What Are The Specific Symptoms Of Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder represents a collection of symptoms that can include:
- Urinary urgency: This is a failure to be able to postpone the need to urinate. When you feel you need to urinate, you have a limited amount of time to get to a bathroom.
- Frequency of urination: People who experience this symptom need to urinate very often. Typically its an increase in the number of times you urinate compared to what you previously experienced.
- Urge incontinence: In this case, there can be a leakage of urine when you get the urge to urinate.
- Nocturia: This symptom is characterized by the need to get up and urinate at least two times each night.
Controlling The Need To Urinate
Some activities may increase leakage for some people. Things to avoid include:
- Coughing, sneezing, and straining, and other actions that put extra pressure on the pelvic muscles. Get treatment for a cold or lung problems that make you cough or sneeze.
- Very heavy lifting.
Ask your provider about things you can do to ignore urges to pass urine. After a few weeks, you should leak urine less often.
Train your bladder to wait a longer time between trips to the toilet.
- Start by trying to hold off for 10 minutes. Slowly increase this waiting time to 20 minutes.
- Learn to relax and breathe slowly. You can also do something that takes your mind off your need to urinate.
- The goal is to learn to hold the urine for up to 4 hours.
Urinate at set times, even if you do not feel the urge. Schedule yourself to urinate every 2 to 4 hours.
Empty your bladder all the way. After you go once, go again a few minutes later.
Even though you are training your bladder to hold in urine for longer periods of time, you should still empty your bladder more often during times when you might leak. Set aside specific times to train your bladder. Urinate often enough at other times when you are not actively trying to train your bladder to help prevent incontinence.
Ask your provider about medicines that may help.
Surgery may be an option for you. Ask your provider if you would be a candidate.
Drinking Plenty Of Fluids
To aid the removal of the stone, it is important to drink plenty of clear fluids. Keeping well hydrated will also help to prevent stones from forming too. Drinking lots of water is particularly important if you have a stone that has formed from uric acid as this will help to break the stone down. In these instance you will be advised to try to drink around three litres of water a day and may also be given a medication to make your urine more alkaline, which will also help the stone break down.
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What Is The Treatment For Urinary Incontinence
Specific treatment for urinary incontinence will be determined by your doctor based on:
Your age, overall health and medical history
Type of incontinence and extent of the disease
Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
Expectations for the course of the disease
Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include:
Bladder training: Teaches people to resist the urge to void and gradually expand the intervals between voiding.
Toileting assistance: Uses routine or scheduled toileting, habit training schedules and prompted voiding to empty the bladder regularly to prevent leaking.
Diet modifications: Eliminating bladder irritants, such as caffeine, alcohol and citrus fruits.
Pelvic muscle rehabilitation :
Kegel exercises: Regular, daily exercising of pelvic muscles can improve, and even prevent, urinary incontinence.
Biofeedback: Used with Kegel exercises, biofeedback helps people gain awareness and control of their pelvic muscles.
Vaginal weight training: Small weights are held within the vagina by tightening the vaginal muscles.
Pelvic floor electrical stimulation: Mild electrical pulses stimulate muscle contractions.
Consult your doctor with questions regarding the management and treatment of urinary incontinence.
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Prevention Of Urinary Tract Stones
In a person who has passed a calcium stone for the first time, the likelihood of forming another stone is about 15% within 1 year, 40% within 5 years, and 80% within 10 years. Measures to prevent the formation of new stones vary, depending on the composition of the existing stones.
Drinking large amounts of fluids8 to 10 ten-ounce glasses a dayis recommended for prevention of all stones. People should drink enough fluid to produce more than about 2 quarts of urine per day. Other preventive measures depend somewhat on the type of stone.
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Urinary Incontinence In Women
Bladder leakage in women may develop during development in the womb with the urinary tract as a birth defect or may be related to the genetics as it can be a family trait.
The racial background of a woman may also dictate urinary incontinence as Caucasians have a higher risk than those of African American, Asian American, and Hispanic/Latin descent.
Pregnancy often sees an increase in the urge to urinate as the growing fetus can place pressure on the bladder. This may cause temporary bladder leakage.
Bladder leakage in women may also be caused by damage to the pelvic floor muscles during childbirth as they can be overstretched.
Urinary incontinence may become a more permanent issue after childbirth or surgery as a result of pelvic organ prolapse disorder. This condition may see the bladder drop out of normal positioning.
Hormonal changes to the female body as seen during menopause can cause urinary incontinence. The reduction of hormones produced result in weakness of the bladder and urethra linings.
Weight Loss May Reduce Incontinence
Study Shows Losing Weight Can Help Women Who Have Urinary Incontinence
Jan, 27, 2009 — For obese and overweight women, losing weight can dramatically reduce episodes of incontinence, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Study participants included 338 women, all overweight or obese, who leaked urine at least 10 times in a week. The women were recruited from Birmingham, Ala., and Providence, R.I.
Participants were randomly divided into two groups. One group was put on an intensive weight loss program that included diet, exercise, and behavior modification. The other group was given educational information about weight loss, healthy eating, and physical activity, but no hands-on support.
All participants received an educational booklet about urinary incontinence, behavioral techniques, and pelvic floor muscle exercises.
At six months, the women in the intensive weight loss program lost an average 8% of their body weight and reduced weekly urinary incontinence episodes by 47%. Women in the information-only group lost an average 1.6% of body weight and had 28% fewer episodes.
Women in the weight loss program reported feeling that incontinence was less of a problem compared to the other group. More were moderately to very satisfied with the change in their incontinence.
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What Else Causes Bladder Control Problems In Women
Certain life events and health problems can lead to stress incontinence in women by weakening the pelvic floor muscles
- pregnancy and childbirth
Weak pelvic floor muscles can make it hard for your bladder to hold urine in during stress incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when an actioncoughing, sneezing, laughing, or physical activityputs pressure on your bladder and causes urine to leak. A weak pelvic floor can also cause fecal incontinence, or bowel control problems.
Several Types Of Urinary Incontinence:
Stress Incontinence: loss of urine due to physical pressure on the bladder. The most common symptoms are leakage of urine with coughing, laughing, sneezing, or lifting objects. Stress incontinence is common during perimenopause.
Urgency Incontinence: loss of urine due to an urgent need to urinate , which is caused by overly active or irritated bladder muscles. The most common symptom is the frequent and sudden urge to urinate, with occasional leaks
Transient Incontinence: temporary loss of urine due to medication or UTIs.
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Start With A Bladder Diary
Before you go crazy making changes to your diet, youll want to get a sense of what you eat and drink and how it affects your leaks. A bladder diary can help you figure out foods that may be triggering your leaks. Bladder irritants are a little bit different for everyone so put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and get ready to use your best detective skills.
Triggering foods and drinks typically impact your urinary system 2-3 hours after you eat or drink it. So, be sure to write down what you eat and drink throughout the day and when you eat meals. That way your bladder diary can help you figure out if it was the lemonade at 11am or the spicy chicken wings at 4pm that was the problem. You can keep things simple by using a bladder diary template to get started but youll want to keep your diary for 3-5 days to get an accurate read on your habits.
Risk Factors For Incontinence After Childbirth
Women are more likely to have incontinence if they also had leakage problems during pregnancy, particularly in the first or second trimester. Women who also had long deliveries or needed forceps during labor are also more likely to experience urinary leakage.
According to the National Institutes of Health, women who have a natural delivery are 50% more likely to experience incontinence than women who deliver by C-section.
Women with a high BMI, or those who retain pregnancy weight gain after the birth of their child, are more likely to experience incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse after giving birth. Postpartum weight loss decreases the risk of urinary incontinence, even if other risk factors such as age and/or type of delivery method exist.
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Can Losing Weight Stop Urine Leakage
For many Americans, losing weight is a priority, and everyone has different reasons. For those battling incontinence, stopping urine leakage is often high on the list of reasons to drop those extra pounds.
Slimming down to a healthier weight can dramatically improve, or in some cases, cure incontinence symptoms.
And by incontinence, we mean any loss of bladder control, whether occasional or frequent, a dribble or a deluge.
Do you pee when you cough or laugh? Thats called stress incontinence, and its the type of bladder leakage most affected by excess weight.
This doesnt mean that everyone with stress incontinence carries additional pounds. But if you struggle to maintain a healthy weight, youre more likely to develop or worsen stress incontinence.
So, lets delve into the reason for this and outline steps you can take to reduce or eliminate urine leakage.
How To Fix Bladder Incontinence
The main symptom is the accidental release of urine.
- If you have stress incontinence, you may leak a small to medium amount of urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, exercise, or do similar things.
- If you have urge incontinence, you may feel a sudden urge to urinate and the need to urinate often. With this type of bladder control problem, you may leak a larger amount of urine that can soak your clothes or run down your legs.
- If you have mixed incontinence, you may have symptoms of both problems.
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Dont Let Menopause And Bladder Leakage Stop You
Menopause alone is not the only cause of bladder control problems but its one of the biggest ones. If bladder leakage is concerning you, then consider what you can do to reduce its impact. You dont have to live in fear or walk around believing that youre alone. At least 1 in 4 women over 35 have weak bladders and they live normal lives, so you can too.
If youre ready to make the first step towards improving your bladder leaks, take our quiz to determine what kind of bladder leaks you have and then order a bladder leak product subscription.
Got advice for other menopausal women on how to manage the urges and drips? Share it in the comments!
Risk Factors For Oab And Ui
While the two conditions are different, the risk factors that may lead to both are very similar. The strongest risk factor for developing OAB or UI is being female. These problems affect women two times more than men, and roughly 17 percent of women between the ages of 40 to 59 experience some type of urological issue. Another risk factor is age. Especially for women, pelvic floor muscles weaken with age, which is a significant contributor to UI. Other age-related reasons include lack of mobility, infection, dementia or psychological disorders, and atrophy. Pregnancy is another top risk factor for developing OAB or UI, as is any previous gynecological or urological surgery. Obesity is also listed as a risk factor, and researchers are now claiming it is a leading contributor to developing OAB or UI.
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Do The Right Exercises
High-impact exercise and sit-ups put pressure on your pelvic floor muscles and can increase leaks.
To strengthen your pelvic floor to relieve symptoms, replace high-impact exercise, such as jogging and aerobics, with strengthening exercise, such as pilates.
Pilates strengthens your core muscles, which is beneficial for stress incontinence.
The Following Conditions May Also Add To Postpartum Bladder Control Problems
- Damage to the nerves that control the bladder, rectum and pelvic floor muscles.
- Movement of the urethra and bladder from their usual position.
- Having an episiotomy or experiencing a tear in the pelvic floor muscle during delivery.
- Undergoing an assisted vaginal delivery with either forceps or a vacuum, which can damage the pelvic floor and anal sphincter, leading to urinary or fecal incontinence.
Incontinence is common in new moms but can also develop in the months and years after childbirth some women dont experience problems until their 40s. Whenever postpartum incontinence issues begin to develop, women should consider making an appointment with a female pelvic health specialist. We offer many treatment options that can improve the mothers quality of life.
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Other Types Of Bladder Leakage
- Mixed Incontinence: This label is given to bladder leakage conditions that stem from more than one form of incontinence, whether stress, urge, functional, or overflow. Women can be often diagnosed with stress and urge incontinence at the same time.
- Transient Incontinence: A transient incontinence refers to a temporary condition of a bladder leakage. It is often seen with complications after surgery, an irritated bladder, chronic constipation, and as a side effect of some diuretic and sleep-induced medication.
- Total Incontinence: A total loss of bladder function is referred to as total incontinence. This may be a result of nerve or bladder damage or disease that hinders the regular functioning of the bladder. Some cases of multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries may see a malfunction of the bladder to store urine.
Differences Between Oab And Ui
Overactive bladder and urinary incontinence may seem like the same problem, but several factors separate the two. OAB is also known as irritable bladder and is mostly associated with the frequency of the urge to urinate. In a healthy bladder, the urge to urinate does not come on suddenly, and there is plenty of warning before the urge to empty the bladder. A person with OAB may feel fine one moment, and may urgently and painfully need to urinate the next.
Urinary incontinence is more associated with leakage. There are different types of urinary incontinence. For example, a womans pelvic floor muscles may weaken after vaginal deliveries, and she may void urine while coughing or lifting something heavy. This is known as stress incontinence and is the most common type. Another type is known as overflow incontinence, where the bladder muscles are weakened.
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Two Main Types Of Bladder Leakage
There are two main types of bladder leakage: stress incontinence and urge incontinence, to use the technical terms. Stress incontinence happens when urine leaks out while doing an activity such as lifting, laughing, or coughing. However, it doesnt have anything to do with being stressed out, as its name implies. In fact, the stress has more to do with physical strain. When laughing, you naturally increase the pressure put on the abdomen, which also puts strain on the bladder. This type of bladder leakage is common for middle aged women and those that have had a vaginal birth. The weakened pelvic floor muscles makes it difficult to hold in urine.
Urge incontinence, on the other hand, occurs when you have a strong urge to urinate even when your bladder is not full. The urge to urinate comes about suddenly and sometimes includes the loss of urine before one can reach the restroom. This type of bladder leakage is caused by rogue bladder muscle contractions. Often times, urge incontinence is a result of another physical problem in the body, such as issues with the spine, nerves, or brain. A large majority of the women diagnosed with this condition are actually postmenopausal.
Health Conditions Linked To Bladder Or Bowel Problems
- Digestive conditions such as Crohns, coeliac disease, colitis or diverticulitis, chronic diarrhoea or constipation.
- Urinary Tract Infections , bladder infection and cystitis can be associated with toilet urgency and frequency and possibly leakage.
- Laxative over-use can create bowel problems. But a carefully tailored plan for their use is necessary in some cases or dementia, for example).
- After abdominal surgery incontinence may be an issue.
- Nerve-related conditions like Multiple Sclerosis , Parkinsons, spinal injury or brain trauma may result in incontinence.
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This article has been reproduced from Bridge, Spring 2011, with permission from the Continence Foundation of Australia. For advice or more information, phone the National Continence Helpline on free call 1800 330 066.
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