Causes Of Urge Incontinence
The urgent and frequent need to pass urine can be caused by a problem with the detrusor muscle in the wall of the bladder. The detrusor muscles relax to allow the bladder to fill with urine, then contract when you go to the toilet to let the urine out.
Sometimes the detrusor muscle contract too often, creating an urgent need to go to the toilet. This is known as having an ‘overactive bladder’. The reason your detrusor muscle contracts too often may not be clear, but possible causes include:
- drinking too much alcohol or caffeine
- poor fluid intake this can cause strong, concentrated urine to collect in your bladder, which can irritate your bladder and cause symptoms of overactivity
- conditions affecting the lower urinary tract , such as urinary tract infections or tumours in the bladder
- neurological conditions
- certain medications
Symptoms Of Urinary Incontinence:
When finding it hard to control your bladder, you may experience any of the following symptoms:
- Leaking urine when you laugh, sneeze, exercise or cough.
- An unexpected, powerful urge to urinate that you cannot control results in leakage before getting to the toilet.
- Some women may also experience spasms in the pelvic region, bedwetting, or a continuous need to go to the bathroom more than eight times in 24 hours.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What type of urinary incontinence do I have?
- What is the likely cause of my urinary incontinence? Can this condition be treated?
- If so, will treating the condition cure my urinary incontinence? When can I expect relief from my symptoms?
- Should I start doing Kegel exercises? How often?
- Would a bladder training program help manage my urinary incontinence?
- Will any lifestyle changes help manage my urinary incontinence?
- Im embarrassed by my urinary incontinence. Until my symptoms improve, what else can I do to help manage my condition?
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Why Cant I Control My Urine After Delivery
Now that your pelvic floor has been rendered weak owing to pregnancy and childbirth, it will be difficult for you to exercise control on the muscles and sphincters at the bottom of your bladder so as to keep the urethra closed so that urine does not leak out. When you sneeze, cough, laugh or lift something heavy, pressure builds on the bladder and the nerves and ligaments that control the urethra are unable to stop the urine leakage due overstretching of injury in the pelvic floor. After delivery, as the uterus contracts, it sits just above the bladder, making it even harder to control leaking wee. This makes women leak a few drops, or sometimes the entire bladder in one go.
Bladder Leakage 3 Things Women Should Know About Urinary Incontinence
To dispel misconceptions, a urogynecologist discusses the surprisingly common, lingering issue many women experience.
Bladder leakage. For some women, the condition runs their life from the inside, preventing them from playing outside with their kids, going to a workout class or staying the night with family or friends.
And theyre not alone. Living with some degree of urinary incontinence, defined as an uncontrolled leakage of urine, is actually common, according to Pamela Fairchild, M.D., a urogynecologist at Von Voigtlander Womans Hospital at Michigan Medicine.
She says that approximately half of all women over the age of 20 experience some degree of incontinence. This means urinary incontinence isnt just an issue that affects elderly or postpartum women, although aging and childbirth are risk factors.
But if so many women experience it, then why does the topic still seem embarrassing?
Women get the sense that this is inevitable, that its a natural part of aging and they have to live with it, says Fairchild. This false perception leaves women feeling powerless, even though there are ways to greatly improve their quality of life.
To help overcome the stigma, Fairchild shared three facts about urinary incontinence that all women should know.
Read Also: Is Urge Incontinence The Same As Overactive Bladder
What Is Urinary Incontinence
When you cannot control your bladder and are leaking large or small amounts of urine, you probably suffer from urinary incontinence or an overactive bladder.
Women often think urinary incontinence happens because they drink too much liquid. It doesnt. It occurs due to a problem in your body, so it is always essential to see your doctor if you think you have urinary incontinence.
In a large proportion of cases, the problems source is to do with your pelvic floor muscles not working properly.
However, its not always the case, so its important to talk to your doctor or Physical Therapist to determine the source of the problem.
What Causes Bladder Or Bowel Incontinence
Many conditions may affect the nerves and muscles that control the bladder and bowel.
Bladder incontinence can be caused by things such as:
Damage to nerves in sphincter muscles
Holding urine in too long , which can damage the bladder
Having to urinate many times during day and night, often urgently
Bowel incontinence can be caused by things such as:
Damage to the nervous system from disease or injury
Also Check: Bowel And Bladder Problems After Back Surgery
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.
Loss Of Bladder And Bowel Control
Bowel incontinence means you lose control over passing stool, whereas urinary incontinence refers to a condition that involves unwanted passage of urine. When you have bowel or bladder dysfunction, you are likely to experience other problems as well with voluntary urination and bowel movements. Not only can these problems cause pain and discomfort, they can be a source of embarrassment as well. While you may not feel comfortable with the idea of seeking medical help, you should not waste time and talk to your healthcare provider to find a treatment option to deal with loss of bladder or bowel control.
Also Check: Where Do You Feel Bladder Pain
Are There Other Ways To Treat Incontinence
Yes. Medicines or medical devices can treat some types of urinary incontinence. For example, estrogen cream to put in the vagina can be helpful for some women who have mild stress incontinence. Several prescription medicines are available to treat urge incontinence. For men, prescription medicine is available to shrink the prostate and improve flow of urine through the prostate. Talk to your doctor about possible medicine options for your type of incontinence.
In some cases, surgery may be an option. Treatment depends on what type of urinary incontinence you have and what is causing it.
Bladder Incontinence In Women
Bladder incontinence is more common in women than in men. Other than the possible causes listed above, some things that may increase risk of bladder incontinence in women are:
- Changes to urinary or vaginal tissue from hormone therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy
- Hormonal changes from menopause
- Pelvic prolapse – the bladder, uterus, and or rectum may slip backward or downward into the vaginal canal because of weak pelvic wall muscles
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Tips To Get Your Bladder Under Control
Take control of your bladder
Do you find yourself struggling to make it to the bathroom in time? Urinary incontinence is a common condition. Your doctor can help you understand whats causing it and recommend a treatment plan.
Lifestyle changes can also help get your bladder under control. Learn about six steps you can take to reduce your risk of accidents and help you get back to enjoying everyday activities, leak-free.
Causes Of Urinary Incontinence
Stress incontinence is usually the result of the weakening of or damage to the muscles used to prevent urination, such as the pelvic floor muscles and the urethral sphincter.
Urge incontinence is usually the result of overactivity of the detrusor muscles, which control the bladder.
Overflow incontinence is often caused by an obstruction or blockage in your bladder, which prevents it from emptying fully.
Total incontinence may be caused by a problem with the bladder from birth, a spinal injury, or a small, tunnel like hole that can form between the bladder and a nearby area .
Certain things can increase the chances of urinary incontinence, including:
- pregnancy and vaginal birth
Find out more about the causes of urinary incontinence.
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Why Cant I Control My Bladder
You know the feeling. Your friend has just shared a funny anecdote. You feel the laugh forming in your throat. You dread what is coming because you know when the suppressed laughter releases, it typically does not come alone. Urinary incontinence is no laughing matter and affects millions of women regularly. Whether it accompanies coughs, sneezes, giggles or you simply just cannot contain the urge to go, it can negatively impact your lifestyle. Many women find themselves questioning, why have I lost control of my bladder? Still, others may believe the false narrative that it is a normal part of aging. At Coyle Institute, we help women understand the cause of their bladder issues and offer solutions to control it.
How To Empty The Bladder
This article was co-authored by Robert Dhir, MD. Dr. Robert Dhir is a board certified Urologist, Urological Surgeon, and the Founder of HTX Urology in Houston, Texas. With over 10 years of experience, Dr. Dhirs expertise includes minimally-invasive treatments for enlarged prostate , kidney stone disease, surgical management of urological cancers, and mens health . His practice has been named a Center of Excellence for the UroLift procedure, and is a pioneer in non-surgical procedures for ED using his patented Wave Therapy. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Georgetown University and was awarded honors in pre-medical studies, urology, orthopedics, and ophthalmology. Dr. Dhir served as chief resident during his urological surgical residency at University of Texas at Houston / MD Anderson Cancer Center in addition to completing his internship in general surgery. Dr. Dhir was voted Top Doctor in Urology for 2018 to 2019, one of the top three Best Rated Urologists in 2019 & 2020 for Houston Texas, and Texas Monthly has named him to the 2019 & 2020 Texas Super Doctors Rising Stars list.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 85% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 390,268 times.
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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
- pregnancy and childbirth
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.
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.
Also Check: What To Take When You Have A Bladder Infection
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:
Incontinence A Big Problem For Young Women
Among teens and young women, incontinence problems are typically related to sports injuries, says Pamela Moalli, MD, a professor of urogynecology at the University of Pittsburgh Magee-Womens Research Institute. “About 20% of college athletes report leakage of urine during sports activities,” she tells WebMD.
“Women in high-impact sports are at highest risk — parachuters, gymnasts, runners,” says Moalli. “In these sports, you’re hitting the ground hard, which can damage pelvic muscles and connective tissue that support the bladder.”
Many young women have pre-existing biological reasons putting them at higher risk, says Niall Galloway, MD, FRCS, professor of urology and director of the Emory Continence Center at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.
“It runs in families,” he tells WebMD. “Just as bad eyesight runs in families, so can weak pelvic muscles. It’s not that they’ve been overdoing it with exercise. It’s just that they’ve reached the tolerance of their own tissues.”
For these girls and women, simply wearing a tampon or pessary — a device similar to a diaphragm — during exercise is a good solution, says Galloway. “They just need a little something to support those pelvic tissues, something to put pressure on the urethra.”
Also Check: How Long Does Overactive Bladder Last
What Is Wrong With My Bladder
Living with a weak bladder is inconvenient and distressing. If you are continuously leaking urine when you do things like laugh, cough, jump, or sneeze, or you cant seem to control your urine flow, you dont have to live with it.
Urinary incontinence is a widespread problem. Women suffer from it at all ages most likely after childbirth or during perimenopause and menopause. But it can happen at any age and when you havent had children.
Its certainly not limited to women from retirement age and onwards. This assumption is a common misconception.
But the good news is we can treat it at any age. You dont have to suffer in silence.
There are medical reasons for your loss of bladder control. Heres a clear, simple explanation for why you cant control your bladder and the range of treatments available.
What To Do If You Can’t Urinate After Surgery
The complete inability to urinatecalled urinary retentionis always a medical emergency. In people who have had surgery, the type of procedure, anesthesia used, and post-operative medications can all contribute to urinary retention. In most cases, it usually gets better in a few weeks.
If you can’t pee at all, it is important to seek treatment right away to avoid damage to your bladder and kidneys. Similarly, talk to your healthcare provider if you are able to pee but feel like you still have urine in your bladder afterward.
If the bladder is left full, urine can back up into the kidneys. This can lead to additional pressure in the kidney, which can cause damage. In extreme cases, the bladder can actually rupture when it gets too full.
The article outlines what can cause an inability to urinate after surgery, symptoms of urinary retention, and how the condition can be treated.
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Urinary Incontinence: More Common Than You Think
How to Stop Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary and unintentional leaking of urine. Urinary incontinence can also be an embarrassing problem. As with many potentially embarrassing or uncomfortable symptoms, those affected may be hesitant to speak up or ask questions about their condition, even at the doctor’s office. Urinary incontinence occurs more often in women than in men, and it is a lot more common than you might expect. In fact, chances are that you know other people who have been affected by urinary incontinence.
Incontinence must not be a source of embarrassment when you speak with your physician. The fact is that this common condition is treatable by a variety of approaches, and not speaking up about the problem means that you won’t have access to effective treatments:
- dietary changes, /li>
Millions of women experience involuntary loss of urine called urinary incontinence . Some women may lose a few drops of urine while running or coughing. Others may feel a strong, sudden urge to urinate just before losing a large amount of urine. Many women experience both symptoms. UI can be slightly bothersome or totally debilitating. For some women, the risk of public embarrassment keeps them from enjoying many activities with their family and friends. Urine loss can also occur during sexual activity and cause tremendous emotional distress.
- at night to urinate