Overactive Bladder In Women
Women are more likely to report symptoms of OAB to their doctor. In fact, at least 40 percent of American women experience symptoms of overactive bladder. Many more may not report the experiences to their doctor at all.
Overactive bladder consists of a series of symptoms that cause you to need to urinate more frequently. These symptoms include
- feeling a sudden need to urinate
- not being able to control urination
- urinating at least two times every night
- urinating at least eight times every day
Its not clear what causes overactive bladder, but OAB becomes more common in women after menopause. That may be the result of estrogen deficiency. However, overactive bladder can occur at any age.
Overactive bladder is a common childhood condition, but not every accident or soiled bed is the result of OAB. Children frequently grow out of overactive bladder symptoms, but treatment can help prevent frequent urination or complications.
Symptoms of OAB in children include:
- an urgent or frequent need to urinate
- accidents or leaking urine
- urinating more than eight times in a day
- not feeling as if theyve emptied their bladder despite urinating
Symptoms of OAB become less common as children get older. With age, kids learn to properly control their bladder and recognize signals that they need to urinate. If symptoms of overactive bladder dont seem to be resolving or are getting worse, talk with your childs doctor.
Causes of OAB in children include:
- urinary tract infection
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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Why Am I Leaking Urine All Of A Sudden What Causes Female Urinary Incontinence Can Uti Cause Urine Leakage
- Why am I leaking urine all of a sudden? What causes female urinary incontinence? Can UTI cause urine leakage?
Sudden onset of incontinence, or urine leakage, should always warrant a trip to the doctor. There are several different causes of urine leakage and itâs important to identify prior to any treatment being initiated. The more common types of incontinence in women are stress urinary incontinence and urgency urinary incontinence.
Stress urinary incontinence is caused by a weakness in the sphincter muscle of the urethra , a highly mobile urethra, or both. A highly mobile urethra is seen when the pelvic floor tissues are weak and relaxed. Women will experience leakage of urine with activity, such as coughing, laughing, sneezing, and exercising. The most common risk factor for stress urinary incontinence is having a history of a vaginal childbirth, but it can occur in anyone due to other factors such as muscle strength and activity level. For example, women who do very heavy weightlifting may experience stress urinary incontinence while lifting heavy weights, but if they never did such activities, they might not experience incontinence.
Many people have mixed incontinence, with symptoms of both stress urinary incontinence and urgency urinary incontinence causing urine leakage. In this situation the urologist would typically address the type of incontinence that is most impacting your quality of life first, as the treatments are quite different.
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Why Do Bladder And Bowel Incontinence Happen
When the bladder and bowel function normally, nerves tell certain muscles when to tense up and when to relax. Nerves in the spinal cord send messages from the brain to the bladder. Sphincter muscles control the flow of urine. Muscles in the rectum and anus control or release stool. These nerve and muscle processes allow urine and feces to be removed when you want them to.
Keeping A Bladder Diary May Help Identify Triggers
Keeping a diary may sound time consuming, but it will help both you and your doctor identify any triggers for your overactive bladder and establish just how often you visit the bathroom each day.
How should you keep a diary for your overactive bladder?
- Document exactly what kind of fluids you drink and their volume.
- Write down the type and quantity of food you eat.
- Record the number of trips to the bathroom and rate your trips as successful or not.
- Indicate what you were doing when leakage or the urge to urinate occurred
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What Is The Medical Treatment For Bladder Control Problems
Treatment depends of the type and severity of the incontinence. Many of these treatments require a commitment on your part to master the technique and practice it daily. Discuss all of the treatment options with your health-care provider before making a decision together.
Some medications that you may take for other medical conditions can cause incontinence. Review your medications with your health-care provider. If a medication is causing the problem, an alternative may be available.
Urge incontinence: Treatment is focused on eradicating the underlying cause. If your health-care provider is unable to identify a reversible cause, the focus of treatment becomes reducing symptoms. Treatment may include the following:
- Providing a commode or urinal for urination “emergencies”
- Limiting fluid intake
- Behavioral therapy: Changing your habits to try to reduce incontinence
- Timed voiding and bladder training regimens: Gradually prolonging the time between urination
- Pelvic floor exercises: To strengthen the sphincter muscles
- Pelvic floor electrical stimulation: Painless electrical pulses applied via a small probe in the vagina or rectum to increase tone of the pelvic floor muscles
- Medications: To relax the bladder or tighten the sphincter muscles
No matter what type of incontinence you have, medical treatment can take some time to take effect. During treatment, or if medical treatment does not work for you, you have the following alternatives:
Urinary Incontinence In Women
Bladder leakage in women may develop during development in the womb with the urinary tract as a birth defect or may be related to the genetics as it can be a family trait.
The racial background of a woman may also dictate urinary incontinence as Caucasians have a higher risk than those of African American, Asian American, and Hispanic/Latin descent.
Pregnancy often sees an increase in the urge to urinate as the growing fetus can place pressure on the bladder. This may cause temporary bladder leakage.
Bladder leakage in women may also be caused by damage to the pelvic floor muscles during childbirth as they can be overstretched.
Urinary incontinence may become a more permanent issue after childbirth or surgery as a result of pelvic organ prolapse disorder. This condition may see the bladder drop out of normal positioning.
Hormonal changes to the female body as seen during menopause can cause urinary incontinence. The reduction of hormones produced result in weakness of the bladder and urethra linings.
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Symptoms Of Urinary Incontinence
The involuntary release of urine is the most common symptom. The type of urine incontinence will determine when and how this occurs.
- Stress IncontinenceThe main symptom of stress incontinence is urine leakage while active. The amount of leaking and how active it is determines the severity of the incontinence. It can be triggered by any of the following actions:
Urinary incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- An abrupt shift in ones position
- The sound of water rushing
- Intercourse, particularly orgasmic sex
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.
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What Is The Treatment For Bladder Control Problems
Many people who have incontinence do not seek treatment because they believe the only treatment available to them is surgery. This is a misconception treatments for incontinence include behavioral, medical, and surgical approaches.
Generally, behavioral therapies are the first choice because they are noninvasive and have no side effects, they are the safest. A variety of medical treatments are available. Surgery is usually reserved for people whose problem does not improve with behavioral and medical therapy.
Your overall medical condition, the type of bladder control problem you have, and your lifestyle will all determine which treatments are right for you. Talk to your health-care provider together you can come up with a treatment plan that works for you.
Products To Help Manage Incontinence
Many people find the following products useful for dealing with incontinence symptoms:
- Pads and undergarments Absorbent, non-bulky pads and underwear are worn discreetly under clothing and are available in different sizes for both men and women. For those with mild or moderate leakage, panty liners are sometimes all that’s required.
- Patches and plugs Many women are able to manage light leakage from stress incontinence by using products that block the flow of urine, such as a small, disposable adhesive patch that fits over the urethral opening, a tampon-like urethral plug, or a vaginal insert called a pessary.
- Catheters For otherwise unmanageable incontinence, a physician can place a catheter in the urethra to continually drain the bladder. Due to a higher risk of developing infections and kidney stones, catheters are usually a last resort and used only for severely ill patients.
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Can Overactive Bladder Be Controlled
Overactive bladder therapy can be challenging to manage. However, many people are very satisfied with the treatment they receive and they often see a dramatic improvement in their quality of life. Your doctor will guide you to the best steps to begin with and give you options for any additional treatments you may need over time.
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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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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According to the Urology Care Foundation, women are at greater risk for UI than men because they have a shorter urethra than men. As a result, any weakness or damage to the urethra in a woman is more likely to cause urinary incontinence. This is because there is less muscle keeping the urine in your bladder until you are ready to urinate.
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Can Pelvic Floor Exercises Treat Urge Incontinence
Yes, pelvic floor exercises can strengthen your muscles that support your urinary system. These exercises can improve symptoms.
Its important to target and use the correct muscles . A physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor disorders can teach you the proper technique. This healthcare provider may use biofeedback to ensure you get the most benefit from the exercises. It can take four to six weeks to see improvements.
While some people need to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, others have spasm or excess tension in the pelvic floor muscles that can make their overactive bladder worse. In this case, you can work with a pelvic floor physical therapist on relaxing and coordinating these muscles.
What Is Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is a condition that impacts many peoples lives. When you have incontinence, you may experience bladder control issues and leak urine. This leakage is often uncontrollable and can negatively impact your life.
Your urinary system is made up of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. These parts do several jobs. They filter, store and remove waste from your body. Your kidneys are the filters of your body. Waste products are removed from your blood by the kidneys, creating urine. The urine then moves down through two thin tubes called the ureters. The ureters connect to the bladder, where the urine will collect until its time to leave the body. Your bladder is like a storage tank once the bladder is full, the brain sends a signal that its time to urinate. Urine then leaves the bladder when a muscle opens up , allowing the urine to flow freely out of the body through the urethra.
When this system is working smoothly, you usually have time to get to a bathroom before needing to urinate and you dont experience any leakage of urine. Urinary incontinence can happen when these parts dont operate as they should. This can happen for many different reasons throughout your life.
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What The Doctor Does
Doctors first ask questions about the person’s symptoms and medical history. Doctors then do a physical examination. What they find during the history and physical examination often suggests a cause of the incontinence and the tests that may need to be done.
Doctors ask questions about the circumstances of urine loss, including amount, time of day, and any precipitating factors . People are asked whether they can sense the need to urinate and, if so, whether the sensation is normal or comes with sudden urgency. Doctors may also ask the person to estimate the amount of urine leakage. Doctors will also ask whether the person has any additional problems with urination, such as pain or burning during urination, a frequent need to urinate, difficulty starting urination, or a weak urine stream.
Sometimes doctors may ask people to keep a record of their urination habits over a day or two. This record is called a voiding diary. Each time the person urinates, the volume and time are recorded. After an episode of incontinence, the person also records any related activities, especially eating, drinking, drug use, or sleep.
Although urodynamic testing is important, results do not always predict response to drug treatment or assess the relative importance of multiple causes.
Absorbency Products Can Help
No matter how fast you can run, sometimes that bathroom is just a little bit too far in the distance. Dont let yourself get caught in an embarrassing situation There is a wide range of products available that are discreet and comfortable.
Incontinence products excel in their absorbency and wont leak or become lumpy when they get wet. They help control odor and minimize contact between urine and your skin, preventing the development of a rash or other irritation.
Many incontinence products are available, from discrete pads with little bulk that can be slipped into underwear, to disposable adult-sized underwear with in-built absorbency and easy-tear sides. Gender-specific products account for the different requirements of men and women, and there are many reusable and washable options available.
Common brands include Attends, Because, Tena, Tranquility, Depend, Prevail and Poise.
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