How Does Bladder Control Work
Your bladder is a muscle shaped like a balloon. While the bladder stores urine, the muscle relaxes. When you go to the bathroom, the bladder muscle tightens to squeeze urine out of the bladder. Two sphincter muscles surround a tube called the urethra . Urine leaves your bladder through this tube. The sphincter muscles relax during urination in order to allow urine to pass through the urethra.
The sphincters keep the urethra closed by squeezing like rubber bands. Pelvic floor muscles under the bladder also help keep the urethra closed.
When the bladder is full, nerves in your bladder signal the brain. Thats when you get the urge to go to the bathroom.
Once you reach the toilet, your brain tells the sphincter and pelvic floor muscles to relax. This allows urine to pass through the urethra. The brain signal also tells the bladder to tighten up. This squeezes urine out of the bladder.
Bladder control means you urinate only when you want to. For good bladder control, all parts of your urinary system must work together:
- Pelvic muscles must hold up the bladder and urethra.
- Sphincter muscles must open and shut the urethra.
- Nerves must control the muscles of the bladder and pelvic floor.
- Medicine for high blood pressure can cause bladder control problems.
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.
Kegel Exercises And Muscle Training
Your bladder is lined with muscle tissues, so like any other workout, you can strengthen it.
Kegel exercises are a good place to start in addition to regularly exercising. These pelvic exercises are supposed to help train and strengthen your muscles so that it doesnt keep contracting.
Kegel exercises can be pretty easy to do. Here are some to start with that you can try to help control your frequent urination:
- When youre urinating, trying stopping in the middle of it. The muscles that you will use to do these are your pelvic floor muscles which can help control frequent urination.
- When you dont feel the need to pee and when you know your bladder is empty, try tightening those muscles. Hold the muscles for five seconds and then relax for another five seconds. Repeat this five times a day. When you feel like you have that under control, then do it 10 times a day for 10 seconds and so on.
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Prevalence And Epidemiology Of Oab
As many as 17% to 40% of adult women in the United States have OAB.4,7This is approximately 20 million OAB patients. However, the true numberis likely to be far higher, as many patients do not enter the healthcare system. There are three major reasons for this reluctance to do so.4First, many patients view OAB as an inevitable part of aging and chooseto take various self-care measures rather than visit a physician foradvice. Second, as many as 61% of OAB sufferers do not realize that thecondition can be successfully treated with medication and therefore donot seek help. Finally, OAB can induce shame and embarrassment inpatients, and the resultant negative social stigma may cause them toavoid any mention to health care providers.
Although OAB occurs in women of all ages, it exhibits a strong age association.3,8 The median age is 52 years, and the most common age range is 45 to 60 years.4
Do Bladder Control Products Help To Strengthen A Weak Bladder
Bladder control products are natural dietary supplements that help strengthen your bladder without synthetic ingredients and potentially harmful chemicals. These products contain herbs, plants, and other compounds that have been used for centuries to address these problems.
Not only they alleviate incontinence, but they also support urinary tract health and provide more strength to bladder muscles. At the same time, these products stimulate the excretion of fluids from the body while alleviating pain, discomfort, and other symptoms you experience. Potent herbs remove toxins that would otherwise damage your bladder, urinary tract, and overall health.
There is no simple yes or no answer to the question of whether these products work. Not all bladder control supplements are equal. Some of them work, others do not. It all depends on the product you buy, so you need to pay extra attention when choosing these items.
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Anticholinergic Drugs For Overactive Bowel
This particular class of medication is used to control the muscle spasms that lead to overactive bladder. Anticholinergic drugs focus on blocking the nerve signals that typically trigger inopportune bladder contractions, reduce the frequency, and the severity of your urge to urinate.
There are several anticholinergic drugs to choose from and they all require a doctors prescription. Most people have very favourable reactions to anticholinergics, though there are a few possible side effects which may include dry mouth, constipation, increased heartbeat and/or drowsiness.
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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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
Causes Of Total Incontinence
Total incontinence occurs when your bladder cannot store any urine at all. It can result in you either passing large amounts of urine constantly, or passing urine occasionally with frequent leaking.
Total incontinence can be caused by:
- a problem with your bladder from birth
- injury to your spinal cord, which can disrupt the nerve signals between your brain and your bladder
- a bladder fistula, which is a small tunnel-like hole that can form between the bladder and a nearby area, such as the vagina, in women
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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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How long does nerve regeneration take? Recovery of potency may be very rapid in younger patients and is sometimes immediate. However, for most patients the recovery is gradual and can take up to 3 years to plateau, although typically a patient sees a return to erectile function after about 12 months.
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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.
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
- Not smoking
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
What Are Common Bladder Irritants
Before you find out what products to buy, it is important to learn more about the bladder itself. After all, most of us dont know enough about organs and their functions. The bladder is a muscular sac in the pelvis located right above and behind the pubic bone.
When its empty, the bladder resembles a pear in shape and size. On the other hand, when its full your bladder expands. The inner lining of the bladder tucks into the folds and it expands to accumulate the fluid i.e. urine.
Kidneys make urine which then travels to the bladder via tubes called ureters. The urine is stored in your bladder. During urination, muscles in the bladder squeeze, and two sphincters open to allow urine out. On its way out of the bladder, the urine goes through the urethra, a tube that carries it out of your body. Men have a larger urethra than women because it passes through their penis.
Weak bladder control is a frequent problem that happens due to a wide array of causes. Some of the most common causes of weak bladder control include:
- Stay hydrated drink enough fluids, particularly water
- Take enough time to empty your bladder completely
- Urinate after sex
- Wear loose-fitting clothes and cotton underwear
Bladder control requires some lifestyle adjustments, but sometimes you need more than that. This is where bladder control products step in. They help you get rid of the unpleasant symptoms and urgent urination in an entirely natural manner.
Coping Methods And Quality Of Life Issues
Most women visit their physicians without hesita-tion forsuch conditions as urinary tract infections , vaginal fungalinfections, and birth control. However, for some inexplicable reason, alarge number of those suffering from OAB postpone a medical appointment,many for as long as 6 or 7 years.4 During this time, theyemploy a variety of coping mechanisms of dubious efficacy andquestionable safety. For instance, the use of absorbent pads ispartially effective, but increases the risk of a UTI.4 Somewomen also take great pains to ascertain the location of all bathroomsin advance of an attack of OAB, a behavior known as toilet mapping.4
Women with symptoms of OAB may reduce the extent ofactivities they once found pleasurable, such as movies, walks, tennis,golf, or visiting with friends. They may voluntarily reduce fluidintake, which can lead to dehydration. They may feel forced to wearclothing that would conceal a urine leak, and only sit on furniture thatwould not be permanently stained if a leak were to occur. It becomesapparent that OAB can cause constant concern due to fear of an accidentand also the perception that odor from underclothing or absorbent padsmight be detected by others. If a patient feels forced to lead a moresedentary lifestyle, she may experience greater medical andpsychological problems.
Take The Quizmedtronic Bladder Control Therapy
Medtronic bladder control therapy delivers significant quality of life improvements for people with overactive bladder and symptom improvement for people with urinary retention.1,2 Take the quiz below to determine whether Medtronic bladder control therapy may be the next best step for you.
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Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Siegel S, Noblett K, Mangel J, Griebling TL, Sutherland SE, et al. Results of a prospective, randomized, multicenter study evaluating sacral neuromodulation with InterStim® Therapy compared to standard medical therapy at 6-months in subjects with mild symptoms of overactive bladder. Neurourol Urodyn. 2015 34:224230. Article published online: January 10, 2014. DOI: 10.1002/nau.22544.
Van Kerrebroeck P et al. Results of sacral neuromodulation therapy for urinary voiding dysfunction: outcomes of a prospective, worldwide clinical study. Journal of Urology. 2007 178:2029-2034.
Symptoms Of Urinary Incontinence
Having urinary incontinence means you pass urine unintentionally.
When and how this happens varies depending on the type of urinary incontinence you have.
Although you may feel embarrassed about seeking help, it’s a good idea to see your GP if you have any type of urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence is a common problem and seeing your GP can be the first step towards finding a way to effectively manage the problem.
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What If These Treatments Do Not Work
If these interventions do not work, you may be referred to a urologist for additional tests on your bladder and sphincter. These tests will determine what type of incontinence you have, how well your bladder is working, and what other treatments might be best for you. This often involves a urodynamic test and a cystoscopy. Both of these procedures are performed in the office, usually during the same visit. They provide your urologist with specific information to help find which procedure might be best for you.
The urodyamics test involves placing a very small catheter in your bladder. This catheter fills the bladder with fluid and measures bladder activity and pressure during filling and voiding . You will also be asked to cough and strain so your provider can see if and how easily you leak urine.
A cystoscopy may also be performed to look at the urethra, the anastomosis , and the bladder. After these tests, your provider will go over the results with you and recommend which treatments are best suited for your condition.
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What Are Pelvic Floor Exercises And Can Improve Erection Quality
As we age, we lose muscle tone throughout your body. That includes the muscles that men need to maintain erections. However, there are physical exercises men can do to reduce erectile dysfunction. The best ones are known as pelvic floor exercises or kegels.
Those muscles are the core of how your body maintains blood flow to the penis and therefore keeps erections strong.
They put pressure on the veins in your penis, preventing blood from flowing back into the rest of your body. If they arent strong enough then even if you can get an erection, you wont be able to keep it.
The process starts with identifying the muscles you need to activate. Thats best achieved by lying down with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Thats when you breathe out and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for 3 seconds.
Its important that you identify the right group, at the base of your buttocks, on either side of your perineum. It can be easy to mistake other muscles, such as the legs or stomach for the pelvic floor.
Once you are confident you have the right muscle group, then doing the exercises in a seated or standing position three times a day can firm and strengthen the muscles, with a likely improvement within four to six weeks.
Some men find that after the initial strengthening that options like Pilates become appealing as not only are there many exercises which improve the pelvic floor, but they can improve overall posture and strength.
When Should I See A Health Care Professional
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.