Why Does Urinary Incontinence Occur With Pregnancy
Pregnancy and childbirth can cause incontinence in several ways:
- Your growing baby takes up a lot of room. As the uterus expands, it puts increased pressure on the bladder, urethra, and pelvic floor muscles. This can lead to leakage.
- Changing progesterone levels during pregnancy can weaken the pelvic floor. Increases in this hormone loosen up your ligaments and joints so the belly can expand and so you can deliver. But it can also loosen ligaments in the pelvis that help you hold in urine.
- Childbirth, particularly vaginal delivery, can stretch and weaken the pelvic floor muscles. This can lead to pelvic organ prolapse, in which your bladder, uterus, or rectum droops into the vaginal canal. Prolapse can be associated with urinary incontinence.
- Vaginal delivery also can result in pelvic muscle and nerve injury, which can result in bladder control problems.
If you experience urinary incontinence during pregnancy, you are at higher risk of having a persistent problem after birth. Tell your health care provider about urinary incontinence symptoms as soon as you notice them during pregnancy or at your first postnatal visit.
More than 80% of postpartum women who experience SUI symptoms during pregnancy may continue to experience stress incontinence without treatment.
Related reading:Body after birth: Treating post-pregnancy problems
Bladder Leakage At Night
Bladder leakage at night can happen whether or not you feel the urge to go, so you may not always know beforehand that you have to use the bathroom. This means you may even wake up to wet sheets. Read this article on nocturia and incontinence at night to help you understand more about bladder leaks at night and treatment options.
Living With Urinary Incontinence
Do not let urinary incontinence control your life. Do not let it keep you at home or affect your typical activities. All it takes is a little planning. For example, if you know you are going to not be near a bathroom, consider using a panty liner or pad. When you are at an event away from home, scope out the locations of bathrooms. Take frequent bathroom breaks. Try to drink less while you are out.
Most importantly, talk to your doctor and those close to you about your urinary incontinence. You may be embarrassed at first, but they can help you work on solutionsespecially your doctor. It is important to know that you arent alone in this.
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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.
Causes Of Total Incontinence
Total incontinence occurs when your bladder cannot store any urine at all. It can result in you either passing large amounts of urine constantly, or passing urine occasionally with frequent leaking.
Total incontinence can be caused by:
- a problem with your bladder from birth
- injury to your spinal cord, which can disrupt the nerve signals between your brain and your bladder
- a bladder fistula, which is a small tunnel-like hole that can form between the bladder and a nearby area, such as the vagina, in women
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Pelvic Floor Ball Squeeze
Sit up straight in a sturdy chair with your head lifted and your chin parallel to the ground, shoulders in line with your hips. Place an exercise ball between your thighs. Squeeze the ball and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times. For a challenge, sit up without leaning back against the chair, Andrews says. This will help strengthen the inner thighs and the abdominal muscles, which intertwine with those pelvic floor muscles and can contribute to better bladder control, Howe says.
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.”
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Exercises To Help Prevent Bladder Incontinence
Kegel exercises are one type of workout you can do anywhere, anytime. When youâre doing Kegel exercises properly, they are invisible to others. The most important thing to understand is that Kegel exercises only involve the pelvic muscles, not the stomach or chest muscles. You should feel like youâre clenching up and in, not pushing down and out like a bowel movement.
Finding Your Kegel Muscles
The first step to properly exercising your pelvic muscles is to feel them in your body.
Step 1: While sitting down or standing up, feel the sensation of urinating.
Step 2: Imagine the sensation of stopping your urine stream before your bladder is empty.
Step 3: Notice which muscles tense when you imagine this sensation. These are your pelvic muscles. The way they tensed in this exercise is the beginning of most Kegel exercises.
Note: donât actually do this when urinating. Regularly stopping your urine before your bladder is empty can damage your bladder and even result in bladder infections. If this exercise isnât helpful, you can also imagine the sensation of avoiding passing gas or squeezing a tampon if you have a vagina.
Sitting Fast-Twitch Exercise
You have two important kinds of muscle tissue, known as fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscles. You have both in every part of your body, including your pelvic muscles. Fast-twitch muscles react quickly, and can help you avoid stress incontinence such as a urine leak while laughing.
Step 3: Release almost immediately.
Bonus Tip: Try Leakproof Underwear
No matter what the changes or treatments you explore, they will likely take a while to show any effect. So, while you wait, you can also explore products to help you stay active and social. Leakproof underwear comes with different absorbency levels.
Super absorbent Knix Leakproof Underwear can hold up to 8 tsp of liquid . Products like these can be a game changer for those experiencing female urinary incontinence, allowing them to remain active and social while exploring treatment options.
Incontinence is not an easy thing to experience, but there are treatment options and lifestyle changes that can make it easier to live with incontinence.
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Here Are The Symptoms Of Urinary Incontinence That You Should Be Aware Of:
- The sudden strong urge to pass urine immediately
- Wetting the bed while sleeping
- Leakage of urine even due to minor stress, e.g. coughing, sneezing, lifting any object, etc.
If you are dealing with these signs of urinary incontinence, you need not worry too much. Through this blog, you will get to know about the effective ways to stop urinary incontinence.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What type of urinary incontinence do I have?
- What is the likely cause of my urinary incontinence? Can this condition be treated?
- If so, will treating the condition cure my urinary incontinence? When can I expect relief from my symptoms?
- Should I start doing Kegel exercises? How often?
- Would a bladder training program help manage my urinary incontinence?
- Will any lifestyle changes help manage my urinary incontinence?
- Im embarrassed by my urinary incontinence. Until my symptoms improve, what else can I do to help manage my condition?
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What Is Nighttime Incontinence
Nighttime incontinence, aka nocturnal enuresis, is just a fancy name for wetting the bed.
While you know peeing the bed can be common for small children, the fact is that bed-wetting can also happen to adults.
Heres how it works:
Imagine that your bladder is like a sink. Your urethra is the drain, and your kidneys are the water faucets.Normally, your body produces an enzyme that concentrates your urine at night. So even though the water is on, it slows down while you sleepBut sometimes a person may have a condition that affects their nighttime bladder control and keeps the water on all the time. So, even though they have the same size sink, it is constantly filling up at night and making them have to pee.
If you’re tired of waking up soaking wet due to nighttime incontinence, ONDRwear can help. We make incontinence underwear for men and women that are:
- Naturally odor-free
Pads And Other Urinary Incontinence Products For Daily Leaking
A simple yet effective way to manage a leaky bladder is to wear a protective pad or liner during the day.
There are specific pads available for bladder leakage, which are different than the ones youd wear during menstruation. For example, Poise Ultra Thin pads have thin, protective layers that are made specifically to absorb urine.
You can also try an insertable product such as a pessary. This is a small, plastic device that you insert into your vagina to put pressure on the urethra. Pessaries arent common, but theyre low risk and low cost compared to surgery and medications.
Results are fairly immediate but these devices arent for everyone, specifically those with pelvic infection, vaginal ulcerations, allergy to product materials, or those who cannot commit to using them regularly.
Disposable inserts, which are like tampons, are another way to prevent leakage. Poise makes one called Impressa.
There are also reusable underpants that are similar to disposable pads, but you can wash and wear them multiple times.
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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.
Incontinence And Alzheimers Disease
People in the later stages of Alzheimers disease often have problems with urinary incontinence. This can be a result of not realizing they need to urinate, forgetting to go to the bathroom, or not being able to find the toilet. To minimize the chance of accidents, the caregiver can:
- Avoid giving drinks like caffeinated coffee, tea, and sodas, which may increase urination. But dont limit water.
- Keep pathways clear and the bathroom clutter-free, with a light on at all times.
- Make sure you provide regular bathroom breaks.
- Supply underwear that is easy to get on and off.
- Use absorbent underclothes for trips away from home.
For more ways to deal with incontinence and other common medical problems in someone with Alzheimers, visit Alzheimers Disease: Common Medical Problems.
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Bladder And Bowel Symptoms That May Indicate A Problem
Any of the following symptoms may indicate a problem with your bladder or bowel:
- accidental leakage of urine or faeces
- inability to get to the toilet in time
- passing small amounts of urine many times a day
- needing to get out of bed often, every night, to pass urine
- difficulty with starting to urinate
- urination stream that keeps stopping and starting
- a burning or stinging sensation when you urinate
- the feeling that your bladder isnt empty after urinating
- sudden onset of bedwetting
- chronic constipation.
If you have any of these symptoms, or if you have any concerns at all about your toilet habits, see your doctor, or talk to a continence professional.
Solutions For A Leaky Bladder
Research has found that at least half of people with urinary incontinence dont discuss the condition with a health care provider. But theres no need to feel embarrassed. If you have a leaky bladder, youre definitely not alone. Bladder leakage, or urinary incontinence, affects women and men of all ages, though it becomes more common later in life.
And its definitely worth discussing, because of the many ways it can interfere with enjoying daily lifefrom exercise and travel to social outings and romance, says E. James Wright, M.D., director of urology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
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Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation
Your posterior tibial nerve runs down your leg to your ankle. It contains nerve fibres that start from the same place as nerves that run to your bladder and pelvic floor. It is thought that stimulating the tibial nerve will affect these other nerves and help control bladder symptoms, such as the urge to pass urine.
During the procedure, a very thin needle is inserted through the skin of your ankle and a mild electric current is sent through it, causing a tingling feeling and causing your foot to move. You may need 12 sessions of stimulation, each lasting around half an hour, one week apart.
Some studies have shown that this treatment can offer relief from OAB and urge incontinence for some people, although there is not yet enough evidence to recommend tibial nerve stimulation as a routine treatment.
Tibial nerve stimulation is only recommended in a few cases where urge incontinence has not improved with medication and you don’t want to have botulinum toxin A injections or sacral nerve stimulation.
How To Talk To Your Doctor About Bladder Leaks
How do you bring up urinary incontinence to your doctor? And what do you say? Hereâs a helpful guide to get the conversation going!
An easy way to begin the conversation is describing the bladder issues you are experiencing. For example, you could start by saying, âI pee a little when I laugh or cough,â or, âI wake up with wet sheets,â or even simply, âMy bladder leaks.â
Every healthcare professional will tell you that the more information, the better. A good diagnosis depends largely on the information you can give your doctor when you talk. The questions listed below can help facilitate a productive conversation about your sensitive bladder with your doctor that will allow you to start discussing next steps.
- When do you experience urinary losses?
- How often do you urinate each day?
- How often do you get up during the night to use the restroom?
- How much liquid do you drink daily?
- Do you experience unexpected leaks? Do you leak when you sneeze, cough or exercise?
- Do bladder leaks prevent you from participating at work or in your social life?
Your healthcare professional may also decide to perform a physical examination. They may be looking to inspect the way your abdomen contracts. They may also check the firmness of your pelvic floor when you cough.
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How Do I Stop Accidental Urine
We all pee, but what do you do when you dont have time to go?
This blog post is for those that are looking for answers on how to stop accidental urine.
I will discuss the best ways to avoid accidents and why it happens in the first place.
The first thing to understand is that accidental urine doesnt just happen to women men experience it too. Just because you see this blog post about stopping accidents for women, that doesnt mean this will not work for men as well.
It can be embarrassing, but accidents are common and completely natural. Its a huge confidence boost to have a method to stop it from happening again.
There are many reasons why accidents happen, and I will go over all of them in detail throughout this article.
One thing to keep in mind about stopping these accidents is that they may not always be 100% effective so its important to be prepared for this possibility. There could also be other reasons why youre experiencing these accidents in the first place and we will talk about that as well.
The best way to stop accidental urine is simple: strengthening your pelvic floor. This is often referred to as Kegel exercises, but there are other names for it such as kegel muscles or pelvic floor muscles.
This is the muscle group that can be found between your hips, above and below your genitals.
They are involved in controlling urine flow so its extremely important to keep this muscle group strong.
See Pelvic Floor Strong Exercise Program