Incontinence And Emotional Health
Quality of Life Issue
Incontinence can take a serious toll on quality of life. Women who are affected by it report more depression and limitations in sexual and social functioning than those who do not have the condition. Those who suffer from this health concern are more likely to rely on caregivers. Incontinence also has a negative effect on self-esteem. In general, it negatively affects a woman’s quality of life, the more she should seek aggressive treatment.
An Honest Conversation
Many women feel embarrassed about suffering from incontinence, but they need not. This is a common problem and you are not alone. Effective treatments are available. Be honest with your doctor. Do you avoid certain activities because of your symptoms? Does incontinence impair your work, sleep, sex life, or social functioning? Different interventions are available depending on how it impacts you. Speaking candidly with your doctor is the best way to identify treatments that are most appropriate for your situation.
Do The Right Exercises
High-impact exercise and sit-ups put pressure on your pelvic floor muscles and can increase leaks.
To strengthen your pelvic floor to relieve symptoms, replace high-impact exercise, such as jogging and aerobics, with strengthening exercise, such as pilates.
Pilates strengthens your core muscles, which is beneficial for stress incontinence.
Other Causes Of Urinary Hesitancy
Both women and men are susceptible to urinary hesitancy resulting from:
- Dysfunction of bladder muscles
- Surgery and surgical anesthetics
- Psychological influences, including shy bladder syndrome
Women can also suffer nerve damage resulting from pregnancy that causes urinary problems, including a weak urine stream.
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What Causes Incomplete Emptying Of The Bladder
Incomplete bladder emptying occurs when the muscles of the bladder are not able to squeeze properly to empty the bladder. This can happen in cases where there may have been nerve or muscle damage, perhaps caused by injury, surgery, or disease such as Parkinsons disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Spina Bifida.
Carefully Manage Your Fluid Intake
Drinking too much fluid puts pressure on your bladder, and makes you need to urinate. Drinking too little means your urine becomes concentrated, which irritates your bladder, and leads to urinary urgency.
However, it’s important to maintain your fluid intake to avoid dehydration. You can drink slowly and throughout the day to maintain adequate hydration.
- Aim to drink four to eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day.
- Look at your urine and aim for a light yellow color. Dark urine is a sign that you are not drinking enough. Colorless urine is a sign of drinking too much.
- Try to drink only during the day and stop a couple of hours before you go to bed.
- Drink mainly water avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks night.
Drinking The Wrong Things At The Wrong Time
Staying hydrated is important for good overall health and wellbeing. But the more you drink, the more urine your body produces. If you have urinary incontinence, this will mean that you leak more urine.
Its therefore best to avoid or limit drinks that contain caffeine, as these have a greater diuretic effect. Caffeinated drinks include tea and coffee as well as cola and energy drinks.
Alcoholic beverages also have a diuretic effect, so try to limit your alcohol intake.
But avoiding too many fluids can also make your symptoms worse. Being dehydrated leads to dark, concentrated urine which can irritate the walls of the bladder, causing them to contract more often, and leak more urine.
Every person is unique, so try to balance your need to stay hydrated with how much fluid can make your urinary incontinence worse.
If urinary incontinence is a problem for you at night, its also best to avoid drinking too many fluids in the evening, and to avoid them completely just before bed.
Teens And Young Women
Women of all ages can develop weakened pelvic floor muscles and be affected by bladder weakness.
We often think that bladder weakness is only associated with more mature women, it can be a shock when young women are affected in their teenage years. For teenage women this experience can be embarrassing and debilitating. Also many younger women feel very alone and not able to discuss it with their peers.
Young women who become pregnant and have children in their teenage years and into their early twenties, may find their pelvic floor muscles are compromised. If you dont get your pelvic floor muscles back into shape in between pregnancies, the issue can get worse. Whilst youth is a benefit in terms of quickly regaining muscle tone, many young women are surprised to experience leaking and a restriction in physical activity. Fortunately Smart Balls are ideal for teenage and young women to use and are effective in regaining pelvic floor tone and prevent bladder weakness.
Intense and prolonged physical over-exertion may weaken the pelvic floor muscles. Young women who are playing sport or working in hospitality roles where they are on their feet for long periods of time can be affected. When engaging in any strenuous exercise it is important to ensure there is a focus on core strength so that pelvic floor tone is maintained.
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Medication For Stress Incontinence
If stress incontinence does not significantly improve, surgery for urinary incontinence will often be recommended as the next step.
However, if you are unsuitable for surgery or you want to avoid having an operation, you may benefit from a medication called duloxetine. This can help increase the muscle tone of the urethra, which should help keep it closed.
You will need to take duloxetine by mouth twice a day and will be assessed after two to four weeks to see if the medicine is beneficial or if it is causing any side effects.
Possible side effects of duloxetine can include:
Do not suddenly stop taking duloxetine as this can also cause unpleasant effects. Your GP will reduce your dose gradually.
Duloxetine is not suitable for everyone, however, so your GP will discuss any other medical conditions you have to determine if you can take it.
What Causes Bladder Leaks
There are two main types of urinary 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.
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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What Home Remedies Are There For A Weak Bladder
Home remedies for a weak bladder focus on strengthening the pelvic muscles, and if this can be achieved, then the most effective relief is likely to be found.
Kegel Exercises are effective and discrete, and should be carried out several times a day. It is important that you can identify which muscles you are trying to strengthen. If you can stop urinating midstream, then these are the right muscles.
You should not stop urination midstream too often, as this will weaken the muscles in the long run. Instead, once you have identified the muscles, you should practice relaxing and contracting them on an empty bladder.
- For best results, you should lie on your back or sit in a chair and quickly relax and contract your pelvic muscles 10 times
- This should only take about 10 seconds
- Perform the same exercise but with slow contractions, taking about 50 seconds
- Try doing these three or four times each day.
Additionally, what you eat can affect your bladder. Caffeine is notorious for worsening incontinence, as it acts as a diuretic. Additionally, artificial sweeteners can result in an increasing need to urinate. Instead you should aim to maintain a healthy weight, as this puts less pressure on your pelvic muscles, and a healthy diet, as this will help to balance the levels of fluids in your body.
Seek Help From A Qualified Physical Therapist
Vaginal childbirth can damage the ligaments, nerves, and pelvic floor muscles that support the vagina, bladder and urethra. While pelvic floor exercises may help some women after birth, many need more intensive physical therapy.
Talk to your doctor, who may refer you to a qualified physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor therapy if you have any incontinence or pain that doesnt go away after giving birth. Embarking on proper rehabilitation soon after having your baby may help you avoid more serious gynecological problems later on.
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Why Does My Bladder Always Feel Full
Pressure in the bladder causes this feeling, which should disappear after a person urinates. However, some people experience this pressure constantly, and it may feel like an ache. This is not normal and is likely caused by interstitial cystitis. This condition is sometimes known simply as bladder pain syndrome.
How Can Prostate Problems Affect The Bladder
A man with a prostate problem may have any one, or a combination of these symptoms:
- difficulty starting the flow of urine
- slow urine stream once urination has started
- the need to urinate more often than usual during the day
- having to wake during the night to urinate multiple times
- dribbling either after urinating, or between visits to the toilet
- feeling the urgent need to urinate
- sensation that emptying is not complete.
- having to urinate again within a short time of having just urinated.
Get the following symptoms checked out straightaway:
These could be due to infection or other cause needing treatment.
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It Could Be A Sign Of An Underlying Condition
Naturally, later in life, people can experience incontinence because of increased production of urine related to aging kidneys. Bladder function is also heavily impacted by changing bladder capacity and chronic medical conditions like diabetes, says Fairchild. Chronic straining, coughing and/or constipation can all put stress on the bladder, she explains.
But leakage can also be sign of a more serious, underlying health condition, according to a 2018 National Poll on Healthy Aging.” For example, poor heart function could be the culprit behind frequent urination while sleeping.
If fluid is pooling in your legs during the day, when you lay down, that fluid redistributes and increases urine production, says Fairchild.
Although bladder leakage is common, discuss your particular symptoms with your doctor.
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.
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Bladder Training For Urinary Incontinence
Stick to a Schedule
Bladder training is a useful way to treat both common forms of urinary incontinence. To implement this training, go to the bathroom at set times to urinate. The goal is to urinate frequently enough that it minimizes urges to void and accidents. As the bladder strengthens and accidents are less frequent, you can increase the length of time between bathroom trips. Stick to the schedule whether or not you feel the need to urinate. If your goal is visit the restroom every hour and 15 minutes, do so to help decrease your symptoms.
Length of Training
Training may take between 3 and 12 weeks or longer. During the program, the physician may ask you to keep a diary of your bathroom habits including when and how much you urinate. You may be asked to record your fluid intake and if and when you have any accidents and how much you lose at a time. This information will help you and your health professional identify triggers for your symptoms and help optimize treatment.
Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Bladder Weakness
In short, no – they cant cause it, however, seasonal allergies can aggravate the symptoms of bladder weakness.
If you experience leaks when you laugh, cough, sneeze or exercise, then there is a high likelihood that you are suffering from Stress Urinary Incontinence . SUI is very common and more than 1 in 3 women experience daily leaks.
If you are experiencing stress incontinence already, then pairing this with having allergies that cause excess coughing or sneezing could mean that during the allergy season you experience leaks much more frequently.
Using a non-invasive treatment, such as INNOVO, could help you to stop leaks during allergy season and beyond – by targeting the root cause of the issue – weak pelvic floor muscles.
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I Have Recorded And Interpreted My Bladder Weakness Symptoms Whats Next
After you record and interpret your symptoms, it is always best to or another healthcare provider. They can help you decide the next steps in your treatment, as well as provide more intense medical interventions.
Your bladder diary data can also help you make decisions outside the clinic, especially when it comes to over-the-counter items. iD offers a number of options for every degree of bladder weakness:
- Little Discomfort
Ultra-comfortable & highly discreet Pads for complete protection against occasional leaks. Some pads, like iD for Men, are designed for the male anatomy. Others, like iD Light, and iD Light Advanced, are small enough to fit in a purse, pocket, or wallet.
- Bladder weakness
Absorbent underwear for form-fitting security against heavier leakage and accidents. The iD Pants range features an ultra-soft texture and anatomical shape, while iD Intime offers a cottony, real-underwear feel perfect for feminine forms.
- True Incontinence
Our iD Slip and iD Innofit ranges offer dependable protection for day and night-time bladder weakness. They provide high-volume protection with a real-fabric feel that will keep you comfortable through the night.
At iD, we work to provide customers of all shapes and sizes with affordable, high-quality products. Check out our webshop to find what you need to help you live a life in full view.
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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Do Daily Pelvic Floor Exercises
The pelvic floor muscles are responsible for supporting the bladder, and they help control the flow of urine through the urethra. When they become weakened or damaged, it can cause stress incontinence.
Performing pelvic floor exercises including Kegels, squats, and the bridge can help strengthen the muscles around and within the bladder to prevent urinary incontinence.
According to the results of two clinical trials , women who participate in pelvic floor muscle training are twice as likely to see an improvement in their urinary incontinence than those receiving symptomatic care alone. They are also five times more likely to have their symptoms completely resolve.
Those who have had recent surgery, have given birth recently, or have other health concerns should talk with a doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.