Bladder Leakage Solutions Treatments & Remedies
Just because you experience bladder control issues does not mean you must resign yourself to embarrassing accidents. Here are tips to prevent and protect yourself from bladder leaks:
1. Stay on a scheduleMake a drink scheduleThough it may be tempting to drastically limit fluid intake for fear of leaking urine, this is not advised. Donât limit fluids to the point of dehydration. Instead, drink prescribed amounts throughout the day in order to avoid overstressing your bladder with a large amount of fluid all at once.
Make a âgoâ scheduleKeeping your bladder empty will go a long way in reducing little bladder leaks throughout the day. Use the bathroom on a fixed schedule, say every two hours. Be sure to go whether or not you feel the need to. That way you can reduce your chances of a bladder leak if you find yourself laughing, coughing, or lifting with a full bladder.
2. Get movingLosing weight can help ease bladder leakage by removing one of its root causes â being overweight. Even a daily walk around the block to get moving can go a long way in shedding some extra pounds. Learn more about how obesity and diabetes can cause incontinence and bladder leakage.
If you want to find out more, read our complete guide on pelvic floor exercises.
Can Urinary Incontinence Be Reversed
The term urinary incontinence describes when a person cannot control their urination, to the point that they wet themselves. It can also cause frequent dribbling throughout the day and night. Although urinary incontinence is a common problem, it can be frustrating and embarrassing for those who suffer from it.
If your doctor has recently informed you that you have a form of urinary incontinence or you just suspect it, you may be wondering if the problem will ever go away. The good news about this issue is that you may be able to fully reverse it or at least reduce your symptoms. We describe some of the most common treatment methods for urinary incontinence below.
How Your Pelvic Floor Impacts Stress Incontinence
Your pelvic floor is a muscle resting below all your pelvic organs. It stretches like a trampoline from one sitting bone to the other and from your tailbone to your pubic bone. Its what holds your organs in place, supporting them in the correct position so that theyre not all dangling loosely inside your abdominal cavity.
Since its a muscle, it contracts and relaxes. It can be strengthened or weakened. Most often, pelvic floor dysfunction arises from a weakening of this muscle.
Without the appropriate amount of support, the bladder sags within your abdomen and presses against other organs, or other organs press against it. This direct pressure on your bladder creates force and urgency.
Additionally, the pelvic floor muscle is responsible for tightening the sphincter in your urethra that closes off the flow of urine. A weaker pelvic floor muscle means your sphincter cant tighten enough to hold back the pressurized urine, especially when you sneeze, cough, laugh or otherwise jar your body . This is called stress incontinence.
Women are more likely to develop the condition because of childbirth. The natural birthing process is traumatic to the body, and all the necessary pushing leaves the pelvic floor muscle weakened, or in some cases, damaged.
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Is Incontinence More Common In Women
Incontinence is much more commonly seen in women than in men. A large part of this is because of pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Each of these events in a womans life can lead to bladder control issues. Pregnancy can be a short-term cause of incontinence and the bladder control issues typically get better after the baby is born. Some women experience incontinence after delivery because of the strain childbirth takes on the pelvic floor muscles. When these muscles are weakened, youre more likely to experience leakage issues. Menopause causes your body to go through a lot of change. Your hormones change during menopause and this can alter your bladder control.
Men can also experience incontinence, but it isnt as common as it is in women.
How Much Weight Do I Need To Lose To Have An Impact
Make an Appointment Catrina Crisp MD, MSc, FACOG513 463 4300
It doesnt have to be a drastic weight loss, but weight loss of around eight percent of a patients body weight, which is, on average, for a women, around 15 to 20 pounds, will reduce their weekly leakage whether its overactive bladder or stress incontinence by about 47 percent, Catrina Crisp MD MSc FACOG, of Cincinnati Urogynecology Associates, explains.
The less weight you lose, however, the less impact it will have on your incontinence, but regardless, studies show that weight loss does reduce urinary leakage. A 2009 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that women who lost just two percent of their body weight had about a 28 percent reduction in their incontinence episodes.
Read Also: What Causes Bladder Leakage When Coughing
Start Adding More Exercise Into Your Daily Routine
Not sure where to begin? Walking is a great exercise that requires no equipment. Biking is another great option that gets you outside. Most gyms have lots of great classes you can try that will help guide you through different workout routines, and some even offer personal trainers, providing you with a more custom and individual approach. If youre just not ready to venture outside of the house yet, try a workout video, or subscribe to online video classes.
What Can Happen If You Do A Kegel Incorrectly
Women often incorrectly contract their buttocks or gluteal muscles, or inner thighs, and basically squeeze their thighs together. Many strain and increase their abdominal pressure. Thats not good for two reasons. One, its ineffective. And two, straining results in the opposite effect. Chronic straining is a risk factor for developing and worsening problems like pelvic organ prolapse or stress incontinence.
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Pericoach: Part Of Your Pelvic Floor Strengthening Regimen
Even losing a small amount of weight can relieve pressure from your pelvic floor and ease UI symptoms, but, regardless of your weight, strong pelvic floor muscles are essential for preventing bladder leakage. This is where PeriCoach comes in.
An insertable incontinence biofeedback device that guides you through pelvic floor exercises, PeriCoach helps you improve pelvic floor muscle strength and control over time. PeriCoach is fitted with three biofeedback sensors that detect the contraction of your pelvic floor muscles when you squeeze against the device. The device then sends that information via Bluetooth to your smartphone, so you can see your muscles working in real-time.
PeriCoach is FDA-cleared, which means it has met stringent product safety requirements. A one-time investment, PeriCoach is significantly less costly than taking prescription medications indefinitely.
Guidelines For Choosing A Healthy But Effective Weight Loss Option
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce urine leakage and improve your overall health. But theres a lot of information to wade through when deciding on an action plan. Some of that information is helpful but much of it isnt.
Fad diets, gimmicks, and new dietary trends can distract you from effective healthier options. For more information, check out our article, Expert Tips for Losing Weight After 40 and Why It Seems So Hard!
If you want to shed some pounds to improve your bladder health and reduce disease risk, these tips can help you get on the right track.
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Can Losing Weight Stop Urine Leakage
For many Americans, losing weight is a priority, and everyone has different reasons. For those battling incontinence, stopping urine leakage is often high on the list of reasons to drop those extra pounds.
Slimming down to a healthier weight can dramatically improve, or in some cases, cure incontinence symptoms.
And by incontinence, we mean any loss of bladder control, whether occasional or frequent, a dribble or a deluge.
Do you pee when you cough or laugh? Thats called stress incontinence, and its the type of bladder leakage most affected by excess weight.
This doesnt mean that everyone with stress incontinence carries additional pounds. But if you struggle to maintain a healthy weight, youre more likely to develop or worsen stress incontinence.
So, lets delve into the reason for this and outline steps you can take to reduce or eliminate urine leakage.
Strengthening Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Millions who suffer with urinary incontinence feel like their bladder controls their lives. Control depends on muscles working together. This simple step can control your bladder!
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health
When the bladder fills, the bladder muscles should be relaxed and the muscles around the urethra , called the pelvic floor muscles, should be tight. Exercises that strengthen these muscles can help prevent leakage and calm the urge to go. These are commonly called âKegelâ exercises, named after the doctor who developed them. They can help keep your pelvic floor muscles toned and may reduce your problems with leakage or frequent urges to urinate.
Obesity Diabetes And Incontinence
Find out how obesity and diabetes are related to urinary incontinence and what you can do to help manage your weight, diet, and bladder control.
How can being overweight cause an overactive bladder? Get all the details about obesity, diabetes and bladder leaks.
A sensitive bladder isnât always an easy thing to figure out. It can be caused by many different conditions, and some risk factors just canât be avoided, like blood sugar levels, natural hormonal changes and muscle loss due to aging and menopause, or nerve damage during pregnancy or childbirth.
Excessive weight or obesity, on the other hand, is one factor that can be managed with the right knowledge and resources.
Find out how obesity and diabetes are related to urinary incontinence and what you can do to help manage your weight, your risk of diabetes, and the chances of weight worsening your bladder leaks.
Weight Loss Improves Bladder Control In Women With Prediabetes
Diabetes Prevention Study Reveals Another Benefit of Lifestyle Changes.
Losing a modest amount of weight through dietary changes and increased physical activity reduces the occurrence of urinary incontinence in women with prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet diabetic. This finding comes from a new study, published in the February issue of Diabetes Care, of women who participated in the Diabetes Prevention Program , a landmark clinical study funded by the National Institutes of Health .
Launched in 1995, the DPPs main results were announced in 2001 and reported in 2002 : losing 5 to 7 percent of weight through diet and a consistent increase in physical activity reduced the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Treatment with metformin lowered the chances of developing diabetes by 31 percent.
To combat the dual epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes, Americans need to know about the proven benefits of losing some weight through calorie reduction and increased physical activity, said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.
Women who implemented intensive lifestyle changes and lost 5 to 7 percent of their weight had fewer episodes of weekly incontinence compared to those in the metformin or placebo groups
NIHTurning Discovery Into Health®
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Can Physical Therapists Help With Kegels
Absolutely. Pelvic floor physical therapists can teach you how to do kegels in a correct and more effective way. They use different techniques for monitoring and provide feedback. Its like having a personal trainer at the gym. You can find instructions for kegels online and do them on your own, but if you have someone who teaches you how to do them, and gives you professional feedback, it helps you do the exercises correctly and more effectively. Its been proven in research studies that its more effective than doing them on your own. At the University of Chicago Medicine, we have a very good physical therapy team that specializes in pelvic floor issues.
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Why Does Pregnancy Cause Incontinence
During pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of physical changes. As your uterus stretches to hold the growing baby, a few things happen. Your bladder can be squished by the expanding baby, making your bladder hold less than before. You might experience an increased urgency to pee during pregnancy because your bladder cannot hold as much as before. This might become even more challenging towards the end of pregnancy when the baby is at its largest.
Another reason for incontinence during pregnancy is the weakening of your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are the support structures for all of the organs in your pelvis. During pregnancy, they can be stretched and weakened as your uterus expands.
How Long Should You Continue With These Exercises
Like any group of muscles, it is in your own interest to keep them in good shape so really everyone should be exercising their pelvic floor muscles from childhood through to old age.
If you already have some symptoms that might be caused by a weakened pelvic floor, do not be disappointed if you do not notice any improvement even after a month or two of exercising it is a long process, which needs patience and some willpower. It may help to talk to a specialist continence adviser or a continence physiotherapist about the exercises to make sure you are doing them properly. They may also be able to suggest additional exercises, exercise devices or muscle stimulation which could speed up the process.
From Leaking Urine To Sudden Urges To Go: An Ob
You dont have to suffer in silence there are many treatment options available.
Whether its a few drops of leaking urine or a complete emptying of the bladder, incontinence is a bladder control issue that women are twice as likely to have as men. And by the time a womanhas made an appointment to talk about what shes dealing with, she has had enough.
Incontinence can be embarrassing, super annoying, and costly. But you dont have to suffer in silence there are many treatment options available.
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Start With Small Steps
Weight loss will not happen overnight but it will happen. Increase your chances of success by consulting with your healthcare provider on nutrition and exercise advice. For many people, making too many big changes all at once is overwhelming. Instead you might try simply cutting back portions or adding an extra serving of fruits and vegetables with every meal. For example, you might have only one piece or toast and a handful of berries with breakfast. At lunch you might have a small, rather than large helping of fries and add a salad with your sandwich. Small changes can add up to big change overtime.
Exercise in a way that works for you. Do chair exercise or take a brisk walk to burn extra calories. As you develop your weight loss plan, share it with someone who will encourage you and hold you accountable for sticking to your goals.
Sneak In Extra Movements Throughout Your Day
Park your car a little bit further from the entry of your office/grocery store, etc. Do short bouts of weight-bearing exercises like lunges, squats, or pushups when youre waiting for dinner to warm up. Take a 5-minute break every hour at work to just walk around the office. Every movement counts your body doesnt know if youre in the gym or not and it doesnt always have to be during a designated workout time. Youll still be burning extra calories.
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It Reduces Type Ii Diabetes:
According to the CDC more than 34 million Americans have diabetes with 90-95% of them having type 2 diabetes. One of the earliest symptoms of diabetes is excessive thirst and frequent urination. In patients with diabetes, the kidneys work extra hard to eliminate excess sugar from the blood. In doing so large amounts fluids and sugar are also pulled out of your tissue and are eliminated in the urine, causing frequency of urination. It is a well-established fact that if you are overweight with type 2 diabetes, losing weight will help you lower your blood sugar thereby reducing the frequent need to urinate.
Can Incontinence Be Prevented
Different events throughout your life can lead to many of the things that cause incontinence. The muscles that support your pelvic organs can weaken over time. For women, these muscles can also be weakened by big life events like pregnancy and childbirth. However, in the same way you work out to build strength in your legs or arms, you can do exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Doing exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles may not prevent you from having any issues with incontinence, but it can help you regain control of your bladder. Maintaining a healthy body weight can also help with bladder control. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best ways to maintain strong pelvic floor muscles throughout your life.
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Weight Loss As A Treatment
Being overweight can increase your chances of experiencing urinary incontinence due to the extra weight in the midsection. When you carry excess weight in your belly area, the extra pounds put added pressure on your bladder. The extra pressure makes your bladder more likely to leak.
The type of incontinence that stems from increased pressure on the bladder causing you to leak urine is referred to as stress incontinence. Actions that typically prompt episodes of stress incontinence include laughing, sneezing, coughing, or kneeling.
The good news is losing weight can often reduce its severity. Several studies have shown that if you lose even a small amount of weight you may get some relief from your symptoms. Researchers have found that a weight loss of 5% to 10% may help you to control urinary incontinence.