What Are The Symptoms
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.
Natural Urinary Incontinence Treatments To Manage A Leaky Bladder
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Giving birth to three big boys caused my bladder to leak. I found myself peeing a little when doing certain activities, like exercising and running. I knew something wasnt right, and those leaks were such an inconvenience. So, I decided to go through a tension-free vaginal tape procedure to fix it.
TVT is one of the many urinary incontinence treatments that delivers amazing results! Im glad I did it!
A lot of women experience incontinence during the menopausal stage. In fact, around 45% of menopausal women suffer from this condition, but most of them would rather keep the problem to themselves because of embarrassment. Some also think that surgery is the only solution. They often wait for a long time until they bring up the topic with their family, close friends or health provider.
If you are like these women, now is the best time to talk about your incontinence. Having a leaky bladder is treatable! There are a lot of urinary incontinence treatments that can help you regain full control of your bladder and bring your confidence back.
How Is Stress Incontinence Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and ask about symptoms. You may need to keep a bladder diary for two to three days to monitor your fluid intake, bathroom use and urine leakage. Your notes should include what you were doing before the leakage. This information can help your provider make a diagnosis.
Tests for stress incontinence include:
- Urinary pad test: You wear an absorbent pad for 24 hours at home. Your provider weighs the pad after use to determine the volume of leaked urine.
- Urinalysis: This test checks for signs of infection in a urine sample. Urinalysis can help determine if you have a urinary tract infection or blood in your urine . These signs may indicate a different problem.
- Bladder scan: A brief ultrasound in your healthcare providers office to make sure you are emptying your bladder when you pee.
- Ultrasound: A pelvic or abdominal ultrasound assesses the health of the bladder, kidneys and other organs.
- Cystoscopy: During a cystoscopy, your provider uses a scope to examine your urinary tract.
- Urodynamic testing: This group of tests gauges how well your urinary system holds and releases urine. Urodynamic testing includes a postvoid residual urine test. The test measures how much urine is still in the bladder after you pee.
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Your Lifestyle Choices Matter
Hormones may be the root cause but our lifestyle choices and overall health can influence our health outcome.
Yes, the choices you make do affect your health in the long run, even if you didnt see the effect of your choices while you were making them.
What kind of lifestyle choices and overall health? If youre on medication, if youre obese, if youre a smoker, or if you have other medical issues all can lead to urinary incontinence.
But, as you can see, at least some of these are the result of decisions YOU make!
Tips To Keep Your Bladder Healthy
People rarely talk about bladder health, but everyone is affected by it. Located in the lower abdomen, the bladder is a hollow organ, much like a balloon, that stores urine. Urine contains waste and extra fluid left over after the body takes what it needs from what we eat and drink. Each day, adults pass about a quart and a half of urine through the bladder and out of the body.
As people get older, the bladder changes. The elastic bladder tissue may toughen and become less stretchy. A less flexible bladder cannot hold as much urine as before and might make you go to the bathroom more often. The bladder wall and pelvic floor muscles may weaken, making it harder to empty the bladder fully and causing urine to leak.
While you cant control everything that affects your bladder, here are 15 steps you can take to keep it as healthy as possible:
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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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Who Is At Risk For Urinary Incontinence
In adults, you are at higher risk of developing UI if you:
- Are female, especially after going through pregnancy, childbirth, and/or menopause
- Are older. As you age, your urinary tract muscles weaken, making it harder to hold in urine.
- Are a man with prostate problems
- Have certain health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, or long-lasting constipation
- Are a smoker
- Have a birth defect that affects the structure of your urinary tract
In children, bedwetting is more common in younger children, boys, and those whose parents wet the bed when they were children.
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Should I Drink Less Water Or Other Fluids If I Have Urinary Incontinence
No. Many people with urinary incontinence think they need to drink less to reduce how much urine leaks out. But you need fluids, especially water, for good health.
Women need 91 ounces of fluids a day from food and drinks.11 Getting enough fluids helps keep your kidneys and bladder healthy, prevents urinary tract infections, and prevents constipation, which may make urinary incontinence worse.
After age 60, people are less likely to get enough water, putting them at risk for dehydration and conditions that make urinary incontinence worse.12
Do Pelvic Floor Exercises Make A Difference
It takes time, effort and practice to become good at pelvic floor exercises/Kegels. It is best do these exercises for at least three months to start with. You should start to see benefits after a few weeks. However, it often takes two to five months for most improvement to occur. After this time you may be cured of stress incontinence. If you are not sure that you are doing the correct exercises, ask a doctor, physiotherapist or continence advisor for advice.
If possible, continue exercising as a part of everyday life for the rest of your life. Once incontinence has gone, you may only need to do one or two bouts of exercise each day to keep the pelvic floor muscles strong and toned up and to prevent incontinence from coming back.
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Overactive Bladder Vs Urinary Incontinence
- Condition in which the bladder can no longer hold urine normally.
- Often feel a sudden urge to urinate or experience an accident.
- Defining symptom is urgency, or the inability to postpone urination.
- OAB is typically a chronic problem
- Often requires strengthening of pelvic floor muscles to get rid of symptoms like urinary incontinence.
- Symptoms including urinary incontinence are ongoing.
- Bladder muscle problems at the root of it.
- Can result from regularly consuming alcohol and caffeine in large quantities.
- Serious health conditions can lead to OAB including a stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis , or Parkinsons disease.
- Is when you lose control of your bladder.
- Isnt a condition its a symptom.
- Is a symptom of OAB.
- Can be caused by a loss or weakening of control over the urinary sphincter.
- Can be a sign of something simple like a singular occasion of too much fluid consumption, a temporary problem.
- Is a common symptom of a UTI along with a burning sensation during urination and/or blood in the urine.
Drink Enough Fluids To Keep Your Bladder Happy
Drinking less water and other fluids to decrease your risk of an accident is not a good idea, says Tomas Griebling, MD, a professor of urology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City and president of the Geriatric Urological Society of the American Urological Association. While its true that chugging down a lot of fluids especially in a short amount of time can lead to leaks, not drinking enough can also make you need to pee suddenly.
When you dont drink enough water, the urine becomes more concentrated and that can be irritating to the bladder and increase urgency, explains Dr. Griebling.
How much fluid is enough varies from person to person, but the National Association for Continence estimates that six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is about the right amount. Checking the color of your urine can help you know if youre on target, according to Harvard Health. In general, a pale yellow color means youre adequately hydrated, while a darker yellow suggests you need to drink more.
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How Is Incontinence Diagnosed
Often, the diagnosis process for incontinence will start with a conversation with your healthcare provider about your medical history and bladder control issues. Your provider might ask you questions like:
- How often do you urinate?
- Do you leak urine between trips to the toilet, how often does this happen and how much urine do you leak each time?
- How long have you been experiencing incontinence?
These questions can help your provider figure out a pattern with your leakage, which often points to a specific type of incontinence. When your provider is asking about your medical history, its important to list all of your medications because some medications can cause incontinence. Your provider will also ask about any past pregnancies and the details around each delivery.
There are also several specific tests that your provider might do to diagnose incontinence, including:
While at home, your provider might recommend you keep track of any leakage in a journal for a few days. By writing down how often you experience incontinence issues over the span of a few days, your provider might be able to identify a pattern. This can really help in the diagnosis process. Make sure to write down how often you need to urinate, how much you are able to go each time, if you leak between trips to the bathroom and any activities you might be doing when you leak urine. Youll then bring this journal with you to your appointment and talk about it with your provider.
Essentials For Older People: Urinary Incontinence
Although incontinence is more common among older people, it is not a normal part of aging.
With aging, bladder capacity decreases, ability to delay urination declines, involuntary bladder contractions occur more often, and bladder contractions weaken. Thus, urination becomes more difficult to postpone and tends to be incomplete. The muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue of the pelvis weaken, contributing to incontinence. In postmenopausal women, decreased estrogen levels lead to atrophic urethritis and atrophic vaginitis and to decreasing the strength of the urethral sphincter. In men, prostate size increases, partially obstructing the urethra and leading to incomplete bladder emptying and strain on the bladder muscle. These changes occur in many normal, continent older people and may facilitate incontinence but do not cause it.
). These effects, such as constipation, dry mouth, blurred vision, and sometimes even confusion, can be particularly troublesome in older people.
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From Leaking Urine To Sudden Urges To Go: An Ob
You dont have to suffer in silence there are many treatment options available.
Whether its a few drops of leaking urine or a complete emptying of the bladder, incontinence is a bladder control issue that women are twice as likely to have as men. And by the time a womanhas made an appointment to talk about what shes dealing with, she has had enough.
Incontinence can be embarrassing, super annoying, and costly. But you dont have to suffer in silence there are many treatment options available.
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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Tips For Living With Urinary Incontinence
With a little planning, you can manage your urinary incontinence so it doesnt affect your life too much. There are many products available to help you live with incontinence, such as pads, catheters or bedding protection. Some of these are subsidised by the government.
It can help to get into a routine. Plan for outings, make sure you have enough products and spare clothes in case you have an accident, and know how to find the nearest toilet. Its also a good idea to work out how your diet and fluids affect your symptoms.
Tips To Get Your Bladder Under Control
Take control of your bladder
Do you find yourself struggling to make it to the bathroom in time? Urinary incontinence is a common condition. Your doctor can help you understand whats causing it and recommend a treatment plan.
Lifestyle changes can also help get your bladder under control. Learn about six steps you can take to reduce your risk of accidents and help you get back to enjoying everyday activities, leak-free.
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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.
Do Regular Kegel Exercises
Once you find your pelvic floor muscles, you can complete regular Kegel exercises to strengthen them. Simply contract your pelvic floor muscles, hold them for five to ten seconds, and relax them. The Urology Care Foundation suggests that you complete at least two sessions of Kegel exercises per day. Up to 30 contractions per session.
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Am I At A Higher Risk Of Incontinence At An Older Age
Your body constantly changes throughout your life. As you age, the muscles that support your pelvic organs can weaken. This means that your bladder and urethra have less support often leading to urine leakage. Your risk for developing incontinence as you age might be higher if you have a chronic health condition, have given birth to children, went through menopause, have an enlarged prostate or have had prostate cancer surgery. Its important to talk to your healthcare provider over time about the risks of incontinence and ways you can manage it without interference to your daily life.