, synthetic dyes, and tomato-based products.
Get Bladder Control Products... for Free.
If you've been diagnosed with urinary incontinence, you may qualify to receive free bladder control products through your Medicaid plan. To see if you're eligible, simply fill out our quick and easy 2-step form.
From there, you will...
- Have all the insurance paperwork taken care of for you.
- Receive free product samples so you can choose what works best for you before confirming your order.
- Get your supplies delivered straight to your door every month in discreet packaging for free.
- Receive friendly reminders and help when it's time to refill your supplies.
Check Your Eligibility
2 Easy Steps
From catheters to pediatric and adult incontinence supplies, discover the continence care essentials covered by your insurance.
Learn More About the COVID-19 & Incontinence Connection
- Recent study finds symptomatic COVID-19 to be correlated with overactive bladder (OAB). -Forbes
- Study finds that COVID-19 causes inflammation that leads to bladder and bowel incontinence. -PubMed
- Review shows after COVID-19 infection, patients experience acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy causing bladder and bowel incontinence. -Cureus