How To Get Help For Female Urinary Incontinence
Still feeling unsure about your first step? Remember, incontinence doesnt have to stop you from enjoying daily life on your terms. Getting the right diagnosis and treatment can be a life changer.
If you think that you might have urinary incontinence, reach out to one of our primary care doctors. Well answer any questions you may have and guide you to treatment that will work for you. If specialty care is needed, well refer you to our team of compassionate urogynecology specialists.
What Is Urinary Incontinence Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Urinary incontinence , the involuntary loss of urine, is a very common condition that no one wants to talk about. Because of the stigma that surrounds it, many people are too humiliated to seek help. But most conditions that cause UI can be corrected with medical or alternative interventions.
Occurring much more often in women than men, UI happens when the muscles in the bladder that control the flow of urine contract or relax involuntarily, resulting in leaks or uncontrolled urination. UI itself is not a disease, but it can be a symptom of an underlying medical issue.
What Are The Treatments For Urinary Incontinence
Treatment depends on the type and cause of your UI. You may need a combination of treatments. Your provider may first suggest self-care treatments, including:
- Lifestyle changes to reduce leaks:
- Drinking the right amount of liquid at the right time
- Being physically active
- Staying at a healthy weigh
- Avoiding constipation
If these treatments do not work, your provider may suggest other options such as:
- Medicines, which can be used to
- Relax the bladder muscles, to help prevent bladder spasms
- Block nerve signals that cause urinary frequency and urgency
- In men, shrink the prostate and improve urine flow
Try Pelvic Floor Therapy
Pelvic floor therapy is a type of specialized physical therapy that strengthens the muscles that support your bladder and bowels. This can be very effective in treating urinary incontinence caused by an overactive bladder.
During pelvic floor therapy, a physical therapist may lead you through exercises that target your pelvic floor, use mild electrical stimulation to help you have more awareness of your pelvic floor muscles, and use other specialized techniques. If youre interested in pelvic floor therapy, talk with a doctor about getting a referral.
How Do You Fix A Weak Bladder
Here are 18 tips to help fix your weak bladder.
1. Get your bladder stronger through exercise
The best way to improve the strength of your bladder is with Kegel exercises. A weak bladder can cause problems like urinary incontinence. If you want to learn how to fix a weak bladder, then do some kegel exercises! These are supposed to be done by clenching the muscles in your pelvic floor. Keep doing these until you feel them getting stronger!
2. Add fiber to your diet
Fiber is important for a healthy digestive tract, but it can also help strengthen your bladder too. If you want to fix a weak bladder then add more fiber into your diet. You can eat high-fiber foods like oatmeal, flaxseed, popcorn, and nuts.
3. Use the bathroom at certain times
If you wait until its too late to go to the bathroom then your bladder will be weaker than it would have been if you went beforehand! Avoid drinking lots of liquids before bedtime so that you can wake up in the morning with a full bladder.
4. Avoid lifting heavy objects
A weak bladder can sometimes be caused by straining when you lift heavy items. If the pelvic floor feels the strain and its not strong enough, then your bladder might let go. You can easily prevent this by making sure that you lift objects in a healthy way!
5. Lose excess weight
This might seem obvious, but if your weight is over the line then it could cause problems with your bladder. If you are overweight, then losing excess pounds will make your bladder stronger!
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Alternative Treatments For Nocturia
Many people turn to complementary and alternative medicine before seeking medical help. You may also be interested in alternative medications or treatments for nocturia, but there are few studies to support their use. These treatments may work for nocturia, but only if OAB is the cause.
For example, research has found that:
- herbal medications have a positive impact on symptoms of OAB and quality of life
- acupuncture provides short-term relief for OAB symptoms
- homeopathic remedies may have benefits, but need more studies
- alternative treatments have fewer side effects than medications
- saw palmetto berry extract has no benefit for nocturia
But more research is needed to confirm if CAM works for OAB.
Always talk to your doctor before trying a supplement or alternative treatment. Certain CAM treatments can cause unintended side effects, especially if youre already taking medication.
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What Behavioral Changes Can I Make To Help With Overactive Bladder
There are many techniques and changes to your typical behavior that you can try to help with an overactive bladder. These can include:
Keeping a log: During a typical day, write down your fluid intake, the number of times you urinate, the number of accidents and when they occur. Make a note about what happened when the accident happened, like when you:
- Were unable to reach the bathroom in time.
Monitoring your diet: Eliminate or decrease foods or beverages that may worsen your bladder symptoms. These could include:
- Spicy and acidic foods and drinks.
- Foods and drinks that contain artificial sweeteners.
Maintaining bowel regularity: Constipation can place added pressure on the bladder and have a negative effect on your bladder function. By keeping healthy bowel habits, you may be able to avoid constipation and help to lessen bladder symptoms. The following are some suggestions for maintaining bowel regularity:
- Increase your fiber intake by eating foods like beans, pasta, oatmeal, bran cereal, whole wheat bread, and fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Every morning, take 2 tablespoons of this mixture: 1 cup apple sauce, 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran, and ¾ cup prune juice.
- Exercise regularly to maintain regular bowel movements.
Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight can add pressure on your bladder, which may contribute to bladder control problems. If you are overweight, weight loss can reduce the pressure on your bladder.
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Getting Help For Overactive Bladder
The first step in treatment is to ask for help. It may feel funny talking to your doctor about something as private as urinary issues, but rest assured that your doctor is a professional and is here to help. Be prepared before your appointment by keeping a bladder diary for a few days. This will help your doctor see the extent of your problem, and may help him or her to see any triggers that may be causing your urinary urgency issues.
Be prepared to have a thorough discussion with your doctor about your overactive bladder symptoms, as well as any other symptoms you may be experiencing. You should also let you doctor know if you suffer from any other conditions, such as diabetes, and provide a list of medications youre currently taking, which may be contributing to your symptoms.
Making a list of questions beforehand is also a great idea to ensure that you dont forget anything during your appointment. You may want to ask your doctor about different treatment options that he thinks may be a good fit for you, or about any options youve read about that youre interested in trying. Make sure you find out about the potential side effects for any treatment your doctor proposes, as well as what you can expect in terms of a success rate.
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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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How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better
Pelvic floor exercises and changes to your lifestyle may take six to eight weeks before you start to see results.
Many medications start to relax your bladder muscles after a few hours. But they may take up to a month to work fully.
Botox should start to work after one to two weeks.
Most people start to see improvement after six nerve stimulation treatments. However, it may take up to 12 treatments to see results.
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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.
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Support And Information About Sexual Health And Intimacy
If you need more support or information about sexual health or intimacy, you can also talk with your healthcare provider about MSKs Female Sexual Medicine & Womens Health Program. For more information or to make an appointment, call .
The Female Sexual Medicine & Womens Health Program provides services at the following locations:
- Rockefeller Outpatient Pavilion
I Have A Weak Bladder What Does This Mean And Is Your Bladder Really Weak
When you come in to Physio for help with pelvic floor problems, we will ask you to talk though what the main problems and issues that you need help with.
Bladder problems are high on the list of problems for which people seek help.
A LOT of people will tell us that they have a weak bladder. By this, they mean that they go to the toilet more often than everyone else. In other words, the bladder is weak because it cant hold on.
Well this isnt entirely true..
In order to explain what the real issue is, it is necessary to explain some facts about the bladder:
BUT MY BLADDER IS WEAK BECAUSE IT LEAKS!!
We can help find solutions to this common problem. If you think your bladder is weak, come and find out whats really happening and what you can do to fix it!.
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How To Help A Weak Bladder
Do you find laughing or coughing too much can cause a bit of a leak? Or maybe when youre running you cant hold your bladder as well as you used to? Well if this is you, now is the time to take action and find remedies for your weak bladder! As a Pilates teacher, I see many menopausal women who are struggling to control their pelvic floor and finding themselves feeling embarrassed about it.
Pelvic Floor Muscles
Over time, if the pelvic floor muscle isnt strengthened, it will become weak. This is when bladder leakages occur as the muscle is no longer strong enough to hold a full bladder. It can also create the same issues with the bowel, if the muscle isnt tightened.
The good news is exercising your pelvic floor muscle is quick and easy. However, you need to exercise it every day to make an impact. There are several ways to do this but lets start off with the basics.
Pelvic floor exercise plan
Je Joue Ami Kegal Balls
How Is Urinary Incontinence Diagnosed
Your health care provider may use many tools to make a diagnosis:
- A medical history, which includes asking about your symptoms. Your provider may ask you to keep a bladder diary for a few days before your appointment. The bladder diary includes how much and when you drink liquids, when and how much you urinate, and whether you leak urine.
- A physical exam, which can include a rectal exam. Women may also get a pelvic exam.
- Urine and/or blood tests
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How Do I Do Kegel Exercises
To do Kegels:
If you are uncomfortable or uncertain about doing Kegel exercises on your own, a doctor or nurse can also teach you how to do Kegels. A pelvic floor physical therapist or other specialist may also be available in your area to help teach you how to strengthen these muscles.
What Is Stress Urinary Incontinence
Some people leak when they cough, sneeze or laugh. This is called Stress Urinary Incontinence. This usually happens because the muscles in the pelvic floor or sphincter are weak or damaged.
Stress Urinary Incontinence is defined as a sudden unintentional loss of urine during normal day-to-day activities. It is also commonly referred to as bladder weakness and weak bladder. If you have this problem you may notice leakage if you laugh, cough, sneeze, walk, exercise, or lift something.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder represents a collection of symptoms. These symptoms include:
- Urinary urgency. Urinary urgency is a sudden, uncontrollable need to pee. Once you feel the need to pee, you have a short amount of time to get to a bathroom.
- Frequent peeing. A frequent need to pee means you have to go to the bathroom more often than usual.
- Urge incontinence. Urge incontinence is a sudden, uncontrollable need to pee, and you may leak pee.
- Nocturia. Nocturia is the need to get up to pee at least two times each night.