Why Does Pregnancy Cause Incontinence
During pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of physical changes. As your uterus stretches to hold the growing baby, a few things happen. Your bladder can be squished by the expanding baby, making your bladder hold less than before. You might experience an increased urgency to pee during pregnancy because your bladder cannot hold as much as before. This might become even more challenging towards the end of pregnancy when the baby is at its largest.
Another reason for incontinence during pregnancy is the weakening of your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are the support structures for all of the organs in your pelvis. During pregnancy, they can be stretched and weakened as your uterus expands.
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.
Talk To Your Doctor If You Have Questions
If youre not sure what type of incontinence you have, its a good idea to talk to your doctor.
If they dont have the type of leakage that would be helped by bladder supports if they have urge leakage or overflow those patients wont benefit, says Dr. Vasavada. It might even make their symptoms worse.
If youre pretty sure you have urinary stress incontinence, however, its OK to try bladder supports.
If women are experiencing leakage with laughing, coughing, running, sneezing or lifting, and it seems like its pretty clear-cut, then trying an over-the-counter bladder support is completely appropriate, Dr. Ferrando says. They dont necessarily need to see their doctor first.
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Causes Of Urinary Incontinence
The cause of urinary incontinence depends on the type of incontinence you have.
Urge incontinence happens when the muscle of your bladder wall contracts when you dont want it to. You feel the need to pee urgently. This can develop as you get older or be caused by neurological conditions such as a stroke. Often, no cause is found.
Some things which make having stress incontinence more likely include the following.
- Being overweight.
- Being constipated.
- Getting older the older you are the more likely you are to have any type of incontinence.
- Other members of your close family having stress incontinence.
- Having a prolapse this is when one or more of the organs in your pelvis slip down from the normal position.
Other causes of incontinence include:
- a urine infection
- strenuous activity such as weight-lifting
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.
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What Treatment Options Are Available If Urinary Incontinence Still Won’t Go Away
Seeing a urogynecologist as early as possible can help ensure that you have a complete understanding of your condition and treatments options.
“Both stress and urgency incontinence typically respond well to behavioral modifications, but if things are not improving, it’s best to get evaluated,” says Dr. Lindo. “This is why I always recommend seeing a specialist about your condition right away. You never want to play the guessing game with your health, especially when your condition affects your quality of life.”
In addition, your doctor can recommend a pelvic floor physical therapy program. While Kegels can play an important role in alleviating urinary incontinence, Dr. Lindo says they’re performed incorrectly more than 80 percent of the time.
“An incorrect Kegel will not help correct urinary incontinence,” warns Dr. Lindo. “Seeing a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor exercises can help ensure you’re performing Kegels and other exercises correctly and truly strengthening your pelvic floor.”
And if your condition continues to progress or worsen, your urogynecologist has expertise to perform testing and recommend a range of urinary incontinence treatment options and procedures that can help to correct your condition and address your specific situation.
Types Of Urinary Incontinence
There are different types of incontinence:
- Stress incontinence occurs when urine leaks as pressure is put on the bladder, such as during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects. Its the most common type of bladder control problem in younger and middle-aged women. It also may begin later, around the time of menopause.
- Urge incontinence happens when people have a sudden need to urinate and cannot hold their urine long enough to get to the toilet. It may be a problem for people who have diabetes, Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke.
- Overflow incontinence happens when small amounts of urine leak from a bladder that is always full. A man can have trouble emptying his bladder if an enlarged prostate is blocking the urethra. Diabetes and spinal cord injuries can also cause this type of incontinence.
- Functional incontinence occurs in many older people who have normal bladder control. They just have a problem getting to the toilet because of arthritis or other disorders that make it hard to move quickly.
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What Are The Treatment Options For Leaking Urine
Here’s some really great news: “Most patients can be cured or really well-managed with treatment,” says Dr. Sheyn. “The most common thing I hear from patients is, ‘I wish I would have done this sooner.'”
There are a lot of ways to treat leaking urine, but the best option for you will depend on which type of incontinence you have, how intrusive your symptoms are, what your treatment goals are, what your insurance covers, and whether you are interested in invasive or noninvasive treatment. Practical matters like time commitment and access to medical providers will also play a factor.
Here are some general treatment categories your doctor may discuss with you:
If treatment doesn’t work, the Mayo Clinic points out that you can take measures to “ease the discomfort and inconvenience of leaking urine,” including wearing pads and protective garments to collect any leakage or using a catheter to drain your bladder.
Chinese Herbs And Acupuncture For Gall Bladder Stones
Acupuncture has been researched successfully on numerous occasions for its validity in reducing pain and acupuncture can help for biliary pain as well. Chinese herbs are also used in the treatment to breakdown and dissolve stones. Ultrasound and scans are used to determine the size and location of stones. It is not uncommon to find stones in people but they have relatively few symptoms. Surgery is the main treatment but many people do not like the idea of having their gall bladder removed.
Watch this video for Heiko Lade discussing Acupuncture and the Gall Bladder one episode of his Acupuncture On Air Radio Show on Radio Kidnappers.
Many people have symptoms for years that come and go with alternating mild or intense painful episodes. The pain is treated with Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs or Diclofenac but long term use of either of these medications have side effects.
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How Do Bladder Supports Work
The short answer is that they work sort of like tampons, but with some important differences. They come with a tampon-style applicator. But, rather than a wad of absorbent fibers, they are collapsible silicone structures with a non-absorbent polypropylene covering.
Beneath the cover, they look a little like an oversized jack .
Stress urinary incontinence is the result of poor tissue support around the urethra, says Ob/Gyn Cecile Ferrando, MD.
Bladder supports function by providing support to the bladder neck of the urethra or the urethra itself. So when a woman increases the amount of pressure exerted on her bladder during things like exercise, that pressure doesnt cause the bladder to empty, because the support is there to keep the urethra closed.
Also, while wearing these supports, you still can urinate or have a bowel movement. The supports provide added support to help prevent accidental leaks but they wont stop you from urinating and it should not move or fall out during bowel movements.
What Causes Incontinence
There are many different reasons that you could experience incontinence. These causes can vary depending on if youre a woman or man. Some causes are temporary health conditions that usually go away once treated. In those cases, your incontinence also usually stops once the condition is treated. Incontinence can be caused by long-term medical conditions. When you experience leakage issues because of a chronic condition, its usually something you will have to manage over a longer period of time. Even with treatment, chronic conditions usually dont go away. Incontinence may have to be managed over time as a symptom of your chronic condition.
Temporary or short-term causes of incontinence can include:
- Urinary tract infections : An infection inside your urinary tract can cause pain and increase your need to pee more often. Once treated, the urge to urinate frequently usually goes away.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, your uterus places extra pressure on the bladder as it expands. Most women who experience incontinence during pregnancy notice that it goes away in the weeks after delivery.
- Medications: Incontinence can be a side effect of certain medications, including diuretics and antidepressants.
- Beverages: There are certain drinks like coffee and alcohol that can make you need to urinate much more often. If you stop drinking these beverages, your need to urinate frequently typically goes down.
- Constipation: Chronic constipation can cause you to have bladder control issues.
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Reduce Your Fluid Intake
Drinking water is good for your body, and its important to stay hydrated, but overdoing fluid intake can lead to bladder urgency and leaks. The key to healthy fluid intake is maintaining a good balance. Try to drink water when thirsty, but not more of it than your body asks for. And keep an eye on the color of your urine. If its clear, you could probably cut back on fluid intake, but dark urine is a sign that you need more fluids.
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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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.
Acupuncture For Incontinence Not Infertility
Research yields mixed results for this traditional Chinese treatment
TUESDAY, June 27, 2017 Acupuncture, a 3,000-year-old healing technique, received mixed reviews in two new studies from China one focusing on incontinence and the other on a cause of female infertility.
But in a separate study, another team of researchers determined that acupuncture did not help women who were infertile because of polycystic ovary syndrome . Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance that keeps them from releasing an egg during the menstrual cycle.
Acupuncture is a key element of traditional Chinese medicine. It involves inserting thin needles into the skin to stimulate specific body points. Previous research has found it might benefit constipation, depression and morning sickness, among other problems. And some research has found it helpful to boost fertility when the problem is not due to polycystic ovary syndrome, the researchers said.
The bottom line from the two new studies?
For infertility due to polycystic ovary syndrome, however, Shurtleff said acupuncture has not been found effective. He suggested patients consider other options.
More rigorous research on acupuncture is needed in general, he added.
The researchers concluded that acupuncture wont help infertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
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Using Supports With Other Types Of Treatment
Although bladder supports work well on their own, they can also be a part of a more comprehensive treatment plan.
They can certainly be used with pelvic floor physical therapy to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and supports around the urethra, says Dr. Ferrando. The supports must be removed during the therapy, but the two can work together, she says.
Dr. Vasavada says making lifestyle changes and taking medication for overactive bladder are also helpful in some cases.
Will I Have Incontinence For My Entire Life
Sometimes incontinence is a short-term issue that will go away once the cause ends. This is often the case when you have a condition like a urinary tract infection . Once treated, frequent urination and leakage problems caused by a UTI typically end. This is also true for some women who experience bladder control issues during pregnancy. For many, the issues end in the weeks after delivery. However, other causes of incontinence are long-term and related to conditions that are managed throughout your life. If you have a chronic condition like diabetes or multiple sclerosis, you may have incontinence for a long period of time. In those cases, its important to talk to your provider about the best ways to manage your incontinence so that it doesnt interfere with your life.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
It can be embarrassing to talk about bathroom habits with your healthcare provider. This embarrassment shouldnt stop you from treating incontinence, though. Often, your healthcare provider can help figure out the cause of your bladder control issue and help make it better. You dont need to deal with it alone. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best ways to treat incontinence so that you can lead a full and active life without worrying about leakage.
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What Can You Do To Relieve Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence almost never goes away on its own. But there are steps you can take to help relieve your symptoms.
“Alleviating urinary incontinence starts with understanding which type of incontinence you’re experiencing and what’s causing it,” says Dr. Lindo. “A specialist such as a urogynecologist can help provide those answers for you, as well as help you understand which behavior modifications and other treatments will be most effective for alleviating your incontinence.”
Weight loss almost always helps relieve urinary incontinence because it reduces the amount of pressure being placed on your pelvic floor. In fact, losing just 5 percent of your weight can improve your urinary symptoms by up to 70 percent.
Similarly, pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels, can help reduce symptoms of either type of incontinence. In the case of stress incontinence, pelvic floor exercises are a way to restrengthen your weakened muscles. For urge incontinence, these exercises can help calm and retrain your bladder.
“For women experiencing stress incontinence after childbirth, sometimes weight loss and postnatal pelvic floor exercises are all it takes for symptoms to resolve over time,” adds Dr. Lindo.
Depending on the type of incontinence you’re experiencing, your doctor may suggest trying additional modifications.
Behavioral modifications for stress incontinence:
- The use of a vaginal insert, such as a tampon, while exercising
Behavioral modifications for urgency incontinence: