Do Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
Strong pelvic floor muscles hold in urine better than weak muscles. You can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by doing Kegel exercises. These exercises involve tightening and relaxing the muscles that control urine flow. Researchers found that women who received pelvic floor muscle training had fewer leaks per day than women who didnt receive training.6 You should not do pelvic floor exercises while youre urinating.
Men can also benefit from pelvic floor muscle exercises. Strengthening these muscles may help a man leak urine less often, especially dribbling after urination.
A health care professional, such as a physical therapist trained in pelvic floor therapy, can help you get the most out of your Kegel exercises by helping you improve your core muscle strength. Your core includes your torso muscles, especially the lower back, pelvic floor muscles, and abdomen. These muscles keep your pelvis lined up with your spine, which helps with good posture and balance. Your physical therapist can show you how to do some exercises during daily activities, such as riding in a car or sitting at a desk.
You dont need special equipment for Kegel exercises. However, if you are unsure whether you are doing the exercises correctly, you can learn how to perform Kegel exercises properly by using biofeedback, electrical stimulation, or both. Biofeedback uses special sensors to measure muscle contractions that control urination.
Bladder Control Problems And The Prostate
The prostate is a gland found only in men. It is about the size of a walnut and is located below the neck of the bladder, surrounding the bladder outlet or urethra. Because the prostate gland is located close to the outlet of the bladder, it is common for problems with the male prostate gland to also affect urinary processes.Urinary problems which start in middle age are often caused by the prostate gland getting larger as a man ages and partially blocking the flow of urine through the urethra as it leaves the bladder. This causes a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia . Other causes of prostate-related urinary conditions include prostatitis or prostate cancer.
What Are The Symptoms Of Urinary Incontinence
The main symptom of urinary incontinence is the leakage of urine. There may also be increased urgency to wee, leading to increased frequency of weeing. Urinary tract infections may also develop more often and be hard to shift. Children may be reluctant to drink fluids in case they have an accident this can lead to dehydration and often makes any constipation worse as well.
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What Causes Bedwetting In Children
Nighttime wetting is often related to slow physical development, a family history of bedwetting, or making too much urine at night. In many cases, there is more than one cause. Children almost never wet the bed on purposeand most children who wet the bed are physically and emotionally normal.
Sometimes a health condition can lead to bedwetting, such as diabetes or constipation.
When To Seek Medical Care For Bladder Control Problems
If you have a problem with urine leakage or have to get up more than twice in the night to urinate, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. The problem may be caused by a medical condition that can be treated. You owe it to yourself to find out. Most likely you do not have to resign yourself to living with incontinence for the rest of your life.
If you have kept records of urination , take a copy with you to the appointment. Be prepared to provide a complete list of your medications, including nonprescription drugs, herbs, and supplements.
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What Are The Treatments For Urinary Incontinence
Treatment depends on the type and cause of your UI. You may need a combination of treatments. Your provider may first suggest self-care treatments, including:
- Lifestyle changes to reduce leaks:
- Drinking the right amount of liquid at the right time
- Being physically active
- Staying at a healthy weigh
- Avoiding constipation
If these treatments do not work, your provider may suggest other options such as:
- Medicines, which can be used to
- Relax the bladder muscles, to help prevent bladder spasms
- Block nerve signals that cause urinary frequency and urgency
- In men, shrink the prostate and improve urine flow
Why Uti Is The Most Common Bladder Problem In Seniors
UTIs are one of the most common bladder problems among seniors. It is caused due to bacteria and there are several other reasons too for developing the risk of UTIs in older ones, such as:
- Having or had an UTI before
- Changes in the immune system
- Being exposed to various bacteria in the care facility or in hospital
- Presence of a urinary catheter
- Experiencing changes in the functionality of the urinary system
- Having health conditions such as Parkinsons disease, Alzheimers disease, diabetes, etc.
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Risk Factors For Urinary Incontinence
The following factors may put you at higher risk for developing UI.
Being female Women experience stress incontinence twice as often as men. Men, on the other hand, are at greater risk for urge and overflow incontinence.
Advancing age As we get older, our bladder and urinary sphincter muscles often weaken, which may result in frequent and unexpected urges to urinate. Even though incontinence is more common in older people, it is not considered a normal part of aging.
Excess body fat Extra body fat increases the pressure on the bladder and can lead to urine leakage during exercise or when coughing or sneezing.
Other chronic diseases Vascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions may increase the risk of urinary incontinence
Smoking A chronic smoker’s cough can trigger or aggravate stress incontinence by putting pressure on the urinary sphincter.
High-impact sports While sports don’t cause incontinence, running, jumping, and other activities that create sudden pressure on the bladder can lead to occasional episodes of incontinence during sports activities.
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
What The Caregiver Can Do
- Encourage or help the patient with appropriate skin care after using the bathroom. Use warm water and pat the area dry.
- Help the patient keep a diary that records specific foods or drinks that may affect how frequently the patient goes to the bathroom.
- Help the patient maintain a bladder or bowel plan.
- Encourage the patient to go to the bathroom at consistent time frames during the day, like after a meal.
- Encourage regular daily exercise, as permitted by the health care team.
When Should My Child See A Doctor About Bladder Control Problems
If you or your child are worried about accidental wetting, talk with a health care professional. He or she can check for medical problems and offer treatment, or reassure you that your child is developing normally.
Take your child to a health care professional if there are signs of a medical problem, including
- symptoms of bladder infection such as
- pain or burning when urinating
- cloudy, dark, bloody, or foul-smelling urine
- urinating more often than usual
- strong urges to urinate, but passing only a small amount of urine
- pain in the lower belly area or back
- crying while urinating
Although each child is unique, providers often use a childs age to decide when to look for a bladder control problem. In general,
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Botulinum Toxin A Injections
Botulinum toxin A can be injected into the sides of your bladder to treat urge incontinence and overactive bladder syndrome .
This medication can sometimes help relieve these problems by relaxing your bladder. This effect can last for several months and the injections can be repeated if they help.
Although the symptoms of incontinence may improve after the injections, you may find it difficult to fully empty your bladder. If this happens, you will need to be taught how to insert a catheter into your urethra to drain the urine from your bladder.
Botulinum toxin A is not currently licensed to treat urge incontinence or OAB, so you should be made aware of any risks before deciding to have the treatment. The long-term effects of this treatment are not yet known.
Common Causes Of Urinary Incontinence In Men:
The following are common causes of urinary incontinence:
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Treatments For Urgency Incontinence
Urgency incontinence is when you get the urge to go, and if you dont make it to a bathroom, your bladder will empty. It can have serious effects on your life and your work.
Experts dont know what causes urgency incontinence, but there are different ways to approach it. First we start with behavioral changes, which vary based on your situation. Steps could include:
Weight loss again, losing even a small amount of weight can help.
Avoiding excess fluids. If youre having trouble sleeping, we talk about limiting fluids before bedtime so sleep is less interrupted.
Time voiding, which is retraining the bladder. If the patient is in the bathroom every hour, well slowly lengthen that interval so theyre in the bathroom less often.
Pelvic floor exercises, with help from a physical therapist.
Changing your diet. I review a list of bladder irritants: coffee, chocolate, alcohol, spicy foods, and other things. We have patients skip those foods and drinks for a week or two and see what their urgency or frequency is like.
If behavioral changes dont help, there are other options to explore. We can try certain medications that relax your bladder muscles and prevent leakage. Botox, injected into the muscles of the bladder, can help some patients temporarily. And there are several medications we can try, including anticholinergics, which block the impulse to urinate. This can help you get more sleep at night.
Types Of Bladder Control Problems
Anyone can have bladder control problems or incontinence. Incontinence caused by cancer or cancer treatment can last a short time or a long time, and it can be mild or severe. There are different types of bladder control problems.
Stress incontinence. Urine leaks out during activities such as coughing, laughing, sneezing, or exercising.
Overflow incontinence. Urine leaks out when your bladder is full.
Urge incontinence. You feel the urge to go to the bathroom right away and urine leaks before you can get to the bathroom.
Continuous incontinence. Urine leaks out constantly, and you cannot control it.
These bladder problems can make you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Sometimes, people avoid activities they enjoy because of bladder problems. That can affect your quality of life. These are reasons why it is important to tell your health care provider about your experiences. They can help you treat incontinence. The treatment of side effects is an important part of your cancer care and treatment, called palliative care or supportive care. Talk with your health care team about how to treat or manage incontinence.
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How Does The Urinary System Work
The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, the bladder and urethra. The kidneys filter the blood to remove waste products and produce urine. The urine flows from the kidneys down through the ureters to the bladder. A ring of muscle squeezes shut to keep urine in the bladder and relaxes when we need to wee. The urine passes through another tube called the urethra to the outside when urinating .
What Is The Medical Treatment For Bladder Control Problems
Treatment depends of the type and severity of the incontinence. Many of these treatments require a commitment on your part to master the technique and practice it daily. Discuss all of the treatment options with your health-care provider before making a decision together.
Some medications that you may take for other medical conditions can cause incontinence. Review your medications with your health-care provider. If a medication is causing the problem, an alternative may be available.
Urge incontinence: Treatment is focused on eradicating the underlying cause. If your health-care provider is unable to identify a reversible cause, the focus of treatment becomes reducing symptoms. Treatment may include the following:
- Providing a commode or urinal for urination emergencies
- Limiting fluid intake
- Behavioral therapy: Changing your habits to try to reduce incontinence
- Timed voiding and bladder training regimens: Gradually prolonging the time between urination
- Pelvic floor exercises: To strengthen the sphincter muscles
- Medications: To relax the bladder or tighten the sphincter muscles
No matter what type of incontinence you have, medical treatment can take some time to take effect. During treatment, or if medical treatment does not work for you, you have the following alternatives:
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Try Pelvic Floor Therapy
Pelvic floor therapy is a type of specialized physical therapy that strengthens the muscles that support your bladder and bowels. This can be very effective in treating urinary incontinence caused by an overactive bladder.
During pelvic floor therapy, a physical therapist may lead you through exercises that target your pelvic floor, use mild electrical stimulation to help you have more awareness of your pelvic floor muscles, and use other specialized techniques. If youre interested in pelvic floor therapy, talk with a doctor about getting a referral.
Fast Facts On Urinary Incontinence
- Urinary incontinence is more common in females than in males.
- There are a number of reasons why urinary incontinence can occur.
- Obesity and smoking are both risk factors for urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence is when a person cannot prevent urine from leaking out.
It can be due to stress factors, such as coughing, it can happen during and after pregnancy, and it is more common with conditions such as obesity.
The chances of it happening increase with age.
Bladder control and pelvic floor, or Kegel, exercises can help prevent or reduce it.
Treatment will depend on several factors, such as the type of incontinence, the patients age, general health, and their mental state.
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When To Seek Medical Help
Any instance of incontinence is reason to seek medical help. It may be a symptom of a more serious condition that needs to be treated.
Even if the underlying cause isnt serious, incontinence can be a major disruption in your life. Its important to get an accurate diagnosis and discuss treatment options with a healthcare professional.
In some cases, incontinence can be a sign of a medical emergency.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you lose control of your bladder and experience any of the following symptoms:
- trouble speaking or walking
Urinary incontinence and treatment for urinary incontinence may result in complications, depending on the cause.
These complications may include:
- Urinary tract infections. UTIs can be caused by wet undergarments against the skin. This may create an environment where bacteria can grow.
- Kidney damage. In some cases where the flow of urine is obstructed, you may experience kidney trouble or kidney failure.
- Cellulitis. This skin infection is caused by bacteria and may cause swelling and pain.
- Medication side effects. Medications used to control urinary incontinence may cause side effects, depending on the medication. Side effects may include dry mouth, nausea, hypertension, or others.
- Catheter side effects. If you have a catheter placed, you may experience side effects such as infection and trauma.
- Mental health side effects. Urinary incontinence may cause feelings of anxiety, depression, or social isolation.