What Treatment Options Are Available If Urinary Incontinence Still Won’t Go Away
Seeing a urogynecologist as early as possible can help ensure that you have a complete understanding of your condition and treatments options.
“Both stress and urgency incontinence typically respond well to behavioral modifications, but if things are not improving, it’s best to get evaluated,” says Dr. Lindo. “This is why I always recommend seeing a specialist about your condition right away. You never want to play the guessing game with your health, especially when your condition affects your quality of life.”
In addition, your doctor can recommend a pelvic floor physical therapy program. While Kegels can play an important role in alleviating urinary incontinence, Dr. Lindo says they’re performed incorrectly more than 80 percent of the time.
“An incorrect Kegel will not help correct urinary incontinence,” warns Dr. Lindo. “Seeing a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor exercises can help ensure you’re performing Kegels and other exercises correctly and truly strengthening your pelvic floor.”
And if your condition continues to progress or worsen, your urogynecologist has expertise to perform testing and recommend a range of urinary incontinence treatment options and procedures that can help to correct your condition and address your specific situation.
Utis In Adults With Incontinence
Older adults who wear incontinence products are at an increased risk for exposing the urethra to E. coli, particularly if they are wearing the wrong products or if the products are not changed frequently enough. Soiled incontinence products, when left on too long, can introduce harmful bacteria into the urinary tract.
Urinary Tract Infections In The Elderly
Because the elderly often do not experience or report obvious symptoms that younger people have, urinary tract infections can be easily overlooked. Confusion, feelings of general discomfort, disorientation, fatigue, weakness, behavior changes, falling, or a new, acute incontinence are reported as common complaints. Because these symptoms are so general, this often results in a delaying treatment, inviting the complication of sepsis to occur.
UTIs can cause a change in behavior in older people and people with dementia. Masquerading as confusion, agitation, or withdrawal, UTI may actually be the cause of behavioral shifts. The person may not be able to communicate how they feel, therefore it is very important to be familiar with the symptoms of UTI and seek medical help to enable appropriate treatment.
It is also important to be aware that any infection could speed up the progression of dementia and so all infections should be quickly identified and treated.
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How Do Dogs Act When They Have A Uti
Dogs with UTIs generally attempt to urinate very frequently whenever they go outside. They also may strain to urinate, or cry out or whine when urinating if it is painful. Sometimes you might even see blood in their urine. Dripping urine, or frequent licking of the genitals, may also signal that a UTI is present.
What Are Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises, also called Kegels or pelvic floor muscle training, are exercises for your pelvic floor muscles to help prevent or reduce stress urinary incontinence. Your pelvic floor muscles support your uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum.
Four in 10 women improved their symptoms after trying Kegels.9 Kegels can be done daily and may be especially helpful during pregnancy. They can help prevent the weakening of pelvic floor muscles, which often happens during pregnancy and childbirth. Your pelvic floor muscles may also weaken with age and less physical activity.
Some women have urinary symptoms because the pelvic floor muscles are always tightened. In this situation, Kegel exercises will not help your urinary symptoms and may cause more problems. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your urinary symptoms before doing Kegel exercises.
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How Do I Do Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises are a simple way to build strength in your pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are done by lifting, holding and then relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. You can find these muscles by stopping the flow of urine mid-stream while youre urinating. Only do this until you learn how to find the muscles stopping the flow of urine mid-stream isnt healthy over a long period of time.
When youre doing Kegel exercises, start small. Only hold it for a few second. Over time you can slowly work your way up to longer and longer stretches of holding the muscles tight.
Unlike other types of workouts, no one can tell when youre doing Kegel exercises. Aim to do several sets of Kegel exercises twice a day.
How To Prevent Utis In Individuals With Incontinence
A crucial aspect of incontinence care for you, or your loved ones, involves keeping the skin clean and comfortable to prevent common infections, such as urinary tract infections . While UTIs are fairly common for most people, those with incontinence have a higher susceptibility to infections, which can lead to further complications if left untreated.
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Advanced Therapies For Urinary Incontinence
If medications dont work, or you dont like the side effects that come along with them, there are other options. The procedures listed below can be performed in a doctors office, and can provide relief from incontinence.
Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation, or sacral neuromodulation are two different procedures, but they both work in a similar way. These procedures deliver stimulation to nerves that help to block bladder spasms and can help people who suffer from an overactive bladder. They are low-risk, and non-surgical treatment options that are typically very effective.
Botox for OAB
You may already know that Botox can be used for wrinkles, but did you know that its approved for treating overactive bladder too? Botox injections into the bladder muscle can help block the nerve signals that trigger OAB, reducing and in some cases, completely stopping leakage in patients with OAB.
If you feel youve tried everything, surgery may be an option for you. There are different types of surgery available for those who live with incontinence, and the type of surgery your doctor suggests will depend on your specific condition. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risk of surgery to see if this is an option for you.
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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What Are The Symptoms Of Bladder Control Problems
Signs and symptoms of urinary incontinence can include
- leaking urine during everyday activities, such as lifting, bending, coughing, or exercising
- being unable to hold in urine after feeling a sudden, strong urge to urinate
- leaking urine without any warning or urge
- being unable to reach a toilet in time
- wetting your bed during sleep
- leaking during sexual activity
Causes Of Urinary Incontinence And How To Treat Them
- You might find it difficult to bring up urinary incontinence with your doctor, but its very common.
- Incontinence can begin after childbirth, in older adulthood, or with certain health conditions.
- Your doctor can help you identify the cause of incontinence and offer guidance on treatment options.
- Visit Insiders Health Reference library for more advice.
The effects of incontinence can range from a minor leakage of urine when coughing or sneezing, to an urge so strong you find it difficult to make it to the bathroom in time.
Even mild incontinence can be frustrating and challenging to live with, but theres a lot you can do to address this concern. A good first step involves identifying the type of incontinence you experience, which can lead you to a more specific cause.
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The Mental Impact Of Urinary Incontinence
While the physical impact of incontinence is substantial, the effect of incontinence on a persons mental health can be truly devastating. Many people with incontinence carry an emotional burden of shame and embarrassment in addition to the physical disruption on their lives.
They learn to hide their problem from close friends and family, and even significant others for years. They shy away from social activities for fear they will have an accident in public, and stop doing things they once took joy in. Slowly, their isolation and shame may lead to depression and anxiety.
And, the impact doesnt stop there sexual function also takes a hit as many females are nervous of leaking during intercourse.
When you think about the anxiety that many feel in relation to possible incontinence during sex, its easy to see why many females with incontinence may avoid the act altogether.
What Causes Light Bladder Leakage
Urinary incontinence is an extremely common condition, affecting as many as 45% of women in America. The risk factors and causes of leakage in women are extremely varied. Take comfort in knowing that this condition is often very treatable. But, in order to know what the best treatment options are, the possible sources must be determined.
The predisposing risk factors for incontinence are numerous. Some risk factors and dietary irritants include:
If you reduce the intake of these foods and habits, you can control or reduce your current symptoms of risks.
Other life events that can cause incontinence include:
There are a large variety of medicines that may contribute to incontinence as well, including many cardiovascular medicines and diuretics, sedatives, muscle relaxants and Parkinson’s treatments. Likewise, many medical and neurological disorders themselves can result in bladder leakage:
As the sources and types of urinary incontinence are very complex, it is best to have this evaluated by a gynecologist or urologist with experience in female incontinence and pelvic surgery.
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How Is Urinary Incontinence Linked To Utis
If youve ever had a urinary tract infection you may know that a common symptom is urine leakage. This can be true even for those who dont normally experience urinary incontinence.
Infections and bacteria within the bladder and urinary tract can cause you to have strong, sudden urges to urinate, which sometimes can result in an accident.
But one thing you may not know is that urinary tract infections are actually more common in people who already experience some types of incontinence. This can be due to several factors:
- Urinary retention
- Nerve damage
- Constipation due to compromised pelvic floor
Who Does Urinary Incontinence Affect
There are many different factors that may lead to one becoming incontinent, though its important to note that urinary incontinence can affect anyone males and females, young and old alike.
The condition is more prevalent in females than males nearly twice as common. This is partly due to the fact that things like pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause are unique to females and create extra pressure on the bladder and pelvic floor that can cause urinary incontinence.
Still, males are not totally off the hook. Issues with the prostate are largely to blame for incontinence in males, especially if the prostate has been removed.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Incontinence
The main symptom of incontinence is a leakage of urine. This could be a constant dripping of urine or an occasional experience of leakage. If you have incontinence, you might have large amounts or small amounts of leaked urine. You might experience leakage for a wide variety of reasons often depending on the type of incontinence you have.
You might leak urine when you:
- Have an urge to urinate, but cant make it to the toilet on time.
- Have to get up in the middle of night to urinate .
Top Tips To Prevent Further Bladder Infections
When you chat with you doctor, he may suggest you make a few lifestyle changes including:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Reduce your intake of alcohol, tea and coffee as these can all irritate the bladder
- Take urinary alkalinisers
- Take mild painkillers for pain relief
- Avoid eating any foods that can irritate the bladder while the infection is present, including foods with high acid content and amino acids
- Drink cranberry juice everyday
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Why Does Urinary Incontinence Happen
There are two main types of urinary incontinence:
- Stress incontinence
- Urge incontinence
“Stress incontinence occurs when your pelvic floor muscles the muscles that support your bladder and urethra weaken, either due to childbirth or over time,” says Dr. Lindo.
If you’re experiencing stress incontinence, you might find yourself leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, exercise or lift something heavy.
“Urge incontinence, on the other hand, occurs when the bladder muscle squeezes to empty out urine when it is not supposed to. It may be due to the amount or type of fluids you drink, resulting in spasms,” explains Dr. Lindo. “Additionally, urgency incontinence can sometimes be a sign of a larger health complication, such as a bladder infection.”
With urge incontinence, you likely experience an overwhelming, sudden need to urinate and leak urine before you can make it to the bathroom.
“For many women the exact cause of their urge urinary incontinence is unknown,” adds Dr. Lindo. “However, there are many treatments that can help you manage symptoms.”
What Steps Can I Take At Home To Treat Urinary Incontinence
Your doctor or nurse may suggest some things you can do at home to help treat urinary incontinence. Some people do not think that such simple actions can treat urinary incontinence. But for many women, these steps make urinary incontinence go away entirely, or help leak less urine. These steps may include:
You can also buy pads or protective underwear while you take other steps to treat urinary incontinence. These are sold in many stores that also sell feminine hygiene products like tampons and pads.
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What Causes Incontinence
There are many different reasons that you could experience incontinence. These causes can vary depending on if youre a woman or man. Some causes are temporary health conditions that usually go away once treated. In those cases, your incontinence also usually stops once the condition is treated. Incontinence can be caused by long-term medical conditions. When you experience leakage issues because of a chronic condition, its usually something you will have to manage over a longer period of time. Even with treatment, chronic conditions usually dont go away. Incontinence may have to be managed over time as a symptom of your chronic condition.
Temporary or short-term causes of incontinence can include:
- Urinary tract infections : An infection inside your urinary tract can cause pain and increase your need to pee more often. Once treated, the urge to urinate frequently usually goes away.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, your uterus places extra pressure on the bladder as it expands. Most women who experience incontinence during pregnancy notice that it goes away in the weeks after delivery.
- Medications: Incontinence can be a side effect of certain medications, including diuretics and antidepressants.
- Beverages: There are certain drinks like coffee and alcohol that can make you need to urinate much more often. If you stop drinking these beverages, your need to urinate frequently typically goes down.
- Constipation: Chronic constipation can cause you to have bladder control issues.
What The Doctor Does
Doctors first ask questions about the person’s symptoms and medical history. Doctors then do a physical examination. What they find during the history and physical examination often suggests a cause of the incontinence and the tests that may need to be done.
Doctors ask questions about the circumstances of urine loss, including amount, time of day, and any precipitating factors . People are asked whether they can sense the need to urinate and, if so, whether the sensation is normal or comes with sudden urgency. Doctors may also ask the person to estimate the amount of urine leakage. Doctors will also ask whether the person has any additional problems with urination, such as pain or burning during urination, a frequent need to urinate, difficulty starting urination, or a weak urine stream.
Sometimes doctors may ask people to keep a record of their urination habits over a day or two. This record is called a voiding diary. Each time the person urinates, the volume and time are recorded. After an episode of incontinence, the person also records any related activities, especially eating, drinking, drug use, or sleep.
Although urodynamic testing is important, results do not always predict response to drug treatment or assess the relative importance of multiple causes.
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