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How to Control Incontinence on a Flight

Fly without Fear


You may think it’s already hard to control incontinence, so it’s impossible to control incontinence on a flight. But that isn’t so. Incontinence does not stop you from traveling to Paris. You stop yourself from traveling to Paris. There are many ways to live an active life with incontinence, you just have to take control. By using these suggestions you can control incontinence on a flight, and eat croissants along the French Riviera.


These suggestions are based off intensive research and personal incontinence experiences. You do not have to treat these suggestions like rules. But I have found that these suggestions make it easier to control incontinence on a flight.


TSA Special Procedures and TSA Pre Check


Check out the TSA Special Procedures and TSA Pre Check webpages. There, you will find that you qualify for special screening during your security check. You should 100% sign up for these special screenings. Why is this important?


1. You may not be able to physically wait in the security line for a long time due to mobility and or incontinence issues.


2. You may have an external or internal medical device that makes the screening process exhausting.


3. You may need hygienic creams and liquids that exceed 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in your carry-on bag


4. You may have an ostomy bag, or wet diaper that needs discreet security screening, if at all.


TSA Special Procedures provides a TSA Notification Card that notifies TSA Agents that you qualify for special screening. It may be a pain to fill out the paperwork for the TSA Notification Card, but it will be worth it. This special screening will alleviate the security check processes emotionally and physically. You won’t have to deal with TSA agents checking your private incontinence supplies in public, and you won’t have to stay in line as long, which avoids possible accidents.


The TSA says you can have a special screening procedure with either the TSA Notification Card or  other medical documentation describing your condition. I recommend to bring both, just so you have a back up. Better safe than sorry! And make copies of all these documents. If you have any other questions or concerns about the security line, call passenger support 72 hours before your flight to give and receive all the necessary information.


Once you receive the TSA Notification Card you will most likely qualify for the TSA Pre Check. You can also apply to the TSA Pre Check in addition to the TSA Notification Card. The TSA Pre Check allows you to go through security with ease, providing that your condition is legitimate and you are not a security threat.


Inform the Airline and or Flight Attendants


This may be easier said than done, but informing your airline/flight attendants before take off could prove fruitful. It is not required of you to inform your airline, but if you do, they can have accommodations set up for you if you need them. Have the medical document that describes incontinence ready to show your flight attendant if you are uncomfortable telling them out loud.


With your flight attendants informed your safety is ensured. If any medical or leakage accidents occur, your flight attendants will be ready to address the situation. If you need to switch seats with someone, they can easily help you find an aisle seat. If you need help reaching the bathroom, they will be ready to lend a hand. Your flight attendants will appreciate that you informed them about your incontinence so they won’t be caught off guard. Flight attendants help hundreds of people a day, so they’ve seen a lot. They’d probably be annoyed if you didn’t help them do their job…which is to help you!


Incontinence is a medical condition that is protected under the The Air Carrier Access Act. Don’t feel like you are burdening the airline, they are legally bound and ready to help you if you ask. Even if you have mild incontinence, the loss of bladder/bowel control never feels mild, especially on an inclosed flight. So practice your rights and get the treatment you deserve!


Bonus: The more you talk about incontinence, the more normalized it becomes. At first it may be hard to bring up, but after a while it will just become routine. Before you know it you’ll be talking to the flight attendants like, “Excuse me. Hi. Just so you know I have incontinence, and I’m going to need an extra blanket. It’s chilly! Thank you.”


Book an Aisle Seat


As you are booking your flight, choose an aisle seats. Some airplanes even have larger, handicapped bathrooms. Try to book a seat closest to this bathroom. This way you will be able to change or clean up easier, and frequent bathroom visits will be less disturbing to you and others.


Drink Water


The air cabin gets extra dry as you fly up into the stratosphere. This makes you more dehydrated than usual. And although I have said this more than once, I’ll say it again: It’s important to stay hydrated with incontinence.


It is a common misconception that less fluid means less leakage. If you do not drink enough water your body will become dehydrated, which leads to concentrated urine, which leads to an irritated bladder, which leads to bladder spasms and or involuntary leakage. Or, if you are dehydrated, you will become constipated, which leads to packed bowels, which leads to pressure on the bladder and anal sphincter, which leads to involuntary leakage.


So drink your recommended two liters of water. Take sips to avoid dehydration. Sipping, as opposed to chugging, will also prevent sudden bathroom urges or leakage. This will help you control incontinence on a flight.


Pack Extra Everything in your Carry On


Pack extra incontinence supplies in your carry on. When I say extra I mean EXTRA. Pack extra absorbent briefs, hygienic wipes, medications, creams, etc. in your carry on. You may not be sure how your body will handle the flight, so you want to be prepared.


Pack two extra incontinence friendly outfits as well. You may have an extreme accident on the flight, so an extra pair of incontinence friendly clothes will come in handy. And if your luggage gets lost, you will have everything you need.


Pack Hygienic Sprays, Creams and Wipes


Being on an airplane means you can’t bathe yourself. But if you have an accident, you absolutely need to clean up for several reasons: your health, comfort, and to prevent odor. Bring disposable wipes like and cleansing sprays that kill bacteria and effectively clean your skin without the use of soap and water. McKesson StayDry Disposable Fragrant Washcloths kill germs and soothe with Aloe Vera. And CA-REZZ Gentle Wash Spray kills germs and odor while providing a deep cleanse. Apply extra cream, like CA-REZZ Cream Tube to care for your skin and make the rest of the flight more comfortable.


Wear Extra Absorbent Protection


Wear an extra heavy absorbent adult brief that gathers around the legs, locks out odor. The McKesson Ultra provides the heaviest absorbency and comfort. Place a booster pad in your brief as well for extra absorbent protection. For even more protection, wear spandex or compression shorts underneath your clothing. Compression shorts support your pelvic floor muscles and hold in your absorbent undergarments. Spandex/compression shorts also prevent chaffing more than baby powder would.


Consider a Catheter


Consider wearing a catheter along with an adult brief, if you do not think an adult brief is enough protection. Ask your doctor if this is a good option.


Set an Alarm


It’s easy to fall asleep on a flight with all the boredom and the rocking of the plane. If you are on long flight, set an alarm every so often so you can check if you need to change. This is especially important if you experience adult bedwetting.


These are effective ways to control incontinence on a flight. Take these suggestions into consideration and prepare for your adventures! Before you go on your travels, you can take it one step further. Control incontinence by seeking treatment (Bowel and Urinary), or practicing pelvic floor training on a daily basis. Every little thing you do to alleviate incontinence will help you take back your life.

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