Treatment For Light Bladder Leakage
- Pelvic exercises such as Kegel exercise to make the muscle in tone. To do this, you just have to alternately constrict and dilate your sphincters as in urinating or having a bowel movement.
- Avoid activities that impose pressure to your urinary bladder such as jumping, running, and certain sports. Athletes suffering from LBL are advised to drink water as they usually do to cope up with the loss of fluids and electrolytes from their activities.
- Lifestyle modification. Avoid smoking and drinking too much or better if you can stop them. Light to moderate exercise is good for burning fat. Smoking weakens all tissues including bladder muscles that lead to incontinence.
- Mind your diet. It is important to compute for your daily caloric intake for maintenance. Any excess will surely make you gain weight. Increased body weight puts additional pressure to the bladder one of light bladder leakage causes.
- Other cases may suggest the existence of a serious disease. Consulting a urologist is equally important.
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.
Quit Smoking To Help Keep Your Bladder Healthy
People who have urinary incontinence should do what they can to stop smoking. Studies have found that people who smoke are more prone to incontinence, says urologist Yvonne Koch, MD, of the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida. Smoking damages the very small blood vessels in our bodies and causes tissue weakness, she explains. Furthermore, smoking can lead to coughing, which can cause urine leakage by putting pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. Plus, cigarette smoking triples the risk of bladder cancer, an early sign of which may be the need to urinate often or the urge to urinate immediately, even when the bladder isnt full, according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
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Gain Insight Into Your Condition With A Bladder Diary
Keeping track of your bathroom habits with a bladder diary can reveal patterns and triggers that help your doctor pinpoint the cause of your incontinence, Griebling says. A few days before your doctor visit, begin writing down what you drank, what time you drank it, how many times you urinated, and when you had leaking-urine episodes. Include anything that may have led up to the accident, such as coughing, exercising, or a sense of urgency. Use a plain piece of paper for your diary or download the free NAFC Bladder Diary.
What Causes Urinary Incontinence
There are many factors that can lead to urinary incontinence:
- Structural problems with the bladder for instance, following correction of congenital conditions, such as bladder exstrophy or if the ureters connect to the bladder in the wrong place.
- As a feature of other conditions such as spina bifida, there is a problem with the nerve supply to the bladder which may cause problems in recognising the need to wee.
- Overactive bladder This is when the bladder signals the need to wee even when it is only partially full.
- Urinary tract infections These can also increase the need to wee and could also make weeing more uncomfortable.
- Constipation This can also affect urinary incontinence as the bowel expands with poo it can press on the bladder leading to incontinence.
- Some drinks can irritate the bladder such as caffeine-containing drinks such as colas or acidic drinks such as fruit juice. These can make urine more acidic so uncomfortable to pass.
- Reluctance to use the toilet Many children are uncomfortable using public toilets, such as toilets at school. If parents suspect their child is having accidents because they are not using the toilet at school, find out what is concerning them and if necessary, talk to the school.
- Problems with the muscles supporting the bladder for instance, the pelvic floor muscles form a sling around the bladder so if these are weakened, either through lack of exercise or in adults, following childbirth, they can lead to leakage.
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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 .
Treatment For Urinary Incontinence
Today, there are more treatments for urinary incontinence than ever before. The choice of treatment depends on the type of bladder control problem you have, how serious it is, and what best fits your lifestyle. As a general rule, the simplest and safest treatments should be tried first.
Bladder control training may help you get better control of your bladder. Your doctor may suggest you try the following:
- Pelvic muscle exercises work the muscles that you use to stop urinating. Making these muscles stronger helps you hold urine in your bladder longer. Learn more about pelvic floor exercises and how to do them.
- Biofeedback uses sensors to make you aware of signals from your body. This may help you regain control over the muscles in your bladder and urethra. Biofeedback can be helpful when learning pelvic muscle exercises.
- Timed voiding may help you control your bladder. In timed voiding, you urinate on a set schedule, for example, every hour. You can slowly extend the time between bathroom trips. When timed voiding is combined with biofeedback and pelvic muscle exercises, you may find it easier to control urge and overflow incontinence.
- Lifestyle changes may help with incontinence. Losing weight, quitting smoking, saying no to alcohol, drinking less caffeine , preventing constipation and avoiding lifting heavy objects may help with incontinence. Choosing water instead of other drinks and limiting drinks before bedtime may also help.
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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.
The Proper Way To Kegel
Verbal or written instructions alone don’t necessarily help patients know whether they’re doing Kegel exercises properly.
When we see patients for urinary incontinence, we provide education and instruction. We often recommend one to six sessions of supervised Kegel exercises with a female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery doctor, a pelvic floor physical therapist, or another provider who has expertise in pelvic floor disorders. While physical therapy or other medical visits usually are not covered by insurance for preventive purposes, they usually are once a problem develops.
In these appointments, your provider will describe how to locate and engage the pelvic floor muscles. The provider will gently press on the pelvic floor muscles with a gloved exam finger inside your vagina and ask you to squeeze the muscles. The muscles will be identified as described. Make sure youre not squeezing your stomach, legs, or gluteal muscles at the same time, and dont hold your breath.
Some patients benefit from holding a mirror between the legs to visualize the external anatomy during the exercise. When done properly, you should see the area between your vagina and anus lift toward your upper body.
Doing Kegel exercises regularly is key to strengthening the pelvic floor. We recommend women do 10 repetitions, holding each squeeze for 5 to 10 seconds, three times each day.
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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
Medical Treatments For Nocturia
Your doctor may prescribe medications when preventive measures and lifestyle changes fail to reduce the frequency of your nighttime urination. Doctors prescribe a class of drugs called anticholinergics to treat symptoms of OAB, if thats the cause of your nocturia. They reduce bladder spasms that create the urge to go.
Your doctor may suggest you take a diuretic for regular urine production. A diuretic can itself cause nocturia. But if you take it early enough in the day, it may help you get rid of excess fluid while youre awake. This should decrease your urine production at night.
Other drugs that may help are:
- desmopression in cases of diabetes insipidus to cause the kidneys to produce less urine
- tamsulosin , finasteride , or dutasteride to treat prostate enlargement
- antibiotics if you have a urinary tract infection
Your doctor may also adjust your diabetic medications to lower your blood sugar if theyre causing nocturia.
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What Causes Light Bladder Leakage
Like all types on incontinence, light bladder leakage is a symptom of an underlying cause, but not a stand-alone condition.
In most cases, a weak pelvic floor muscle is the culprit. It can be that even with just a small amount of stress on the pelvis, it lacks the strength to withhold urine, whether thats caused by a high impact activity or another condition like an overactive bladder.
Like all muscles, without specific exercise, the pelvic floor can weaken over time. But there are other reasons why it can suffer strain and damage which is detrimental to its strength, including:
- Pregnancy carrying the additional weight of a baby places strain directly onto the pelvic floor
- Childbirth especially a vaginal delivery which requires the baby to pass through the sling of muscle, often causing damage
- Obesity like pregnancy, carrying extra weight adds extra load to the pelvic floor
- Smoking, or more so, the associated persistent cough
- Straining from on-going constipation
- Regular high impact sports, like running, tennis and netball
- Ageing and the reduction of oestrogen during menopause
In addition to a weak pelvic floor muscle, other factors can be contributing to the problem as well, including poor lifestyle habits, an overactive bladder, urge incontinence, side effects from certain medications and even infection. For these more complex cases, its essential to see your doctor for a considered diagnosis and professionally tailored treatment.
Best Treatment For Bladder Leaks
Recent research strengthens the link between incontinence drugs and dementia risk. Here’s how to find relief.
Drugs for an overactive bladder are promised to curb frequent bathroom breaks and bladder leaks.
But is taking medicationsmost of them members of a class of drugs called anticholingericsreally the best solution for regaining control of your bladder?
Anticholinergics commonly cause mental confusion, especially in older adults, and have, in the past, been linked to an increased risk of dementia.
Now, a large analysis from the U.K., published last week in the journal BMJ, has found that anticholinergic drugs, especially those used for bladder problems, Parkinsons disease, and depression, are associated with a higher likelihood of dementia in older adults even 20 years after use.
While this class of medications has long been known to be linked to memory troubles, it was not known whether the effects were permanent, says Michael Hochman, M.D., an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. But this study suggests that the effects may not entirely reverse after stopping the medication.
The research doesnt prove that the drugs cause dementiaonly that there is an association between the two. However, this study does raise concerns, and anticholinergic medications for incontinence have several other well-established side effects, Hochman says.
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Urinary Incontinence In Men
Bladder leakage in men can be caused by a birth defect of the urinary tract.
Men also have the risk of contracting urinary incontinence with a history of prostate cancer. The treatment from radiation and medication may result in temporary or permanent bladder leakage.
An enlarged prostate without cancer cells may lead to a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. This condition causes the prostate to expand and apply pressure to the urethra, resulting in the walls of the bladder also expanding and thickening. Over time, the bladder weakens and retains some volume after urination.
Behavioral And Lifestyle Changes For Bladder Leakage Treatment
Bladder leakage treatment is based on the underlying cause and type of urine incontinence. Both men and women may face similar challenges within the treatment plan that may include urgency suppression, bladder training, and lifestyle changes.
A treatment plan usually begins with behavioral and lifestyle changes such as exercises for leaky bladder. Medications may be required alongside behavioral tasks to reduce muscle spasms or health conditions such as prostate enlargement. In severe cases, surgical procedures may be necessary.
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What Treatments Are Available To Me If My Incontinence Doesnt Go Away After A Year
While kegels and behavioral therapy work well for most men with mild to moderate leaking, they may not be completely effective for some. Luckily, there are still some options for treating bladder leakage after prostate surgery.
Another surgery is sometimes needed when bladder leaks persist for more than a year after surgery. This may consist of having a urethral sling procedure, or an artificial urinary sphincter.
With a urethral sling procedure, a synthetic mesh tape is implanted to support the urethra. Up to an 80% improvement has been seen with this procedure and some men stop leaking completely.
An artificial urinary sphincter is used in patients who have more severe urinary incontinence that is not improving, or for those patients who may have had a lot of damage to the sphincter muscle after prostate surgery. An artificial urinary sphincter is a mechanical ring that helps close the exit from the bladder.
As will all surgeries, these come with pros and cons and potential complications. Be sure to discuss these options with your doctor.
Bladder Leakage And Menopause
Although its not often talked about, bladder leakage is common for those going through menopause. In fact, a study of 3000 women ages 42 to 64 revealed that 68 percent of the women in the group experienced bladder leakage at least once a month! That means youre in good company and probably that this is something that impacts a lot of your friends, too. With a decline in estrogen, the urethra becomes less elastic, thinner, and drier, which ultimately leads to an increased need to go.
Estrogen plays a significant role in pelvic collagen synthesis and elastin, which provides strength and flexibility to the pelvic floor muscles. So, having less estrogen results in decreased strength of the pelvic supportive ligaments. And weakened pelvic floor muscles lead to those dreaded leaks.
Two other common causes of leaks during menopause include:
- Weight gain The middle age spread occurs from a mix of hormonal changes, lifestyle, and genetics. Muscle mass decreases and fat increases with age. This extra weight not only bums us out but can put strain on the bladder too.
- Pelvic prolapse This occurs when the bladder, bowel, or uterus begins sagging down against the pelvic floor. The depletion of estrogen during menopause thins the support structures that hold the pelvic organs in place, which causes them to fall. This extra stress on the pelvic floor increases the urge to go.
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