The summer is a great time of year to travel, but you may not have direct access to a bathroom when you are on the road or in a town you are not familiar with. If you have Overactive Bladder (OAB), the thought of looking for a bathroom in a new town might make you nervous. But with a little planning before you leave, you can feel more at ease while away from home.
Remember, OAB isn't a disease. It is the name given to a group of troubling urinary symptoms. A key sign of OAB is the sudden need to go to the bathroom that you can't control. In some people, this sudden need may cause urine leakage (incontinence).
Here are some tips:
- Plan for about 2-4 hours between your bathroom breaks or pit stops when on the road.
- There are more than 200 rest stops with family restrooms in the U.S. Plan ahead and pinpoint a few along your route before you leave home.
- Watch what you drink 2 hours before getting on a plane. Changes in cabin pressure and tight seat belts can put pressure on your bladder, especially if it's full.
- If you have OAB, try to book an aisle seat on the plane so it provides easier access to the bathroom.
- Learn the word for "toilet" if your travel destination is a non-English speaking country or region.
There are also many apps in the GooglePlay and/or iTunes stores for your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Android device to consider.
Toilet Finder is a popular free app (search: "Toilet Finder" in iTunes or GooglePlay). With more than 150,000 restrooms in its database, Toiler Finder will help you find restrooms around you. SitOrSquat is another free app that can help find public restrooms near where you plan to travel.
Bladder Pal, available on iTunes, can be helpful in tracking your urinary habits. It has an intake and output tracker as well as leak and pad change tracking. The American Urological Association's symptom score is included too, which helps patients and their doctors evaluate symptoms and how they react to treatment.
iUFlow is a free app available in both iTunes and GooglePlay that helps you track your bladder activities. This lets you keep notes about your incontinence that you can share with your doctor.
You can also download and print the Bladder Diary. This is a free tool that lets you to keep track of how much liquid you drink, how often you urinate and when you have symptoms of incontinence.