Common Myths About Urinary Incontinence
Before getting into the reasons why women encounter this condition, we should clear the air with regard to certain misconceptions.
First of all, loss of bladder control is not something that only affects women men can have it too, but it usually surfaces later in life. If anything, quite a few women are able to enjoy optimal bladder function in their golden years. Its quite normal for women to go through episodes of incontinence during certain physiological stages such as pregnancy and childbirth, hormonal changes, weight fluctuation and stress.
Treatment Of Urinary Incontinence
Now that you know about some of the common causes of urinary incontinence in women, taking the next step towards diagnosis and treatment should be done as early as possible.
At All About Women, our patients in Lake City, Gainesville and all across the northern region of Florida come to us for our compassionate OB/GYN specialists who have considerable experience treating urinary incontinence in women.
Remember that losing control of your bladder is often a symptom of other underlying diseases or conditions, so it is important to seek care and treatment right away.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
See a GP if you have any type of urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is a common problem and you should not feel embarrassed talking to them about your symptoms.
This can also be the first step towards finding a way to effectively manage the problem.
The GP may also suggest you keep a diary in which you note how much fluid you drink and how often you have to urinate.
Find out about diagnosing urinary incontinence.
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Causes Of Urinary Incontinence
Stress incontinence is usually the result of the weakening of or damage to the muscles used to prevent urination, such as the pelvic floor muscles and the urethral sphincter.
Urge incontinence is usually the result of overactivity of the detrusor muscles, which control the bladder.
Overflow incontinence is often caused by an obstruction or blockage in your bladder, which prevents it from emptying fully.
Total incontinence may be caused by a problem with the bladder from birth, a spinal injury, or a small, tunnel like hole that can form between the bladder and a nearby area .
Certain things can increase the chances of urinary incontinence, including:
- pregnancy and vaginal birth
Find out more about the causes of urinary incontinence.
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.
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Urinary Incontinence In Women
Urinary incontinence is also known as loss of bladder control or urine leakage. The kidneys produce urine, store it in the bladder, and are pushed from your bladder through a tube known as the urethra when the muscles in the bladder contract. Sphincter muscles around the urethra relax at the same time to and the urine is excreted .
Incontinence can happen when the bladder muscles suddenly tighten, and the sphincter muscles are not strong enough to pinch the urethra shut. As a result, you could struggle to restrain a sudden, pressing urge to urinate .One may urinate under pressure while laughing, sneezing, or working out. Ageing , Menopause, hormonal imbalances and use of certain medications can also cause Urinary Incontinence. An issue with the nerves that regulate the bladder muscles and urethra can also result in urinary incontinence. Although there are medicines that can help you control this disease, incontinence is more likely to occur as you become older. People don’t have to stop being active or allow incontinence to interfere with their lives. there is a greater likelihood that as you age, the chance of incontinence increases.
Treatment Options For Stress Incontinence
Women with stress incontinence issues most often will first be referred to a physical therapist who specializes in women’s health. The therapist will coach on how to conduct Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles to work more effectively and efficiently. Should that strategy fail to improve symptoms after six months, the next step is to consider other treatment options.
Surgical options are available when other therapies fail. The most commonly utilized surgical procedure with a high success rate is the midurethral sling. The sling procedure utilizes a synthetic mesh material that is positioned to replace the damaged fibromuscular sling support under the midsegment of the urethra and re-establishes the continence mechanism. The procedure carries an 85 to 95 percent success rate with mesh complications reported at 3 percent. The sling procedure is considered minor surgery. Patients often are discharged home the same day with minor limitations.
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When To Contact A Health Care Provider
Needing to relieve the bladder more often than usual for just a day may not be a major cause for concern. But if the urge to pee frequently persists for multiple days or is accompanied by other symptoms, it is likely time to seek medical care.
These are some of the symptoms to watch for when you have frequent urination. If any of these symptoms are present, contact your doctor to have the issue checked out and to determine the reasons for excessive urination.
Fast Facts On Urinary Incontinence
- 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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What Causes Frequent Urination Pressure And Fullness
Frequent urge to urinate, Frequent urination and Pressure or fullness. WebMD Symptom Checker helps you find the most common medical conditions indicated by the symptoms frequent urge to urinate, frequent urination and pressure or fullness including Urinary tract infection , Diabetes, type 2, and Vesicoureteral reflux.
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Risk Factors For Urinary Incontinence
The following factors may put you at higher risk for developing UI.
Being female Women experience stress incontinence twice as often as men. Men, on the other hand, are at greater risk for urge and overflow incontinence.
Advancing age As we get older, our bladder and urinary sphincter muscles often weaken, which may result in frequent and unexpected urges to urinate. Even though incontinence is more common in older people, it is not considered a normal part of aging.
Excess body fat Extra body fat increases the pressure on the bladder and can lead to urine leakage during exercise or when coughing or sneezing.
Other chronic diseases Vascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, Alzheimers disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons disease, and other conditions may increase the risk of urinary incontinence
Smoking A chronic smokers cough can trigger or aggravate stress incontinence by putting pressure on the urinary sphincter.
High-impact sports While sports dont cause incontinence, running, jumping, and other activities that create sudden pressure on the bladder can lead to occasional episodes of incontinence during sports activities.
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When Should You Seek Help
You should seek medical help when you first notice a weak urine stream. In addition, if you seem to fit the symptoms when you research slow urine flow in females, you should seek help.
Even though most cases of a weak urinary stream can become less severe in time, seeking treatment can prevent other related issues.
Slow, inconsistent, and low-pressure urine are all examples of a weak urine stream. Therefore, if this applies to you, consider seeking a urinary incontinence treatment in Fort Lauderdale to help treat your problem.
Am I At A Higher Risk Of Incontinence At An Older Age
Your body constantly changes throughout your life. As you age, the muscles that support your pelvic organs can weaken. This means that your bladder and urethra have less support often leading to urine leakage. Your risk for developing incontinence as you age might be higher if you have a chronic health condition, have given birth to children, went through menopause, have an enlarged prostate or have had prostate cancer surgery. Its important to talk to your healthcare provider over time about the risks of incontinence and ways you can manage it without interference to your daily life.
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Bladder Leakage 3 Things Women Should Know About Urinary Incontinence
To dispel misconceptions, a urogynecologist discusses the surprisingly common, lingering issue many women experience.
Bladder leakage. For some women, the condition runs their life from the inside, preventing them from playing outside with their kids, going to a workout class or staying the night with family or friends.
And theyre not alone. Living with some degree of urinary incontinence, defined as an uncontrolled leakage of urine, is actually common, according to Pamela Fairchild, M.D., a urogynecologist at Von Voigtlander Womans Hospital at Michigan Medicine.
She says that approximately half of all women over the age of 20 experience some degree of incontinence. This means urinary incontinence isnt just an issue that affects elderly or postpartum women, although aging and childbirth are risk factors.
But if so many women experience it, then why does the topic still seem embarrassing?
Women get the sense that this is inevitable, that its a natural part of aging and they have to live with it, says Fairchild. This false perception leaves women feeling powerless, even though there are ways to greatly improve their quality of life.
To help overcome the stigma, Fairchild shared three facts about urinary incontinence that all women should know.
What Is Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the accidental loss of urine. According to the National Association for Continence, over 25 million adult Americans experience temporary or chronic urinary incontinence. UI can occur at any age, but it is more common among women over 50. Urinary incontinence may be a temporary condition that results from an underlying medical condition. It can range from the discomfort of slight losses of urine to severe, frequent wetting.
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Types Of Urinary Urgency
Urinary urgency is a general term that is used to describe a frequent or consistent urge to urinate. There are different types of urinary urgency that patients should take note of.
We share a quick overview of the specific types of urinary urgency below. Patients should consider the specific symptoms they experience. This will help them determine the type of urinary urgency they may have.
What Is Urinary Urgency
Urinary urgency is sometimes also referred to as frequent urination. This is not a condition on its own. Instead, urinary urgency is rather considered a symptom. Several conditions may lead to the development of urinary urgency as a symptom.
The main sign of urinary urgency tends to be a consistent urge to urinate. The patient may feel that their bladder is not emptying completely. The patient will feel like they have to urinate again shortly after urinating.
There are times were urinary urgency would not cause serious problems. In such a case, a few simple remedies and strategies may be used as treatment options. The patient will usually be able to continue with their daily life like they normally do.
This is not always the case, however. In certain scenarios, urinary urgency can be a more disruptive symptom. The patient may find that it greatly interferes with their ability to continue with their daily routine.
In more severe cases, urinary urgency may also lead to psychological complications. Anxiety is a common issue linked to urinary urgency. The patient may have anxious feelings when they visit a shop or when they are about to enter a meeting. They will be unsure if they will be able to make it through a specific event. The anxiety may be even greater when a bathroom is not close to the patient during such an event.
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Kegel Exercises For Women
Strengthening pelvic floor muscles can reduce or even cure symptoms of stress incontinence. Kegel exercises target the muscles that control the flow of a stream of urine. You need to do the routine regularly to attain and maintain maximum benefit. Kegel exercises are easy to do it just takes a little practice to make sure youâre concentrating your efforts on the right area.
How to Do Kegel Exercises
To perform Kegel exercises, contract the muscles you use to stop a stream of urine. Hold for 3 seconds and then release. Relax for 3 seconds. Work up to 3 sets of 10 Kegels. You can start performing these workouts while lying down. As you get stronger, you can do them while sitting or standing. If youâre having trouble isolating the correct muscles, a doctor, nurse, or physical therapist can help you with your technique.
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How Can You Prevent Urinary Incontinence
Strengthening your pelvic muscles with Kegel exercises may lower your risk for incontinence.
If you smoke, try to quit. Quitting may make you cough less, which may help with incontinence.
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
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Treating the cause of incontinence often gets rid of or controls these problems.
Some bladder problems are temporary. For example, you may have a urinary tract infection that causes incontinence, but the problem goes away after the infection is cured.
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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.
Symptoms Of Urinary Incontinence
The main symptom of urinary incontinence is leaking urine. But this can vary quite a bit, from leaking a few drops to partly or totally emptying your bladder.
If you have urge incontinence, youll feel a sudden urge to pee which you cant put off. You may not be able to make it to the toilet in time. You may also need to go to the toilet at night and sometimes leak at night too.
If you have stress incontinence the main symptom is leaking urine when you do things like cough, sneeze, lift something heavy or exercise.
If you have mixed incontinence, you may have all of these symptoms.
You may have other symptoms such as:
- needing to pee often
- dribbling urine after youve been to the toilet
- it hurts or stings when you pee
Get a picture of your current health and potential future health risks with one of our health assessments. Find out more about health assessments >
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Lack Of Continuity Or Deformity
The most common cause of incontinence in this category is a fistula. In developed countries, vesicovaginal or ureterovaginal fistulas typically arise as complications of hysterectomy or other pelvic surgery.6 Patients with other abnormalities such as ectopic ureters and diverticulae can also present with incontinence.
Physiological Changes In Women
With aging, the muscle tissue that lines the bladder loses fiber quality and strength, thus diminishing bladder capacity. The bladder is more likely to contract with greater frequency after the age of 60.
With regard to pregnancy, there are hormonal changes that can increase urinary frequency. Moreover, there is also the weight of the baby, which places greater pressure on the bladder. In natural childbirth, the passage of the baby will stress not only the bladder but also the nerve endings that stimulate urinary function.
During menopause, many women may go through a sharp decrease in estrogen, a hormone that contributes to the overall health of bladder muscle tissue. Women who undergo hysterectomy procedures may experience incontinence because of the surgical damage suffered by the muscle tissue in the pelvic floor.
In general, surgical procedures in the female reproductive system may stress internal muscle tissues, thus inhibiting urinary function and causing incontinence. This can also occur because of localized anesthesia applications.
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Urinary Incontinence: More Common Than You Think
How to Stop Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary and unintentional leaking of urine. Urinary incontinence can also be an embarrassing problem. As with many potentially embarrassing or uncomfortable symptoms, those affected may be hesitant to speak up or ask questions about their condition, even at the doctors office. Urinary incontinence occurs more often in women than in men, and it is a lot more common than you might expect. In fact, chances are that you know other people who have been affected by urinary incontinence.
Incontinence must not be a source of embarrassment when you speak with your physician. The fact is that this common condition is treatable by a variety of approaches, and not speaking up about the problem means that you wont have access to effective treatments:
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Millions of women experience involuntary loss of urine called urinary incontinence . Some women may lose a few drops of urine while running or coughing. Others may feel a strong, sudden urge to urinate just before losing a large amount of urine. Many women experience both symptoms. UI can be slightly bothersome or totally debilitating. For some women, the risk of public embarrassment keeps them from enjoying many activities with their family and friends. Urine loss can also occur during sexual activity and cause tremendous emotional distress.