What causes giggle incontinence?
The fact is, no-one is really sure, and there is no concrete evidence or explanation of what causes it. The most commonly thought diagnosis is that young girls may still have a urinary sphincter which is still developing, therefore weaker and unable to control the bladder completely.
What are the effects?
The effects can be devastating on a child. This is often not just a leak but a full expulsion of the entire bladder which can be mortifying and incredibly embarrassing. Because this happens in moments of uncontrollable laughter, these embarrassing accidents occur in a group or social situation. Sufferers can be left feeling ashamed, embarrassed, depressed, teased and bullied. They may also start to withdraw from partaking in social gatherings and events such as birthday parties.
Is there a cure?
In most cases, girls who suffer from giggle incontinence grow out of it as they head into their teenage years. This is cold comfort for a sufferer at the time, but at least, for most girls, it is only a temporary affliction. If it is still happening into late teens, then a visit to your local GP is in order, to ensure that there is no other underlying reason for the incontinence.
There is no known cure for giggle incontinence sufferers although there are a few steps you can take to manage it. Firstly, comfort your child and explain that although it can be frightening and embarrassing to deal with, it will get better and they will grow out of it. There are also some practical steps you can take to manage the situation:-
- Speak to your doctor about possible pelvic floor exercises, which can improve the strength of bladder muscles.
- Avoid the intake of any caffeine, although it is unlikely your child is drinking coffee, they may be getting a caffeine hit from energy, or soft drinks.
- Manage bladder levels by going to the bathroom just before a social event and monitoring liquid intake. Regular bathroom visits will keep the bladder at a minimal level; encourage your child not to wait until their bladder feels full before they go to the toilet.
There are also discreet incontinence products on the market which your child can wear. This will also make your child feel more relaxed and confident in social situations.
This may seem like a minor issue which children grow out of, but it can be a sensitive and worrying time for those that suffer. If you have any questions or worry that the giggle incontinence is becoming more frequent, or having an adverse effect on your child, please visit your doctor.