Should I Drink Less Water Or Other Fluids If I Have Urinary Incontinence
No. Many people with urinary incontinence think they need to drink less to reduce how much urine leaks out. But you need fluids, especially water, for good health.
Women need 91 ounces of fluids a day from food and drinks.11 Getting enough fluids helps keep your kidneys and bladder healthy, prevents urinary tract infections, and prevents constipation, which may make urinary incontinence worse.
After age 60, people are less likely to get enough water, putting them at risk for dehydration and conditions that make urinary incontinence worse.12
Prevention Of Urinary Incontinence
Being overweight, being constipated, lifting heavy weights and drinking a lot of caffeine all make incontinence more likely. So, if youre worried about incontinence, try to maintain a healthy weight, eat and drink healthily and modify the strenuous exercise you do.
You may be able to prevent incontinence during pregnancy and in the first few months afterwards by doing pelvic floor exercises while youre pregnant. Ask your midwife for more information.
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What Are The Causes Of Stress Incontinence
One of the main functions of the pelvic floor muscles is to support our organs, bladder included, and hold urine in. During activities like sneezing, coughing, or running, downward pressure on the bladder and pelvic floor increases.
In a perfect world, the pelvic floor muscles have to be strong and fast enough to contract upwards and close down the urethra, so urine doesnt leak out when that downward pressure gets too high.
If there are any problems in the pelvic floor muscles, like weakness, for example they arent able to do their job correctly and the urethra stays open. Weakness or pelvic floor muscle dysfunction can be from childbirth , pregnancy, low back pain, poor posture, chronic constipation, and others.
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Women Who Have Given Birth
Pelvic floor dysfunction after giving birth is one of the leading causes of urinary incontinence in women. Childbirth can wreak havoc on the strength and function of the pelvic floor and core muscles that play a major role in bladder regulation. Nearly one in every four women over the age of 40 suffer from at least occasional UI.
Regardless of the method of delivery, we recommend all women come see us to help restore the core after giving birth. We can help treat many of the common mom issues, like abdominal pain, weakness, prolapse and even the mom pooch resulting from diastasis recti.
Drink Enough Fluids To Keep Your Bladder Happy
Drinking less water and other fluids to decrease your risk of an accident is not a good idea, says Tomas Griebling, MD, a professor of urology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City and president of the Geriatric Urological Society of the American Urological Association. While its true that chugging down a lot of fluids especially in a short amount of time can lead to leaks, not drinking enough can also make you need to pee suddenly.
When you dont drink enough water, the urine becomes more concentrated and that can be irritating to the bladder and increase urgency, explains Dr. Griebling.
How much fluid is enough varies from person to person, but the National Association for Continence estimates that six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is about the right amount. Checking the color of your urine can help you know if youre on target, according to Harvard Health. In general, a pale yellow color means youre adequately hydrated, while a darker yellow suggests you need to drink more.
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What Causes Urinary Incontinence
We dont always know what causes incontinence in a particular woman. You are most likely to have urinary incontinence if youve had children and/or been through menopause.
During pregnancy, the extra weight and changes in hormones weaken your pelvic floor the hammock of muscles, ligaments and tissues that support your bladder. The pelvic floor is then weakened again during labour by pushing and then after menopause, when your body makes less of the female hormone oestrogen that helps keep the pelvic floor strong.
You are also more likely to have urinary incontinence if you:
- often have constipation and strain to empty your bowels or cannot empty them completely or easily
- have a long history of poor bladder habits
- are over 65 years of age
- have had a condition affecting your brains ability to send messages to your bladder
- have bad eyesight, trouble moving around or using your hands
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.
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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.
Types Of Bladder Control Problems
Anyone can have bladder control problems or incontinence. Incontinence caused by cancer or cancer treatment can last a short time or a long time, and it can be mild or severe. There are different types of bladder control problems.
Stress incontinence. Urine leaks out during activities such as coughing, laughing, sneezing, or exercising.
Overflow incontinence. Urine leaks out when your bladder is full.
Urge incontinence. You feel the urge to go to the bathroom right away and urine leaks before you can get to the bathroom.
Continuous incontinence. Urine leaks out constantly, and you cannot control it.
These bladder problems can make you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Sometimes, people avoid activities they enjoy because of bladder problems. That can affect your quality of life. These are reasons why it is important to tell your health care provider about your experiences. They can help you treat incontinence. The treatment of side effects is an important part of your cancer care and treatment, called palliative care or supportive care. Talk with your health care team about how to treat or manage incontinence.
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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.
What Is Urge Incontinence And How Is It Treated
Topics in this Post
There are many different types of urinary incontinence the loss of bladder control. One of the most common types is urge incontinence, which is characterized by a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. You may need to urinate often, including throughout the night.
Urinary incontinence is more common among women with approximately 17% of women and 3% to 11% of men experiencing urge incontinence at some point in their lives. Fortunately, there are many different treatment options for urge continence ranging from conservative to more invasive.
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Lifestyle Or Behavioral Changes
If itâs right for your symptoms, your doctor may decide to try changes to your routine and diet first before moving on to medication or surgery.
Bladder training. If you have urgency incontinence , your doctor may tell you to practice holding your urine for a short time when you get the urge instead of going right away. You can start by holding it for 10 minutes. After you successfully do that a few times, you can increase your time. You can also use set times during the day to go, and increase the time in between those regular bathroom trips. You can help your body learn to wait longer by practicing breathing or relaxation techniques. With some effort, you may be able to tame your symptoms and only have to urinate every 3 or 4 hours. Keep in mind that you may not see results right away. But if you stay with it, you should benefit within a few months.
Watching what you eat and drink. Treating your leaks may be as easy as avoiding certain foods and beverages. Cut down on alcohol and caffeine. Many experts believe that these things can irritate the bladder and make urinary incontinence symptoms worse. Cut out coffee, tea, sodas, and alcohol to see if it makes a difference.
Avoiding foods that trigger symptoms. Spicy and acidic foods — like citrus fruits and tomatoes — are common culprits. Others include chocolate and artificial sweeteners. But everyone’s different. You may find food has no effect on you.
Here’s how you do it:
Pelvic Floor Training To Treat Stress Incontinence
Now for the main event. Supervised pelvic floor muscle training is the recommended first-line treatment for mild to moderate cases of stress incontinence.
A 2018 meta-analysis of clinical studies found that women who performed pelvic floor muscle training were eight times more likely to report being cured of their stress incontinence symptoms than women who did not participate in active treatment .
Why is it so effective? Training not only increases pelvic and inner core muscle strength and endurance, it also reinforces optimal neuromuscular communication to improve the ability and timing of both conscious and subconscious muscle activation. As a result, whether your underlying cause is muscular weakness, trauma or injury to the area, or a neuromuscular activation issue, training can improve or eliminate your symptoms by:
There are two general classes of pelvic floor muscle training: supervised, and unsupervised.
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How To Get Help For Female Urinary Incontinence
Still feeling unsure about your first step? Remember, incontinence doesnt have to stop you from enjoying daily life on your terms. Getting the right diagnosis and treatment can be a life changer.
If you think that you might have urinary incontinence, reach out to one of our primary care doctors. Well answer any questions you may have and guide you to treatment that will work for you. If specialty care is needed, well refer you to our team of compassionate urogynecology specialists.
Medical And Surgical Treatments For Urge Incontinence
If behavioral modifications such as timed voiding and bladder training do not improve the symptoms of urge incontinence, your doctor may decide to try various medical or surgical treatments. These methods have the same goal — relief of the symptoms and inconvenience of urge incontinence.
Medical treatments for urge incontinence include:
- Medications: There are several medications that are used to treat urge incontinence. They include:
Oxytrol for women is the only drug available over the counter.
If behavioral treatments and medications do not help, other options for treatment include:
The drug Botox injected into the bladder muscle causes the bladder to relax, increasing its storage capacity and reducing episodes of leakage. It can be used in adults that do not respond to or cannot use other medications that treat overactive bladder.
Another drug treatment that may be helpful for some women is hormone therapy, which uses estrogen alone or in combination with progesterone. However, evidence of benefit for urge incontinence has been mixed. In addition, because of the possible risks of hormone therapy — including a potential increased risk of blood clots and breast cancer — you should discuss this therapy with your doctor.
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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.
Where To Go For Urinary Incontinence Treatment
For urinary incontinence treatment, start with your primary care doctor. Tell them you are having problems with bladder control. If your primary care doctor is unable to help, ask for a referral to a specialist. Doctors who specialize in treating urinary incontinence include urogynecologists, gynecologists with extra training in urinary incontinence, or urologists, doctors who specialize in problems of the urinary tract system in men and women.
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What Are The Types Of Urinary Incontinence
More than half of people with stress incontinence also have urge incontinence. Having both stress and urge incontinence is known as mixed incontinence. An overactive bladder causes urge incontinence. This type of urinary incontinence causes you to leak urine when you feel an urgent need to pee.
Overflow incontinence is a different type of urinary incontinence. It causes you to leak urine because your bladder is too full or you cant completely empty it.
Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation
Normal voiding depends not only on the normal function of organs and muscles, but also on nerves that deliver appropriate signals regarding urination. In urge incontinence, the nerves regulating the bladder can become hyper-reactive, sending strong signals to empty before the bladder is full. Nerve stimulation therapies “jam” the pathways that transmit these abnormal messages.
In PTNS, a small acupuncture needle is placed in the ankle along the tibial nerve. A handheld device connects to the needle to deliver mild electrical impulses to the nerve. These travel up the tibial nerve to the sacral nerve plexus, which regulates the bladder. PTNS sessions are painless, last 30 minutes and are repeated weekly for 12 weeks. All sessions take place in a medical office.
What Causes Urge Incontinence
Urge incontinence seems to become more common as we age. Symptoms may get worse at times of stress and may also be worsened by fluids like tea, coffee, fizzy drinks or alcohol.
Urge incontinence can be linked to stroke, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and other health conditions that interfere with the brain’s ability to send messages to the bladder via the spinal cord. These conditions can affect a person’s ability to hold and store urine.
Urge incontinence may also occur as a result of constipation, an enlarged prostate gland or simply the result of a long history of poor bladder habits such as going to the toilet before the bladder is full . In some cases, the cause of an overactive bladder is unknown.
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
Stopping these medications, if advised to do so by a doctor, may help resolve your incontinence.