What Is The Treatment For Urinary Incontinence
Specific treatment for urinary incontinence will be determined by your doctor based on:
Your age, overall health and medical history
Type of incontinence and extent of the disease
Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
Expectations for the course of the disease
Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include:
Bladder training: Teaches people to resist the urge to void and gradually expand the intervals between voiding.
Toileting assistance: Uses routine or scheduled toileting, habit training schedules and prompted voiding to empty the bladder regularly to prevent leaking.
Diet modifications: Eliminating bladder irritants, such as caffeine, alcohol and citrus fruits.
Pelvic muscle rehabilitation :
Kegel exercises: Regular, daily exercising of pelvic muscles can improve, and even prevent, urinary incontinence.
Biofeedback: Used with Kegel exercises, biofeedback helps people gain awareness and control of their pelvic muscles.
Vaginal weight training: Small weights are held within the vagina by tightening the vaginal muscles.
Pelvic floor electrical stimulation: Mild electrical pulses stimulate muscle contractions.
Consult your doctor with questions regarding the management and treatment of urinary incontinence.
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Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
Also known as Kegel exercises, these exercises are especially effective for stress incontinence but may also help urge incontinence. To do pelvic floor muscle exercises, imagine that youre trying to stop your urine flow. Then:
- Tighten the muscles you would use to stop urinating and hold for five seconds, and then relax for five seconds.
- Work up to holding the contractions for 10 seconds at a time.
- Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions each day.
Tips For Living With Urinary Incontinence
With a little planning, you can manage your urinary incontinence so it doesnt affect your life too much. There are many products available to help you live with incontinence, such as pads, catheters or bedding protection. Some of these are subsidised by the government.
It can help to get into a routine. Plan for outings, make sure you have enough products and spare clothes in case you have an accident, and know how to find the nearest toilet. Its also a good idea to work out how your diet and fluids affect your symptoms.
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How Is Stress Incontinence Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and ask about symptoms. You may need to keep a bladder diary for two to three days to monitor your fluid intake, bathroom use and urine leakage. Your notes should include what you were doing before the leakage. This information can help your provider make a diagnosis.
Tests for stress incontinence include:
- Urinary pad test: You wear an absorbent pad for 24 hours at home. Your provider weighs the pad after use to determine the volume of leaked urine.
- Urinalysis: This test checks for signs of infection in a urine sample. Urinalysis can help determine if you have a urinary tract infection or blood in your urine . These signs may indicate a different problem.
- Bladder scan: A brief ultrasound in your healthcare providers office to make sure you are emptying your bladder when you pee.
- Ultrasound: A pelvic or abdominal ultrasound assesses the health of the bladder, kidneys and other organs.
- Cystoscopy: During a cystoscopy, your provider uses a scope to examine your urinary tract.
- Urodynamic testing: This group of tests gauges how well your urinary system holds and releases urine. Urodynamic testing includes a postvoid residual urine test. The test measures how much urine is still in the bladder after you pee.
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What Are The Complications Of Stress Incontinence
Severe stress incontinence can be embarrassing and may make you feel anxious or depressed. Adult diapers and absorbent urinary pads can catch urine leaks, but you may become self-conscious about an odor or worry that people can notice that youre wearing them. You may not want to go out in public or be far from a restroom. Continuous urine on your skin can irritate it, leading to skin rashes and sores.
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Drink Plenty Of Water
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day unless your doctor advises you otherwise.
Many people with urinary incontinence avoid drinking fluids, as they feel it causes more problems. However, limiting your fluid intake makes incontinence worse, because it reduces your bladder’s capacity.
Not drinking enough fluid can also cause constipation or make it worse.
Find out which are the healthiest drinks.
Plan A Toileting Schedule
Plan toileting attempts at least every two to three hours during the day. Normal bladder behavior is to urinate six to eight times per day, along with emptying your bladder before changing activities, leaving home or going to bed. A schedule helps prevent your bladder from becoming too full, resulting in a rush to find a restroom.
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What Is Urinary Incontinence Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Urinary incontinence , the involuntary loss of urine, is a very common condition that no one wants to talk about. Because of the stigma that surrounds it, many people are too humiliated to seek help. But most conditions that cause UI can be corrected with medical or alternative interventions.
Occurring much more often in women than men, UI happens when the muscles in the bladder that control the flow of urine contract or relax involuntarily, resulting in leaks or uncontrolled urination. UI itself is not a disease, but it can be a symptom of an underlying medical issue.
Nonsurgical Treatment Options For Ui
Fortunately, there are several nonsurgical treatments for urinary incontinence. From training your bladder and pelvic floor exercises to using a urethral support device, there are different options you can try to manage your symptoms. We recommend discussing your options with a doctor before deciding on the best course of action.
In some cases, your doctor might recommend lifestyle changes to help manage and prevent the symptoms of urinary incontinence. These range from adjustments to your diet, to exercise habits to management techniques between bathroom breaks. Common nonsurgical treatments for urinary incontinence are:
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Behavioral And Lifestyle Changes
Changing your lifestyle may help with bladder problems. Losing weight, quitting smoking, saying no to alcohol, choosing water instead of other drinks, and limiting drinks before bedtime can help with some bladder problems. Preventing constipation and avoiding lifting heavy objects may also help with incontinence. Even after treatment, some people still leak urine from time to time. There are bladder control products and other solutions, including disposable briefs or underwear, furniture pads, and urine deodorizing pills that may help.
Visit the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for more information on urinary incontinence in men and urinary incontinence in women.
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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What Are The Risk Factors For Stress Incontinence
Anyone can have urinary incontinence, but the problem affects twice as many people AFAB as people assigned male at birth . Its estimated half of women over age 65 have stress urinary incontinence. But urinary incontinence is not a normal part of aging. Its a sign of a problem that can get better with appropriate treatment.
Risk factors for stress incontinence include:
Treatments For Stress Incontinence
Stress incontinence occurs when weakened pelvic floor muscles cant hold up to the pressure on the bladder and urethra. These muscles may have weakened due to age, vaginal birth, or obesity.
If the issue may be related to weight, well talk about weight loss. As little as an 8 percent weight loss can decrease incontinence by half. I also recommend that patients work with a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor exercises. These exercises strengthen the muscles that control urination.
Another option is a pessary, which is a device that supports the walls of your vagina and lifts the bladder and urethra. Its a non-surgical fix. If were still not finding relief after trying a pessary, the surgical option is a urethral sling, which is a type of mesh thats placed under the urethra.
When you cough, for example, and the urethra moves, the mesh provides extra support for the muscles that arent doing their job.
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Do Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
Strong pelvic floor muscles hold in urine better than weak muscles. You can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by doing Kegel exercises. These exercises involve tightening and relaxing the muscles that control urine flow. Researchers found that women who received pelvic floor muscle training had fewer leaks per day than women who didnt receive training.6 You should not do pelvic floor exercises while youre urinating.
Men can also benefit from pelvic floor muscle exercises. Strengthening these muscles may help a man leak urine less often, especially dribbling after urination.
A health care professional, such as a physical therapist trained in pelvic floor therapy, can help you get the most out of your Kegel exercises by helping you improve your core muscle strength. Your core includes your torso muscles, especially the lower back, pelvic floor muscles, and abdomen. These muscles keep your pelvis lined up with your spine, which helps with good posture and balance. Your physical therapist can show you how to do some exercises during daily activities, such as riding in a car or sitting at a desk.
You dont need special equipment for Kegel exercises. However, if you are unsure whether you are doing the exercises correctly, you can learn how to perform Kegel exercises properly by using biofeedback, electrical stimulation, or both. Biofeedback uses special sensors to measure muscle contractions that control urination.
How Is Urinary Incontinence Treated
You and your doctor or nurse will work together to create a treatment plan. You may start with steps you can take at home. If these steps do not improve your symptoms, your doctor or nurse may recommend other treatments depending on whether you have stress incontinence or urge incontinence or both.
Be patient as you work with your doctor or nurse on a treatment plan. It may take a month or longer for different treatments to begin working.
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Do Pelvic Floor Exercises Make A Difference
It takes time, effort and practice to become good at pelvic floor exercises/Kegels. It is best do these exercises for at least three months to start with. You should start to see benefits after a few weeks. However, it often takes two to five months for most improvement to occur. After this time you may be cured of stress incontinence. If you are not sure that you are doing the correct exercises, ask a doctor, physiotherapist or continence advisor for advice.
If possible, continue exercising as a part of everyday life for the rest of your life. Once incontinence has gone, you may only need to do one or two bouts of exercise each day to keep the pelvic floor muscles strong and toned up and to prevent incontinence from coming back.
Male Pelvic Floor Muscles
If either medicine or physiotherapy dont work, surgery to support your bladder and urethra is an option for some types of urinary incontinence.
There are also things you can do to reduce the impact of urinary incontinence. You can train your bladder to improve control and increase the amount of urine you can hold. Talk to your doctor or incontinence health professional about a bladder training program.
If you are caring for someone with incontinence, make sure they can access the toilet easily and that its clearly signposted. Make sure their clothing is easy to remove and monitor their routine so you can remind them to go to the toilet regularly. You can read more about caring for someone with incontinence on the Continence Foundation of Australia website.
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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 .
Natural Urinary Incontinence Treatments To Manage A Leaky Bladder
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure for more info.
Giving birth to three big boys caused my bladder to leak. I found myself peeing a little when doing certain activities, like exercising and running. I knew something wasnt right, and those leaks were such an inconvenience. So, I decided to go through a tension-free vaginal tape procedure to fix it.
TVT is one of the many urinary incontinence treatments that delivers amazing results! Im glad I did it!
A lot of women experience incontinence during the menopausal stage. In fact, around 45% of menopausal women suffer from this condition, but most of them would rather keep the problem to themselves because of embarrassment. Some also think that surgery is the only solution. They often wait for a long time until they bring up the topic with their family, close friends or health provider.
If you are like these women, now is the best time to talk about your incontinence. Having a leaky bladder is treatable! There are a lot of urinary incontinence treatments that can help you regain full control of your bladder and bring your confidence back.
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What Your Treatment Will Involve
Your healthcare professionals recommended treatment plan will depend on the cause of your incontinence. An underlying medical condition may require medication, surgery, or other treatments.
In certain situations, they may not be able to cure your bladder incontinence. In these cases, they will likely provide steps you can take to manage your condition.
Treatment options for urinary incontinence may include:
You cant prevent all cases of urinary incontinence, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing it.
For example, try to:
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.
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Duration Of Urinary Incontinence
Most cases of UI are chronic, and will remain so until treated. Depending on the cause, however, not all UI cases are chronic. If the cause is temporary, such as a vaginal infection or a urinary tract infection, the UI will stop once the issue is addressed.
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Living With Urinary Incontinence
Do not let urinary incontinence control your life. Do not let it keep you at home or affect your typical activities. All it takes is a little planning. For example, if you know you are going to not be near a bathroom, consider using a panty liner or pad. When you are at an event away from home, scope out the locations of bathrooms. Take frequent bathroom breaks. Try to drink less while you are out.
Most importantly, talk to your doctor and those close to you about your urinary incontinence. You may be embarrassed at first, but they can help you work on solutionsespecially your doctor. It is important to know that you arent alone in this.
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Can Urinary Incontinence Be Prevented Or Avoided
You may be able to prevent urinary incontinence by working to keep pelvic muscles strong. But even so, it doesnt guarantee that you will never have urinary incontinence.
There are also lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent urinary incontinence. You may find it helpful to make some changes in your diet. Alcohol, caffeine, foods high in acid , and spicy foods can irritate your bladder. Talk to your doctor if you think your diet may contribute to your incontinence.
Some people find that limiting how much they drink before bedtime helps reduce nighttime incontinence.
Losing weight if you are overweight can also help reduce incontinence.