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Why Does My Bladder Leak Sometimes

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Living With Bowel Or Bladder Incontinence

Urinary leakage: why it happens and how to END it

There is no single, right way to cope with bladder or bowel incontinence. The challenge is to find what is best for your situation, so you can get the help you need and return to a normal daily life. Talk with your health care team if you notice a change in bowel or bladder habits, and about the best ways to manage incontinence, if it is a problem. You might find it helpful to talk with other people who are dealing with incontinence, too. Ask a member of your cancer care team about support groups in your area.

Here are some things you can do that may help make incontinence less of a problem:

  • Empty your bladder every 3 to 4 hours while awake, to avoid accidents.
  • Empty your bladder before bedtime or before strenuous activity.
  • Limit drinks with caffeine, or and avoid alcohol and citrus juices, which can irritate the bladder and make you have to go more often.
  • Avoid hygiene products that may irritate you Women should avoid feminine spray or over-the-counter vaginal suppositories.
  • Because belly fat can push on the bladder, avoiding weight gain or losing needed weight sometimes helps improve bladder control.
  • Avoid tobacco use which can cause coughing and bladder irritation due to harmful substances in tobacco products.
  • Talk to your doctor about all medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements youre taking. Some may affect urine control.

Causes Of Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence occurs when the pressure inside your bladder as it fills with urine becomes greater than the strength of your urethra to stay closed .

Any sudden extra pressure on your bladder, such as laughing or sneezing, can then cause urine to leak out of your urethra.

Your urethra may not be able to stay closed if the muscles in your pelvis are weak or damaged, or your urethral sphincter is damaged.

These problems may be caused by:

  • damage during childbirth, particularly if the child was born vaginally rather than by caesarean section
  • increased pressure on your tummy, for example because you are pregnant or obese
  • damage to the bladder or nearby area during surgery, such as the removal of the womb in women or removal of the prostate gland in men
  • neurological conditions, which affect the brain and spinal cord, such as Parkinsons disease or multiple sclerosis
  • certain connective tissue disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • certain medications

Treatments For Urgency Incontinence

Urgency incontinence is when you get the urge to go, and if you dont make it to a bathroom, your bladder will empty. It can have serious effects on your life and your work.

Experts dont know what causes urgency incontinence, but there are different ways to approach it. First we start with behavioral changes, which vary based on your situation. Steps could include:

  • Weight loss again, losing even a small amount of weight can help.

  • Avoiding excess fluids. If youre having trouble sleeping, we talk about limiting fluids before bedtime so sleep is less interrupted.

  • Time voiding, which is retraining the bladder. If the patient is in the bathroom every hour, well slowly lengthen that interval so theyre in the bathroom less often.

  • Pelvic floor exercises, with help from a physical therapist.

  • Changing your diet. I review a list of bladder irritants: coffee, chocolate, alcohol, spicy foods, and other things. We have patients skip those foods and drinks for a week or two and see what their urgency or frequency is like.

If behavioral changes dont help, there are other options to explore. We can try certain medications that relax your bladder muscles and prevent leakage. Botox, injected into the muscles of the bladder, can help some patients temporarily. And there are several medications we can try, including anticholinergics, which block the impulse to urinate. This can help you get more sleep at night.

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When To Seek Medical Help

Any instance of incontinence is reason to seek medical help. It may be a symptom of a more serious condition that needs to be treated.

Even if the underlying cause isnt serious, incontinence can be a major disruption in your life. Its important to get an accurate diagnosis and discuss treatment options with a healthcare professional.

In some cases, incontinence can be a sign of a medical emergency.

You should seek immediate medical attention if you lose control of your bladder and experience any of the following symptoms:

  • trouble speaking or walking

Urinary incontinence and treatment for urinary incontinence may result in complications, depending on the cause.

These complications may include:

  • Urinary tract infections. UTIs can be caused by wet undergarments against the skin. This may create an environment where bacteria can grow.
  • Kidney damage. In some cases where the flow of urine is obstructed, you may experience kidney trouble or kidney failure.
  • Cellulitis. This skin infection is caused by bacteria and may cause swelling and pain.
  • Medication side effects. Medications used to control urinary incontinence may cause side effects, depending on the medication. Side effects may include dry mouth, nausea, hypertension, or others.
  • Catheter side effects. If you have a catheter placed, you may experience side effects such as infection and trauma.
  • Mental health side effects. Urinary incontinence may cause feelings of anxiety, depression, or social isolation.

Bladder Leakage At Night

What is Female Stress Incontinence

Bladder leakage at night can happen whether or not you feel the urge to go, so you may not always know beforehand that you have to use the bathroom. This means you may even wake up to wet sheets. Read this article on nocturia and incontinence at night to help you understand more about bladder leaks at night and treatment options.

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Try Pelvic Floor Therapy

Pelvic floor therapy is a type of specialized physical therapy that strengthens the muscles that support your bladder and bowels. This can be very effective in treating urinary incontinence caused by an overactive bladder.

During pelvic floor therapy, a physical therapist may lead you through exercises that target your pelvic floor, use mild electrical stimulation to help you have more awareness of your pelvic floor muscles, and use other specialized techniques. If youre interested in pelvic floor therapy, talk with a doctor about getting a referral.

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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What Are The Symptoms Of Incontinence

The main symptom of incontinence is a leakage of urine. This could be a constant dripping of urine or an occasional experience of leakage. If you have incontinence, you might have large amounts or small amounts of leaked urine. You might experience leakage for a wide variety of reasons often depending on the type of incontinence you have.

You might leak urine when you:

  • Have an urge to urinate, but cant make it to the toilet on time.
  • Have to get up in the middle of night to urinate .

When Older Dogs Pee In Their Sleep

Why bladder leakage can happen with sneezing (urinary incontinence)

Many elderly dogs can suffer from a condition where they leak urine and wet their bed due to loss of strength of the muscle that helps to hold urine in. This condition can sometimes be well managed on hormone medications or medications that work on the nerves that supply the muscle.

Do dogs wet the bed while sleeping?

What are the clinical signs of urethral incontinence? The most common clinical sign is pooling or spotting of urine underneath your dog when she is sleeping or relaxed. Many dog owners report finding wet spots on the bedding or floor where their dog has recently been laying down or sleeping.

Can dogs pee laying down?

Dogs with incontinence usually leak urine when they are lying down, so their sleeping quarters will most likely be contaminated. Other symptoms of incontinence in dogs include irritated skin, damp legs, urinary dribbling, unpleasant odour, and excessive licking of the nether regions.

When should you put an old dog to sleep?

Persistent and incurable inability to eat, vomiting, signs of pain, distress or discomfort, or difficulty in breathing are all indications that euthanasia should be considered. You and your family know your dog better than anyone else, so try to make a reasoned judgement on his or her quality of life.

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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.

Surgery And Procedures For Urinary Incontinence

If other treatments for urinary incontinence are unsuccessful or unsuitable, surgery or other procedures may be recommended.

Before making a decision, discuss the risks and benefits with a specialist, as well as any possible alternative treatments.

If you are a woman and plan to have children, this will affect your decision, because the physical strain of pregnancy and childbirth can sometimes cause surgical treatments to fail. Therefore, you may wish to wait until you no longer want to have any more children before having surgery.

The various surgical treatments for urinary incontinence are outlined below.

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Urinary Incontinence In Older Adults

Urinary incontinence means a person leaks urine by accident. While it can happen to anyone, urinary incontinence, also known as overactive bladder, is more common in older people, especially women. Bladder control issues can be embarrassing and cause people to avoid their normal activities. But incontinence can often be stopped or controlled.

What happens in the body to cause bladder control problems? Located in the lower abdomen, the bladder is a hollow organ that is part of the urinary system, which also includes the kidneys, ureters, and urethra. During urination, muscles in the bladder tighten to move urine into the tube-shaped urethra. At the same time, the muscles around the urethra relax and let the urine pass out of the body. When the muscles in and around the bladder dont work the way they should, urine can leak, resulting in urinary incontinence.

Incontinence can happen for many reasons, including urinary tract infections, vaginal infection or irritation, or constipation. Some medications can cause bladder control problems that last a short time. When incontinence lasts longer, it may be due to:

  • Weak bladder or pelvic floor muscles
  • Overactive bladder muscles
  • Damage to nerves that control the bladder from diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or Parkinsons disease
  • Diseases such as arthritis that may make it difficult to get to the bathroom in time

Most incontinence in men is related to the prostate gland. Male incontinence may be caused by:

Fast Facts On Urinary Incontinence

 Dog Leaking Urine
  • Urinary incontinence is more common in females than in males.
  • There are a number of reasons why urinary incontinence can occur.
  • Obesity and smoking are both risk factors for urinary incontinence.

Urinary incontinence is when a person cannot prevent urine from leaking out.

It can be due to stress factors, such as coughing, it can happen during and after pregnancy, and it is more common with conditions such as obesity.

The chances of it happening increase with age.

Bladder control and pelvic floor, or Kegel, exercises can help prevent or reduce it.

Treatment will depend on several factors, such as the type of incontinence, the patients age, general health, and their mental state.

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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

How To Talk To Your Doctor About Bladder Leaks

How do you bring up urinary incontinence to your doctor? And what do you say? Hereâs a helpful guide to get the conversation going!

An easy way to begin the conversation is describing the bladder issues you are experiencing. For example, you could start by saying, âI pee a little when I laugh or cough,â or, âI wake up with wet sheets,â or even simply, âMy bladder leaks.â

Every healthcare professional will tell you that the more information, the better. A good diagnosis depends largely on the information you can give your doctor when you talk. The questions listed below can help facilitate a productive conversation about your sensitive bladder with your doctor that will allow you to start discussing next steps.

  • When do you experience urinary losses?
  • How often do you urinate each day?
  • How often do you get up during the night to use the restroom?
  • How much liquid do you drink daily?
  • Do you experience unexpected leaks? Do you leak when you sneeze, cough or exercise?
  • Do bladder leaks prevent you from participating at work or in your social life?

Your healthcare professional may also decide to perform a physical examination. They may be looking to inspect the way your abdomen contracts. They may also check the firmness of your pelvic floor when you cough.

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What Medications Can I Use For Overactive Bladder

Your doctor may suggest trying behavioral techniques before having you use a medication to treat overactive bladder. However, medications can work very well to return normal function to the bladder. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of using the following commonly prescribed medications:

Anticholinergic medications

These medications control muscle spasms in the bladder:

  • Oxybutynin , oxybutynin XL , oxybutynin TDDS .

Urinary Incontinence In Women

Why does my dog leak urine when sleeping?

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.

Also Check: Oxybutynin Dosage For Overactive Bladder

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.

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