Do Pelvic Floor Exercises
Exercising your pelvic floor muscles, like Kegels, can do wonders for bladder leakage. The great thing about these exercises is that you can incorporate them into your daily routine anytime and anywhere. All you have to do is squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and hold the contraction for five to ten seconds, and then relax for the same amount of time. Repeat these a few times and see if you notice any improvements. Or, for more options, check out our guide on pelvic floor exercises.
Products To Help Manage Incontinence
Many people find the following products useful for dealing with incontinence symptoms:
- Pads and undergarments Absorbent, non-bulky pads and underwear are worn discreetly under clothing and are available in different sizes for both men and women. For those with mild or moderate leakage, panty liners are sometimes all that’s required.
- Patches and plugs Many women are able to manage light leakage from stress incontinence by using products that block the flow of urine, such as a small, disposable adhesive patch that fits over the urethral opening, a tampon-like urethral plug, or a vaginal insert called a pessary.
- Catheters For otherwise unmanageable incontinence, a physician can place a catheter in the urethra to continually drain the bladder. Due to a higher risk of developing infections and kidney stones, catheters are usually a last resort and used only for severely ill patients.
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.
Got advice for other menopausal women on how to manage the urges and drips? Share it in the comments!
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Causes Of A Prolapsed Uterus
A prolapsed uterus is caused by weakened pelvic floor muscles and tissues that are unable to support the weight of the uterus. These muscles can be weakened by a number of factors including:
Being overweight doubles your risk of developing a prolapsed uterus.
Disorders of the pelvic floor, including uterine prolapse, are more common among women who have had at least one baby through vaginal birth.
Coughing causes the pelvic floor to move downwards and may worsen prolapse symptoms. Some doctors say that smoking can cause a chronic cough, which may apply pressure on the organs that rely on the pelvic floor for support.
Are There Other Ways To Treat Incontinence
Yes. Medicines or medical devices can treat some types of urinary incontinence. For example, estrogen cream to put in the vagina can be helpful for some women who have mild stress incontinence. Several prescription medicines are available to treat urge incontinence. For men, prescription medicine is available to shrink the prostate and improve flow of urine through the prostate. Talk to your doctor about possible medicine options for your type of incontinence.
In some cases, surgery may be an option. Treatment depends on what type of urinary incontinence you have and what is causing it.
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It Could Be A Sign Of An Underlying Condition
Naturally, later in life, people can experience incontinence because of increased production of urine related to aging kidneys. Bladder function is also heavily impacted by changing bladder capacity and chronic medical conditions like diabetes, says Fairchild. Chronic straining, coughing and/or constipation can all put stress on the bladder, she explains.
But leakage can also be sign of a more serious, underlying health condition, according to a 2018 National Poll on Healthy Aging.” For example, poor heart function could be the culprit behind frequent urination while sleeping.
If fluid is pooling in your legs during the day, when you lay down, that fluid redistributes and increases urine production, says Fairchild.
Although bladder leakage is common, discuss your particular symptoms with your doctor.
When You Should See A Health Care Professional
You shouldnt have to wear a pad to soak up urine every day. Also ask yourself these questions:
Is the urge to urinate interfering with your work because of leaking or frequent bathroom breaks?
Do you map out where bathrooms are when you run errands?
Is incontinence interfering with your sex life or intimacy with your partner?
These are all signs of a problem, and that it may be time for you to talk with a gynecologist.
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Does Bladder Leakage Go Away After Menopause
Youll be glad to know that the majority of bladder leakage cases can be greatly improved with a little effort. You dont have to stop doing the activities you enjoy or let bladder leakage slow you down. However, you should assess your current lifestyle and see if theres anything you can do differently to improve bladder control.
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 .
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Natural Treatments For Male Incontinence
Along with medications, your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes to help reduce male incontinence. By controlling the number of fluids you drink, and when you drink them, you can help control the urge to go.
It is best to drink smaller amounts of liquid at regular intervals during the day. You can also start bladder training by delaying when you use the bathroom. By gradually making your bladder wait, you strengthen its muscles and reduce incontinence. There are also exercises you can do to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and those in the urinary tract system.
Urinary incontinence cannot always be prevented because you do not have control over certain risk factors like age and neurological conditions. There are lifestyle changes you can make that will help reduce the risk and help treat the problem, should it arise.
Not smoking or quitting Cutting back on alcohol and caffeine Being more active and losing weight Prevent constipation with a diet full of fiber
What Else Causes Bladder Control Problems In Women
- 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.
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Pelvic Floor Disorders In Older Women
As we age, our pelvic floor muscles weaken and stretch.
These changes may begin as early as the mid-30s and increase with each subsequent childbirth, says urogynecologist Dr. Diana Reed Slenker, director of the Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
If you give birth vaginally, your risk greatly increases one study found that women who had four or more vaginal deliveries had a 33% chance of developing some symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction.
While symptoms usually go away in a few months after delivery or once you stop breastfeeding, for some women symptoms become long-term and never go away.
Why Am I Leaking Urine All Of A Sudden What Causes Female Urinary Incontinence Can Uti Cause Urine Leakage
- Why am I leaking urine all of a sudden? What causes female urinary incontinence? Can UTI cause urine leakage?
Sudden onset of incontinence, or urine leakage, should always warrant a trip to the doctor. There are several different causes of urine leakage and itâs important to identify prior to any treatment being initiated. The more common types of incontinence in women are stress urinary incontinence and urgency urinary incontinence.
Stress urinary incontinence is caused by a weakness in the sphincter muscle of the urethra , a highly mobile urethra, or both. A highly mobile urethra is seen when the pelvic floor tissues are weak and relaxed. Women will experience leakage of urine with activity, such as coughing, laughing, sneezing, and exercising. The most common risk factor for stress urinary incontinence is having a history of a vaginal childbirth, but it can occur in anyone due to other factors such as muscle strength and activity level. For example, women who do very heavy weightlifting may experience stress urinary incontinence while lifting heavy weights, but if they never did such activities, they might not experience incontinence.
Many people have mixed incontinence, with symptoms of both stress urinary incontinence and urgency urinary incontinence causing urine leakage. In this situation the urologist would typically address the type of incontinence that is most impacting your quality of life first, as the treatments are quite different.
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Medications For Urinary Incontinence
If medications are used, this is usually in combination with other techniques or exercises.
The following medications are prescribed to treat urinary incontinence:
- Anticholinergics calm overactive bladders and may help patients with urge incontinence.
- Topical estrogen may reinforce tissue in the urethra and vaginal areas and lessen some of the symptoms.
- Imipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant.
Whats Considered A Normal Level Of Amniotic Fluid
The amount of amniotic fluid cushioning your baby tends to increase as your pregnancy progresses, reaching its highest point at about 36 weeks.
Fluid levels throughout your pregnancy could be around:
- 60 milliliters at 12 weeks gestation
- 175 mL at 16 weeks gestation
- 400 to 1,200 mL between 34 and 38 weeks gestation
Your doctor can measure your amniotic fluid levels using an ultrasound. There are two calculations on ways to measure, known as the amniotic fluid index or the maximum vertical pocket .
Doctors consider your fluid levels to be low if your AFI is less than 5 centimeters or your MPV is less than 2 cm.
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Ways To Treat Bladder Leakage
With so many bladder leakage products and treatment options, how do you know what is the best one for you?
First, be sure to check in with your urologist or urogynecologist to see what may be causing your bladder leakage. Knowing the cause will help you and your doctor decide what treatment option will work best for you. While certain drinks, foods and medications may stimulate your bladder, there are other medical reasons that can cause your symptoms, including:
- Urinary tract infections
- Weakened pelvic floor, sometimes caused by pregnancy, childbirth, menopause or having had a hysterectomy
- Neurological disorders
Depending on what is causing your urinary incontinence, a unique treatment plan should be developed based on your personal situation, says Nina Bhatia, M.D., urogynecologist at Hackensack Meridian Health. There are several lifestyle changes, including bladder retraining techniques, dietary changes, avoiding bladder irritants, pelvic floor exercises and pelvic floor physical therapy that can help tremendously. If those fail to provide you relief, there are non-surgical and surgical options that we can offer.
Why Do I Keep Leaking Urine After My Hysterectomy
Hysterectomy is a surgery that removes the uterus and in some cases the ovaries.
Women who have had their uterus removed may experience leaking urine after surgery.
There are many reasons why this might happen, but one of them could be incomplete bladder emptying due to nerve damage or scar tissue formation.
If you find yourself constantly leaking urine after your hysterectomy, talk with your surgeon about additional treatments available for this condition.
Heres what theyre saying:
I recently went through a hysterectomy and I leak all the time! Its so embarrassing. Im in menopause and my periods are irregular. Is this why I leak when I cough or sneeze?
I know someone who has this and its awful. She constantly leaks and she cant leave the house.
Is Incontinence More Common In Women
Incontinence is much more commonly seen in women than in men. A large part of this is because of pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Each of these events in a womans life can lead to bladder control issues. Pregnancy can be a short-term cause of incontinence and the bladder control issues typically get better after the baby is born. Some women experience incontinence after delivery because of the strain childbirth takes on the pelvic floor muscles. When these muscles are weakened, youre more likely to experience leakage issues. Menopause causes your body to go through a lot of change. Your hormones change during menopause and this can alter your bladder control.
Men can also experience incontinence, but it isnt as common as it is in women.
Most Common Risk Factors Of Bladder Leakages
Women are exposed to a high number of risk factors for bladder leaks, including:
- Pregnancy â The weight of carrying a fetus stresses the pelvic floor and can lead to stress incontinence during pregnancy and after.
- Childbirth â Tissue or nerve damage that occurs during childbirth can affect the pelvic floor.
- Menopause â Changing hormones during menopause contribute to the deterioration of the pelvic floor, as well as the lining of the bladder and urinary tract.
- Weight gain â Many women gain weight as they age due to hormonal changes and this can exert enough pressure on the pelvic floor to weaken it.
Other risk factors, not particular to women, include:
- Smoking â Smoking can cause chronic coughing that exerts undue pressure on the pelvic floor.
- High-impact activities like running or jumping over many years â Prolonged impact on the pelvic floor from these types of activities can weaken it.
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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
Symptoms Of Pelvic Organ Prolapse In Older Women May Include
Feeling like something is falling out of your vagina
- A feeling of pressure in your vagina or pelvis
- Having to urinate frequently
- Feeling like you have to go to the bathroom even when your bladder is empty
- Trouble emptying your bladder completely
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse
- A bulging, heaviness, or pulling sensation in the vagina or pelvis.
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What Is Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the accidental loss of urine. According to the National Association for Continence, over 25 million adult Americans experience temporary or chronic urinary incontinence. UI can occur at any age, but it is more common among women over 50. Urinary incontinence may be a temporary condition that results from an underlying medical condition. It can range from the discomfort of slight losses of urine to severe, frequent wetting.
How Is Incontinence Treated
There are many different factors that your healthcare provider will consider when creating a treatment plan for your incontinence. The type of incontinence and the ways it affects your life are both big considerations. Your provider will also talk to you about the type of treatment you are most comfortable with. There are three main types of treatment you can explore for incontinence medications, lifestyle changes and surgery. Each option has pros and cons that your provider will discuss with you.
Medications to treat incontinence
There are quite a few medications that can reduce leakage. Some of these drugs stabilize the muscle contractions that cause problems with an overactive bladder. Other medications actually do the opposite thing relaxing muscles to allow your bladder to empty completely. Hormone replacement therapies can often involving replacing estrogen thats decreased during menopause may also help restore normal bladder function.
In many cases, medications can work very well to return normal function to the bladder. Your provider will carefully select a medication that matches your specific needs. Often, your provider will start you on a low dose of the medication and then increase it slowly. This is done to try and reduce your risks of side effects and to keep track of how well the medication is working to treat your incontinence.
Common medications that can be used to treat incontinence include:
Lifestyle changes to manage incontinence
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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.