Uti And Other Symptoms
Urinary incontinence is a common sign of a UTI. Other symptoms typically occur along with the frequent urge to urinate. Someone with a UTI may also experience a burning sensation during urination or notice blood in their urine. Urine may also have a strong odor or a dark color.
Men with UTIs may experience rectal pain, while women with UTIs may have back or pelvic pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, you should be evaluated by a doctor. If youre diagnosed with a UTI, your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics.
The Difference Between Overactive Bladder And Uti
Two-thirds of women experience urinary tract discomfort. If youre one of them, you might be wondering if a urinary tract infection or an overactive bladder is the cause. Both urinary tract infection UTI and overactive bladder are characterized by a Read More
Two-thirds of women experience urinary tract discomfort. If youre one of them, you might be wondering if a urinary tract infection or an overactive bladder is the cause.
Both urinary tract infection UTI and overactive bladder are characterized by a strong, frequent urge to urinate. That can make it difficult to know if your symptoms are the result of an overactive bladder or UTI. In fact, research finds that many women with overactive bladder are often misdiagnosed with UTI, resulting in improper treatment and overuse of unnecessary antibiotics.
Despite their overlapping symptoms, UTI and overactive bladder are completely different conditions. Overactive bladder, as its name hints, happens when the bladder muscles contract excessively. A UTI, by comparison, is most often a bacterial infection of the bladder, although it can occasionally infect the kidneys.
How can you tell the difference between overactive bladder and UTI? Here are the symptoms, causes and treatments to know about.
What Causes Urinary Incontinence
The causes of urinary incontinence depend on the type.
Stress incontinence is usually the result of the weakening or damaging of the muscles used to prevent urination, such as the pelvic floor muscles and the urethral sphincter.
Urge incontinence is usually the result of overactivity of the detrusor muscle, which controls the bladder.
Certain things can increase the chances of urinary incontinence developing, including:
- pregnancy and vaginal birth
- a family history of incontinence
- increasing age although incontinence is not an inevitable part of ageing
Read more about the causes of urinary incontinence
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Who Is Most At Risk
In addition to the causes mentioned above, there are some things that can increase your risk of developing urinary incontinence without directly being the cause of the problem. These are known as risk factors.
Some of the main risk factors for urinary incontinence include:
- family history there may be a genetic link to urinary incontinence, so you may be more at risk if other people in your family have experienced the problem
- increasing age urinary incontinence becomes more common as you reach middle age and is particularly common in people over 80
- having lower urinary tract symptoms a range of symptoms that affect the bladder and urethra
Medications That Can Cause Urinary Incontinence
Urinary , or the loss of bladder control, can be caused by various health conditions and physical changes, such as childbirth, changes in diet, infection, prostate issues, menopause, and neurological disorders. But there are also a number of medications can cause urinary incontinence in both men and women in a variety of different ways.
Diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide , furosemide , bumetanide , triamterene with hydrochlorothiazide
Increase urine production by the kidney
Frequent urination, overactive bladder, stress incontinence
Muscle relaxants and sedatives such as diazepam , chlordiazepoxide , lorazepam
Cause sedation or drowsiness relax the urethra
Frequent urination, stress incontinence, lack of concern or desire to use the toilet
Narcotics such as oxycodone , meperidine , morphine
Cause sedation or drowsiness relax the bladder, causing it to retain urine
Lack of concern or desire to use the toilet, difficulty in starting urinary stream, straining to void, voiding with a weak stream, leaking between urinations, frequency incontinence
Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine
Relax the bladder, causing it to retain urine
Alpha-adrenergic antagonists such as terazosin , doxazosin
Relax the muscle at the outlet of the bladder
Leaking when coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising, etc.
From , Harvard Health Publishing
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Medications That May Cause Incontinence
Some medicines can disrupt the normal process of storing and passing urine, or increase the amount of urine you produce. These include:
- angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
- hormone replacement therapy
Stopping these medications, if advised to do so by a doctor, may help resolve your incontinence.
Change Menstrual Pads Tampons Or Cups Frequently
Low-absorbency pads made of synthetic materials can expose your vulva to bacteria and increase your risk of infection. Using tampons can encourage bacteria to develop faster, so its important to change your tampon regularly. Tampons and menstrual cups may increase your risk of getting or worsening a UTI if its not positioned correctly. If it pushes on your urethra and traps your urine, bacteria can spread to the bladder. Changing the size or shape of a menstrual cup may help prevent recurrent UTIs.
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When Should You See A Doctor For Leaking Urine
Incontinence is common but not normal, says Sapienza. “I think suffer in silence thinking that they can’t get help, but it is treatable,” she says.
Some patients aren’t concerned with a few leaks here or there, and if it’s truly not bothering you, then you likely don’t need to see anyone, says Dr. Sheyn.
However, if you’re altering your life in order to manage symptoms, then talk to a doctor. For instance, maybe when you go to a new place, you immediately scout out a bathroom to make sure you know where to dash off to if the time comes. Or maybe you decline invitations out because you can’t be sure of the bathroom situation. Maybe you live in black leggings to hide urine leaks, something that patients often tell Sapienza they do.
You should also talk to your doctor if you’re leaking urine frequently. Besides the impact it can have on your social, work, and personal relationships, regular urinary incontinence can also lead to physical complications like skin problemsrashes, skin infections, and sores can develop from constantly wet skinand urinary tract infections. There’s this too: Chronic incontinence might be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, and that’s something you’d want to get checked out.
What Are The Treatment Options For Leaking Urine
Here’s some really great news: “Most patients can be cured or really well-managed with treatment,” says Dr. Sheyn. “The most common thing I hear from patients is, ‘I wish I would have done this sooner.'”
There are a lot of ways to treat leaking urine, but the best option for you will depend on which type of incontinence you have, how intrusive your symptoms are, what your treatment goals are, what your insurance covers, and whether you are interested in invasive or noninvasive treatment. Practical matters like time commitment and access to medical providers will also play a factor.
Here are some general treatment categories your doctor may discuss with you:
If treatment doesn’t work, the Mayo Clinic points out that you can take measures to “ease the discomfort and inconvenience of leaking urine,” including wearing pads and protective garments to collect any leakage or using a catheter to drain your bladder.
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What Is The Difference Between Lower And Upper Utis
The most common type of UTI occurs in the lower urinary tract, infecting the urethra and bladder. Highly virulent strains can, if left untreated, spread up to the ureters and kidneys in the upper urinary tract.
Upper UTI symptoms are considerably worse, and may include back pain, nausea and fever. Such a kidney infection is serious and can potentially damage the kidneys or even cause kidney failure. If left untreated it can also lead to urosepsis, which is when the infection enters the bloodstream. This condition requires intensive care.
How Is Urinary Incontinence Treated
You and your doctor or nurse will work together to create a treatment plan. You may start with steps you can take at home. If these steps do not improve your symptoms, your doctor or nurse may recommend other treatments depending on whether you have stress incontinence or urge incontinence or both.
Be patient as you work with your doctor or nurse on a treatment plan. It may take a month or longer for different treatments to begin working.
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Pelvic Floor Muscle Training
Your pelvic floor muscles are the muscles you use to control the flow of urine as you urinate. They surround the bladder and urethra .
Weak or damaged pelvic floor muscles can cause urinary incontinence, so exercising these muscles is often recommended.
Your GP may refer you to a specialist to start a programme of pelvic floor muscle training.
Your specialist will assess whether you are able to squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and by how much. If you can contract your pelvic floor muscles, you will be given an individual exercise programme based on your assessment.
Your programme should include doing a minimum of eight muscle contractions at least three times a day and doing the recommended exercises for at least three months. If the exercises are helping after this time, you can keep on doing them.
Research suggests that women who complete pelvic floor muscle training experience fewer leaking episodes and report a better quality of life.
In men, some studies have shown that pelvic floor muscle training can reduce urinary incontinence particularly after surgery to remove the prostate gland.
For more information:
- Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecology Physiotherapy : The Pelvic Floor Mucles – a Guide for Women
Evaluation Of Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence usually does not indicate a disorder that is life threatening nevertheless, incontinence may cause embarrassment or lead people to restrict their activities unnecessarily, contributing to a decline in quality of life. Also, rarely, sudden incontinence can be a symptom of a spinal cord disorder. The following information can help people decide when a doctor’s evaluation is needed and help them know what to expect during the evaluation.
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What Is A Bladder Infection
A bladder infection is a common condition with upwards of 30% of women experiencing it at least once throughout in their life.
The medical name for bladder infection is Cystitis and it appears when Escherichia coli bacteria enter and travel up the urethra, infect the urine and inflame the internal bladder lining. E. coli is found primarily in the bowel, and lesser so, in the vagina and on the skin between the anus and the vagina . Although fairly sedate in its natural environment of the bowel, E. coli bacteria thrives in urines acidic state.
Bladder infections almost always present after a bacterial infection in the urine. It is the most common type of urinary tract infection , with women being much more prone than men. The onset age is around 40 years, although many women are diagnosed in their 30s.
A womans shorter urethra allows the bacteria to reach the bladder quickly. Additionally, the close proximity of the urethral, vaginal and anal openings make it easy for bacteria to be transferred.
Most women will experience a bladder infection at least once in their lives. While it is painful and annoying, its not dangerous or contagious, and cant be passed on to your partner during sex.
Can I Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
You can usually prevent a urinary tract infection with lifestyle changes. These tips can include:
In some post-menopausal women, a healthcare provider may suggest an estrogen-containing vaginal cream. This may reduce the risk of developing a UTI by changing the pH of the vagina. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have recurrent UTIs and have already gone through menopause.
Over-the-counter supplements are also available for UTIs. These are sometimes recommended for people who have frequent UTIs as another way to prevent them. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any supplements and ask if these could be a good choice for you.
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What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms usually bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection cases are caused by E. coli, a bacterium normally found in the intestines.
Is There A Connection Between Uti And Incontinence
Urinary incontinence can affect anybody at any age, but it is more common when we get older and in connection with other medical conditions. Therefore, it is not unusual for people with urinary incontinence to have additional problems that contribute to a higher risk of UTI. Some examples include not being able to completely empty the bladder, reduced immune defence functions, and chronic illnesses. Bowel incontinence is another factor that increases the risk of infection.
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Alternative And Complementary Therapies
The treatment of urinary incontinence varies depending on the cause of the bladder control problem. In most cases, a physician will try the simplest treatment approach before resorting to medication or surgery.
Bladder habit training This is the first approach for treating most incontinence issues. The goal is to establish a regular urination schedule with set intervals between urination. A doctor will usually recommend urinating at one-hour intervals and gradually increasing the intervals between urination over time.
Pelvic muscle exercises Also called Kegel exercises , this exercise routine helps strengthen weak pelvic muscles and improve bladder control.
The person contracts the muscles used to keep in urine, holds the contraction for 4 to 10 seconds, then relaxes the muscles for the same amount of time.
It may take weeks or months of regular pelvic exercise to show improvement.
Another way to perform Kegel exercises is to interrupt the flow of urine for several seconds while urinating.
Can Pessary Cause Urine Leakage
The pessary itself does not cause urinary leakage, but when inserted incorrectly it may pull on the urethra or vaginal wall which in turn leads to urine leaking out.
A pessary can also help if you have stress incontinence which is when you leak urine when you laugh, sneeze or cough it can also be used to treat urinary incontinence.
If you experience any problems such as urinary leakage while using a pessary then visit your GP as soon as possible.
It could be that the pessary has been inserted incorrectly and needs to be repositioned.
What are the different types of Pessaries?
There are several different types of pessaries, including ring pessaries, disc pessaries and Gellhorn pessaries.
Ring Pessary: A ring shaped device that is inserted high into the vagina to support the uterus or bladder neck.
Disc Pessary: You wear this type of pessary inside your vagina at the base of the bladder, to support a prolapsed bladder or uterus.
Gellhorn Pessary: A Gellhorn pessary is similar to a ring pessary, but its designed to be extra-supportive.
It has arms that extend upwards, which helps to keep the vagina open and avoid discomfort, especially during sex.
Its available only on prescription, and its more suitable for women with severe prolapse.
If you feel like your pessary is causing discomfort or any other symptoms then visit your doctor as soon as possible.
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When Should I See A Doctor About Incontinence
Its important to know that incontinence can be treated. Many people believe that its something that just goes along with aging and is an unavoidable issue. If you find that incontinence is disturbing your daily activities and causing you to miss out on things you typically enjoy, talk to your healthcare provider. There are a wide range of options to treat incontinence.
How Is Urinary Incontinence Diagnosed
Urinary incontinence is easy to recognize. The primary symptom most people experience is an involuntary release of urine. But the type and cause of the incontinence can be more difficult to determine and may require a variety of exams and tests. Most physicians will use the following:
A bladder diary Your doctor may have you track your fluid intake and output over several days. This may include any episodes of incontinence or urgency issues. To help you measure the amount of urine you pass during an episode of incontinence, you may be asked to use a calibrated container that fits over your toilet to collect the urine.
Urinalysis A urine sample can be checked for infections, traces of blood, or other abnormalities, such as the presence of cancer cells. A urine culture can assess for infection urine cytology looks for cancer cells.
Blood tests Blood tests can look for chemicals and substances that may relate to conditions causing the incontinence.
Pelvic ultrasound In this imaging test, an ultrasound device is used to create an image of the bladder or other parts of the urinary tract to check for problems.
Postvoid residual measurement In this procedure, the patient empties the bladder completely and the physician uses a device to measure how much urine, if any, remains in the bladder. A large amount of residual urine in the bladder suggests overflow incontinence.
UI is usually curable, and if not, then controllable.
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