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What Causes Female Bladder Leakage

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Symptoms Of A Prolapsed Bladder

Female Bladder Leakage: Solutions to Get Control | Christopher Tarnay, MD | UCLAMDChat

The first symptom that women with a prolapsed bladder usually notice is the presence of tissue in the vagina that many women describe as something that feels like a ball.

Other symptoms of a prolapsed bladder include the following:

  • Discomfort or pain in the pelvis
  • Tissue protruding from the vagina
  • Difficulty urinating

Some women may not experience or notice symptoms of a mild prolapsed bladder.

Causes Of Bladder Leakage In Women

Some causes include weak bladder muscles, complications after childbirth and surgery. But as we mentioned before, bladder leakage isnt a disease. Often times, modifying everyday habits and lifestyle changes can help reduce or eliminate the symptoms. If the symptoms persist and become very bothersome, please do not hesitate to consult with your primary physician or ob-gyn doctor.

Exams And Tests For A Prolapsed Bladder

An exam of the female genitalia and pelvis, known as a pelvic exam, is required in order to diagnose a prolapsed bladder. A bladder that has entered the vagina confirms the diagnosis.

For less obvious cases, the doctor may use a voiding cystourethrogram to help with the diagnosis. A voiding cystourethrogram is a series of X-rays that are taken during urination. These help the doctor determine the shape of the bladder and the cause of urinary difficulty. The doctor may also test or take X-rays of different parts of the abdomen to rule out other possible causes of discomfort or urinary difficulty.

After diagnosis, the doctor may test the nerves, muscles, and the intensity of the urine stream to help decide what type of treatment is appropriate.

A test called urodynamics or video urodynamics may be performed at the doctor’s discretion. These tests are sometimes referred to as “EKGs of the bladder”. Urodynamics measures pressure and volume relationships in the bladder and may be crucial in the decision making of the urologist.

Cystoscopy may also be performed to identify treatment options. This test is an outpatient office procedure that is sometimes performed on a television screen so the person can see what the urologist sees. Cystoscopy has little risk and is tolerable for the vast majority of people.

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What Else Causes Bladder Control Problems In Women

Certain life events and health problems can lead to stress incontinence in women by weakening the pelvic floor muscles

Weak pelvic floor muscles can make it hard for your bladder to hold urine in during stress incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when an actioncoughing, sneezing, laughing, or physical activityputs pressure on your bladder and causes urine to leak. A weak pelvic floor can also cause fecal incontinence, or bowel control problems.

Other Types Of Bladder Leakage

ThermiVA for Incontinence
  • Mixed Incontinence: This label is given to bladder leakage conditions that stem from more than one form of incontinence, whether stress, urge, functional, or overflow. Women can be often diagnosed with stress and urge incontinence at the same time.
  • Transient Incontinence: A transient incontinence refers to a temporary condition of a bladder leakage. It is often seen with complications after surgery, an irritated bladder, chronic constipation, and as a side effect of some diuretic and sleep-induced medication.
  • Total Incontinence: A total loss of bladder function is referred to as total incontinence. This may be a result of nerve or bladder damage or disease that hinders the regular functioning of the bladder. Some cases of multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries may see a malfunction of the bladder to store urine.

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What Causes Urge Incontinence

Most people with urge incontinence have overactive bladders. Your bladder is the organ in your urinary system that holds urine.

An overactive bladder causes your muscles in your bladder to squeeze more often than they should. This makes you feel like you have to pee before your bladder is actually full.

The squeezed bladder also causes your sphincter muscle inside your urethra to relax. When this muscle opens, it lets urine leak out.

What Are Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises, also called Kegels or pelvic floor muscle training, are exercises for your pelvic floor muscles to help prevent or reduce stress urinary incontinence. Your pelvic floor muscles support your uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum.

Four in 10 women improved their symptoms after trying Kegels.9 Kegels can be done daily and may be especially helpful during pregnancy. They can help prevent the weakening of pelvic floor muscles, which often happens during pregnancy and childbirth. Your pelvic floor muscles may also weaken with age and less physical activity.

Some women have urinary symptoms because the pelvic floor muscles are always tightened. In this situation, Kegel exercises will not help your urinary symptoms and may cause more problems. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your urinary symptoms before doing Kegel exercises.

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Duration Of Urinary Incontinence

Most cases of UI are chronic, and will remain so until treated. Depending on the cause, however, not all UI cases are chronic. If the cause is temporary, such as a vaginal infection or a urinary tract infection, the UI will stop once the issue is addressed.

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When To Seek Medical Advice

Bladder Leakage in Women | Female Urine Incontinence treatment

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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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.

What Is Overactive Bladder

OAB Basics

The condition known as overactive bladder may or may not be associated with urge incontinence. OAB refers to sudden, uncontrollable bladder contractions. When these contractions are associated with leaks, urge incontinence is also present. OAB is disruptive because strong, frequent bladder contractions prompt numerous trips to the bathroom throughout the day and sometimes also at night. OAB can interfere with work, fitness, and social life. If you get up multiple times at night to urinate, OAB can also keep you from getting a good night’s sleep.

A Common Problem

OAB is an extremely common disorder. Approximately 33% of people in the United States have OAB. An estimated 40% of women in the U.S. have the condition. Despite the fact that millions of people and a large percentage of women have OAB, it is not normal and you don’t have to live with uncomfortable, limiting symptoms. There are treatments that can help.

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What Is Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the accidental loss of urine. According to the National Association for Continence, over 25 million adult Americans experience temporary or chronic urinary incontinence. UI can occur at any age, but it is more common among women over 50. Urinary incontinence may be a temporary condition that results from an underlying medical condition. It can range from the discomfort of slight losses of urine to severe, frequent wetting.

Bladder Leakage Causes Symptoms & Treatments

Female Urinary Incontinence Chart

Experience bladder leaks? Use this guide to understand the causes of bladder leaks, signs and symptoms, as well as tips to prevent or stop leaks.

Female bladder leakage occurs when the muscles around your bladder are weakened and canât successfully close off the bladder as they should. If youâre experiencing a leaking bladder, know that youâre not alone. You likely have many questions, which is why we put together this guide to help you understand the causes of bladder leaks, the signs and symptoms, as well as tips to prevent or stop leaks.

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Symptoms Of Stress Incontinence

Common in Women

Stress incontinence occurs when pelvic floor muscles weaken. The condition is the most common type of urinary incontinence in young women. Stress incontinence is the second most common type in older women. Activities like exercise, walking, stretching, bending, laughing, coughing, sneezing, or lifting place strain on weakened pelvic floor muscles, and that leads to leaks. Any activity that increases physical strain on pelvic floor muscles may lead to stress incontinence–even sex. The amount that leaks varies. It may be a few drops or up to a tablespoon or more, depending on severity.

Prevalence

Some studies suggest 24% to 45% of women over the age of 30 suffer from stress incontinence. If you suffer from urinary incontinence, you are definitely not alone. Weakness in not just the pelvic floor muscles, but also in the urethral sphincter often plays a role in this type of urinary incontinence.

Diagnosis Of Urinary Incontinence

The first step in treating incontinence is to see a doctor. He or she will give you a physical exam and take your medical history. The doctor will ask about your symptoms and the medicines you use. He or she will want to know if you have been sick recently or had surgery. Your doctor also may do a number of tests. These might include:

  • Urine and blood tests
  • Tests that measure how well you empty your bladder

In addition, your doctor may ask you to keep a daily diary of when you urinate and when you leak urine. Your family doctor may also send you to a urologist, a doctor who specializes in urinary tract problems.

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Pads And Other Urinary Incontinence Products For Daily Leaking

A simple yet effective way to manage a leaky bladder is to wear a protective pad or liner during the day.

There are specific pads available for bladder leakage, which are different than the ones youd wear during menstruation. For example, Poise Ultra Thin pads have thin, protective layers that are made specifically to absorb urine.

You can also try an insertable product such as a pessary. This is a small, plastic device that you insert into your vagina to put pressure on the urethra. Pessaries arent common, but theyre low risk and low cost compared to surgery and medications.

Results are fairly immediate but these devices arent for everyone, specifically those with pelvic infection, vaginal ulcerations, allergy to product materials, or those who cannot commit to using them regularly.

Disposable inserts, which are like tampons, are another way to prevent leakage. Poise makes one called Impressa.

There are also reusable underpants that are similar to disposable pads, but you can wash and wear them multiple times.

Specialized Tests To Diagnose Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence – Penn State Health St. Josephs Womens Care Team.

Urology Specialists

Sometimes routine testing does not reveal the underlying cause, and further evaluation is required. You may be referred to a urologist or a urogynecologist for more specialized testing if your health concern is accompanied by pain, recurrent UTIs, blood or protein in the urine, neurological symptoms or muscle weakness, or pelvic organ prolapse. Women with this issue who have a history of radiation or surgery to the pelvic region may also be referred to a urologist.

Urodynamic Testing

Specialized testing can assess how well the bladder, urethra, and sphincters store and dispose of urine. There are many different types of instruments that can be used for urodynamic testing. Cystometry is a test that is used to help diagnose urge incontinence. It measures bladder pressure. The structures in the pelvis can be visualized with ultrasound. Uroflowometry can measure the volume of urine and flow rate. This test is used to determine the strength of related muscles and helps assess whether urine flow is blocked. There are other tests a urologist may perform depending on your symptoms.

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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.

What Are The Symptoms Of Bladder Control Problems

Signs and symptoms of urinary incontinence can include

  • leaking urine during everyday activities, such as lifting, bending, coughing, or exercising
  • being unable to hold in urine after feeling a sudden, strong urge to urinate
  • leaking urine without any warning or urge
  • being unable to reach a toilet in time
  • wetting your bed during sleep
  • leaking during sexual activity

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Medications For Urinary Incontinence

If medications are used, this is usually in combination with other techniques or exercises.

The following medications are prescribed to treat urinary incontinence:

  • Anticholinergics calm overactive bladders and may help patients with urge incontinence.
  • Topical estrogen may reinforce tissue in the urethra and vaginal areas and lessen some of the symptoms.
  • Imipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant.

When Should I See A Health Care Professional

What is the Most Common Cause for Urge Incontinence?

See a health care professional if you have symptoms of a bladder problem, such as trouble urinating, a loss of bladder control, waking to use the bathroom, pelvic pain, or leaking urine.

Bladder problems can affect your quality of life and cause other health problems. Your health care professional may be able to treat your UI by recommending lifestyle changes or a change in medicine.

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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.

What Causes Bladder Leaks

There are two main types of urinary incontinence:

Stress 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.

Urge incontinence

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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