How Do I Do Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises are a simple way to build strength in your pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are done by lifting, holding and then relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. You can find these muscles by stopping the flow of urine mid-stream while youre urinating. Only do this until you learn how to find the muscles stopping the flow of urine mid-stream isnt healthy over a long period of time.
When youre doing Kegel exercises, start small. Only hold it for a few second. Over time you can slowly work your way up to longer and longer stretches of holding the muscles tight.
Unlike other types of workouts, no one can tell when youre doing Kegel exercises. Aim to do several sets of Kegel exercises twice a day.
Male Incontinence And Surgery
Surgery is always a last resort for treating male incontinence, but if necessary, there are two procedures used for men.
Artificial urinary sphincter balloon: a balloon is inserted around the neck of the bladder, which shuts off the urinary sphincter until you need to urinate. A valve placed under the skin deflates the balloon when you need to go to the bathroom, and the balloon refills when you are done.
Sling procedure: The doctor uses a tissue to create a supportive pouch around the neck of the bladder, so the urethra stays closed if you run, sneeze, laugh, or cough.
You will usually recover in the hospital after either of these procedures, but in some cases, you can leave the same day as the procedure.
How I Manage Incontinence And Bladder Control
What many refer to sarcastically as adult diapers became, and to this day are, one of my best friends. I wear adult underwear any time I step foot out my front door, and if Im having a bad day in my house too. I dont want any mishap on my furniture, or when my family or friend are visiting. When you have end-stage COPD incontinence becomes a regular occurrence. Whenever I go out I not only wear protective underwear, I also carry an extra pair and some feminine wipes with me. I keep them in a small zippered bag, if I lose control and pee my pants, as soon as I can I go to a restroom, clean up, and Im good to go again. The best part is no one knows what has occurred but me, no embarrassment, no weird looks. I know a lot of people refuse to wear adult underwear, they feel there is a stigma attached. In their minds wearing adult underwear is undignified, unmanly or un-womanly. Dont become one of them, there are all types of products for dealing with incontinence.
Editors Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on March 2, 2018, Mary Ultes passed away. Mary was an engaged advocate for the COPD community who strived to help people live fulfilling lives. She is deeply missed.
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How Can Prostate Conditions Lead To Incontinence
- Partial blockage of the urethra by the prostate:
- As the urethra narrows, the bladder has to contract more forcefully to push urine out the urethra.
- Overtime, the increased effort required to empty the bladder makes the bladder muscles grow stronger and more sensitive. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains only a small amount of urine, creating the need to urinate more frequently and urgently. Sometimes urine leaks before you have time to get to the toilet .
- The narrowed urethra may also prevent the bladder from emptying completely when you urinate, which can cause a build up of urine and lead to leakage between trips to the toilet . This requires medical attention.
Related Conditions And Causes Of Urinary Incontinence
Fecal incontinence is light to moderate bowel leakage due to diarrhea, constipation, or muscle or nerve damage.
As described in the section above on causes of urinary incontinence, common conditions may contribute to chronic urinary incontinence, including: urinary tract infection , constipation, interstitial cystitis or other bladder conditions, nerve damage that affects bladder control, side effects from a prior surgery, and neurological disorders.
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What Steps Can I Take At Home To Treat Urinary Incontinence
Your doctor or nurse may suggest some things you can do at home to help treat urinary incontinence. Some people do not think that such simple actions can treat urinary incontinence. But for many women, these steps make urinary incontinence go away entirely, or help leak less urine. These steps may include:
You can also buy pads or protective underwear while you take other steps to treat urinary incontinence. These are sold in many stores that also sell feminine hygiene products like tampons and pads.
Managing Bladder Or Urinary Incontinence
Sometimes urinary incontinence can last a short time, depending on what’s causing it. But sometimes incontinence can be long-term and uncomfortable, making some everyday activities difficult to manage.
Your health care team will ask you questions to determine the type of bladder incontinence you might have. Then, you might need tests to verify the type and learn the cause of it which will help them know the best way to manage it.
- Pelvic floor muscle strengthening may be recommended. A physical therapist that specializes in pelvic floor muscle exercises can help. This might help muscle strength and bladder control get better by doing exercises that tighten and relax muscles that control the flow of urine.
- Bladder training canhelp manage how often you need to urinate throughout the day, by assigning certain time intervals to empty your bladder.
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What Is The Long
If you are experiencing any symptoms of urinary incontinence, it is important to speak with your doctor right away. It is easy to treat bladder control problems, especially when they are diagnosed early.
When you work closely with your doctor and follow the advised treatment plan carefully, you can regain control of your bladder, and urinary incontinence doesnt have to interfere with your livelihood or quality of life.
In This Article
When To Seek Medical Advice
See a GP if you have any type of urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is a common problem and you should not feel embarrassed talking to them about your symptoms.
This can also be the first step towards finding a way to effectively manage the problem.
Urinary incontinence can usually be diagnosed after a consultation with a GP, who will ask about your symptoms and may do a pelvic or rectal examination, depending on whether you have a vagina or a penis.
The GP may also suggest you keep a diary in which you note how much fluid you drink and how often you have to urinate.
Find out about diagnosing urinary incontinence.
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Urinary Incontinence In Men Facts
*Urinary incontinence in men facts medically edited by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
- The definition of urinary incontinence in men is the unintentional loss of urine. Weak or damaged bladder muscles, overactive bladder muscles, certain prostate conditions, and nerve damage are just some of the possible underlying causes of urinary incontinence in men.
- There are different types of urinary incontinence in men, including stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and overflow incontinence. Some men may have one, two, or all three types of incontinence.
- Diagnosis of urinary incontinence in men will involve a medical history and physical exam, and may include keeping a bladder diary. It may also include an ultrasound and urodynamic testing.
- Treatment of urinary incontinence in men may include behavioral treatments, like bladder training and Kegel exercises, medication, surgery, or a combination of these therapies.
- Research is ongoing to discover new and better treatments for urinary incontinence in men.
For the urinary system to do its job, muscles and nerves must work together to hold urine in the bladder and then release it at the right time.
Any disease, condition, or injury that damages nerves can lead to urination problems. Nerve problems can occur at any age.
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Alternative And Complementary Therapies
The treatment of urinary incontinence varies depending on the cause of the bladder control problem. In most cases, a physician will try the simplest treatment approach before resorting to medication or surgery.
Bladder habit training This is the first approach for treating most incontinence issues. The goal is to establish a regular urination schedule with set intervals between urination. A doctor will usually recommend urinating at one-hour intervals and gradually increasing the intervals between urination over time.
Pelvic muscle exercises Also called Kegel exercises , this exercise routine helps strengthen weak pelvic muscles and improve bladder control.
The person contracts the muscles used to keep in urine, holds the contraction for 4 to 10 seconds, then relaxes the muscles for the same amount of time.
It may take weeks or months of regular pelvic exercise to show improvement.
Another way to perform Kegel exercises is to interrupt the flow of urine for several seconds while urinating.
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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.
What Causes Bladder Leaks
There are two main types of urinary incontinence:
If you have this type, activities that raise the pressure inside your abdomen cause urine to leak through the ring of muscle in your bladder that normally holds it in. Coughing, sneezing, jumping and lifting heavy objects could lead to a leak.
Going through childbirth, smoking or being overweight can raise the risk of stress incontinence for women, Wright says. Stress incontinence in men is rare, and when it arises, its often due to prostate cancer treatment, such as radiation or surgery.
With this type, your brain, spinal cord and bladder dont work together properly to allow you to hold and release urine at the right time. Your bladder may suddenly empty itself without warning. Or you may feel like you need to urinate frequently, a problem called overactive bladder.
Some diseases that affect the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, can cause this kind of incontinence, says Wright. In men, an enlarged prostate may be the culprit. But in many cases, doctors dont know what causes urge incontinence.
It is possible to have both types of incontinence at the same time.
TRY IT: Keep Records
Your doctor will want to know as much as possible about your bladder leakswhen they occur, how much urine comes out, and what youre doing when leaks happen. Consider keeping a diary of when you urinate and when you have leaks, recommends Wright.
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Living With Bowel Or Bladder Incontinence
There is no single, right way to cope with bladder or bowel incontinence. The challenge is to find what is best for your situation, so you can get the help you need and return to a normal daily life. Talk with your health care team if you notice a change in bowel or bladder habits, and about the best ways to manage incontinence, if it is a problem. You might find it helpful to talk with other people who are dealing with incontinence, too. Ask a member of your cancer care team about support groups in your area.
Here are some things you can do that may help make incontinence less of a problem:
- Empty your bladder every 3 to 4 hours while awake, to avoid accidents.
- Empty your bladder before bedtime or before strenuous activity.
- Limit drinks with caffeine, or and avoid alcohol and citrus juices, which can irritate the bladder and make you have to go more often.
- Avoid hygiene products that may irritate you Women should avoid feminine spray or over-the-counter vaginal suppositories.
- Because belly fat can push on the bladder, avoiding weight gain or losing needed weight sometimes helps improve bladder control.
- Avoid tobacco use which can cause coughing and bladder irritation due to harmful substances in tobacco products.
- Talk to your doctor about all medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements youre taking. Some may affect urine control.
Expert Review And References
- Urinary incontinence. American Society of Clinical Oncology . Cancer.Net. Alexandria, VA.: American Society of Clinical Oncology 2013.
- Landier W, Smith S. Late effects of cancer treatment. Yarbro, CH, Wujcki D, & Holmes Gobel B. . Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett 2011: 71: pp. 1756-1779.
- Shenot PJ. Urinary incontinence in adults. Beers, M. H., & Berkow, R., . Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. Rahway, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories 2012.
- Vorvick LJ. Urinary incontinence. PubMed Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine 2011.
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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.
Symptoms And Risks For Male Incontinence
The symptoms vary depending on what type of urinary incontinence you experience. Here is a look at the more common signs that you could be dealing with UI.
- A sudden, urgent need to urinate
- A sudden leakage of urine
- Leaking urine while sleeping
In addition to the risk factors mentioned above, there are other influences that can impact a mans chances of experiencing urinary incontinence. For example, lifestyle choices can contribute to UI. We already mentioned obesity, but smoking tobacco has also been linked to an increased risk of urinary incontinence. Caffeinated and carbonated drinks, as well as alcohol, have also been associated with a higher incidence of UI. Men also have to be careful about diuretics or medicines that relax the bladder, such as anticholinergics and antidepressants. Other prescriptions, like sedatives and calcium channel blockers, have been associated with UI, and so have non-prescription diet, allergy, and cold medicines.
Certain diseases and health conditions put men at a higher risk of urinary incontinence, including the following:
- Bladder cancer
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What To Expect At Your Healthcare Providers Appointment
During your appointment, your healthcare provider will likely ask questions about your symptoms. Theyll probably want to know how long youve been incontinent, which types of incontinence youve experienced, and other details.
They may also ask about your daily habits, including your typical diet and any medications or supplements that you take.
Depending on your symptoms and medical history, your healthcare provider may order additional tests, including:
- Collecting a sample of urine for analysis. Laboratory staff can check the urine sample for signs of infection or other problems.
- Measuring the amount of urine that you release when urinating, the amount left over in your bladder, and the pressure in your bladder. This information is gathered by inserting a catheter, or a small tube, into your urethra and your bladder.
- Conducting a cystoscopy. During this test, theyll insert a small camera into your bladder to examine it up close.
Treatment And Care For Male Urinary Incontinence
Treatment depends on the type of incontinence, its severity, and the underlying cause. The least invasive treatments range from pelvic floor exercises to bladder training and taking medication.
Incontinence devices like catheters may also help empty the bladder. For severe stress urinary incontinence, treatment to correct this condition includes an artificial urinary sphincter, and for milder forms of stress urinary incontinence, a male sling. For more information please ask your urologist about these procedures.
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