Thursday, July 18, 2024

What Can You Do For Urinary Incontinence

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What Can You Do To Control Urinary Incontinence

Exercises you can do to help your incontinence

Incontinence happens to a lot of women, especially in their later years. However, it doesnt mean that you have to suffer from it too. Many simple solutions can stop incontinence from ruining your days as you go through menopause. Below, I share the natural urinary incontinence treatments to help you regain control of your bladder.

Types Of Urinary Incontinence

There are different types of incontinence:

  • Stress incontinence occurs when urine leaks as pressure is put on the bladder, for example, during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects. Its the most common type of bladder control problem in younger and middle-age women. It may begin around the time of menopause.
  • Urge incontinence happens when people have a sudden need to urinate and cannot hold their urine long enough to get to the toilet. It may be a problem for people who have diabetes, Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke.
  • Overflow incontinence happens when small amounts of urine leak from a bladder that is always full. A man can have trouble emptying his bladder if an enlarged prostate is blocking the urethra. Diabetes and spinal cord injuries can also cause this type of incontinence.
  • Functional incontinence occurs in many older people who have normal bladder control. They just have a problem getting to the toilet because of arthritis or other disorders that make it hard to move quickly.

What Are Urge Incontinence Symptoms

An urgent, uncontrollable need to pee is the top sign of urge incontinence. You may or may not leak urine. If you do have urine leaks, the amount tends to be larger than with other types of urinary incontinence.

Other signs of urge incontinence include:

  • Frequent urination or nocturia .
  • Leaking urine before you can make it to the bathroom or just after you peed.
  • Wetting the bed at night.

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Absorbent Pads Catheters And Medical Devices

If medical treatments cant completely eliminate your incontinence, you can try products that help ease the discomfort and inconvenience of leaking urine:

  • Pads and protective garments
  • Catheter
  • Pessaries and vaginal inserts a small device inserted into the vagina to help provide support to prevent leakage

Surgery And Procedures For Urinary Incontinence

5 types of urinary incontinence and management options ...

If other treatments for urinary incontinence are unsuccessful or unsuitable, surgery or other procedures may be recommended.

Before making a decision, discuss the risks and benefits with a specialist, as well as any possible alternative treatments.

If you are a woman and plan to have children, this will affect your decision, because the physical strain of pregnancy and childbirth can sometimes cause surgical treatments to fail. Therefore, you may wish to wait until you no longer want to have any more children before having surgery.

The various surgical treatments for urinary incontinence are outlined below.

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Can Pelvic Floor Exercises Treat Urge Incontinence

Yes, pelvic floor exercises can strengthen your muscles that support your urinary system. These exercises can improve symptoms.

Its important to target and use the correct muscles . A physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor disorders can teach you the proper technique. This healthcare provider may use biofeedback to ensure you get the most benefit from the exercises. It can take four to six weeks to see improvements.

While some people need to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, others have spasm or excess tension in the pelvic floor muscles that can make their overactive bladder worse. In this case, you can work with a pelvic floor physical therapist on relaxing and coordinating these muscles.

How Do I Do Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises are a simple way to build strength in your pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are done by lifting, holding and then relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. You can find these muscles by stopping the flow of urine mid-stream while youre urinating. Only do this until you learn how to find the muscles stopping the flow of urine mid-stream isnt healthy over a long period of time.

When youre doing Kegel exercises, start small. Only hold it for a few second. Over time you can slowly work your way up to longer and longer stretches of holding the muscles tight.

Unlike other types of workouts, no one can tell when youre doing Kegel exercises. Aim to do several sets of Kegel exercises twice a day.

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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.

When To Seek Medical Help

What You Need to Know about Urinary Incontinence

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 your healthcare provider.

In some cases, incontinence is 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

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How Common Is Bladder Weakness

Predominant causes of urinary incontinence are age-related changes in the pelvic floor muscles and urogenital tract. In women, the percentage increases with age and number of births the average is 6-10 percent. Older men often suffer from prostate enlargement : while urinary incontinence still occurs in 11 percent of those aged 45-65, the figure is already 32 percent in those over 80.

How Soon After Starting Kegel Exercises Will Urinary Incontinence Get Better

It may take 4 to 6 weeks before you notice any improvement in your symptoms.10

Kegel exercises work differently for each person. Your symptoms may go away totally, you may notice an improvement in your symptoms but still have some leakage, or you may not see any improvement at all. But even if your symptoms dont get better, Kegel exercises can help prevent your incontinence from getting worse.

You may need to continue doing Kegel exercises for the rest of your life. Even if your symptoms improve, urinary incontinence can come back if you stop doing the exercises.

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How Do I Begin Treatment For Urinary Incontinence

Effective treatment for urinary incontinence begins with an accurate diagnosis. In addition to a detailed medical history and physical examination, Dr. Macey uses urodynamic studies to assess how well your bladder, sphincters, and urethra function together. The tests can also help identify the source of leakages or blockages.

The results of these studies help determine the cause and type of urinary incontinence youre experiencing. For women, the two most common types of urinary incontinence are stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Accurate diagnosis is key because each type has different causes and treatments.

Stress incontinence is the most common type of incontinence in women. It occurs in women of all ages because of weak pelvic floor muscles. During certain activities, these weaker muscles put additional stress or pressure on the bladder and urethra. If you have stress incontinence, youll notice urine leakage with physical exertion, laughing, lifting, sneezing, or coughing.

Urge continence, or an overactive bladder, occurs as a sudden and strong urge to urinate. The sensation may feel so intense that it prevents you from holding your urine long enough to make it to a restroom. Women who have urge continence experience episodes at least eight times per day and two times per night. This condition occurs more often among older women.

What Can I Do About Urinary Incontinence

What is Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence can be more than an inconvenience. Worrying about bladder control can affect your daily routine and interfere with social interactions. Unfortunately, many women become too embarrassed to discuss the condition so they suffer without treatment. Overall, urinary incontinence affects about 10% of American women under age 65 and 35% of those over 65.

Whether you suffer occasional leaking or sudden strong urges, you can be free from the frustration of urinary incontinence with appropriate treatment. Board-certified OB/GYN John Macey, MD, provides expert urogynecology services in his practice based in Nashville, Tennessee. After determining the cause and type of your urinary incontinence, Dr. Macey devises a treatment plan designed to restore normal function and improve your quality of life.

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Symptoms Of Urinary Incontinence In Dogs

The most visible sign that your dog is incontinent is dripping urine. You may see irritation and redness on the skin from the dripping.

You may also notice your dog is licking their penis or vulva more than usual. If you spot these symptoms, consider taking your dog to the vet. The vet will examine the dog and ask you questions based on what you observed. Its important to share everything in detail. This information will help the vet in making the correct diagnosis.

Some of the observations you should note include:

  • When and where you are finding urine
  • When the problem started and if its getting better or worse
  • If your dog needs to go outside more frequently
  • If your dog is drinking more water than usual
  • If you have noticed frequent or painful urination outside
  • If your dog has any other unusual symptoms

Early detection and treatment of urine incontinence can help prevent more serious complications. Urine leaks could cause infection in the bladder or kidneys or on your dogs skin.

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, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions may increase the risk of urinary incontinence

Smoking A chronic smoker’s cough can trigger or aggravate stress incontinence by putting pressure on the urinary sphincter.

High-impact sports While sports don’t 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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Alternative And Complementary Therapies

The treatment of urinary incontinence varies depending on the cause of the bladder control problem. In most cases, a physician will try the simplest treatment approach before resorting to medication or surgery.

Bladder habit training This is the first approach for treating most incontinence issues. The goal is to establish a regular urination schedule with set intervals between urination. A doctor will usually recommend urinating at one-hour intervals and gradually increasing the intervals between urination over time.

Pelvic muscle exercises Also called Kegel exercises , this exercise routine helps strengthen weak pelvic muscles and improve bladder control.

The person contracts the muscles used to keep in urine, holds the contraction for 4 to 10 seconds, then relaxes the muscles for the same amount of time.

It may take weeks or months of regular pelvic exercise to show improvement.

Another way to perform Kegel exercises is to interrupt the flow of urine for several seconds while urinating.

What Your Treatment Will Involve

How to Cure Urinary Incontinence with Kegel Exercises

Your healthcare providers recommended treatment plan will depend on the cause of your incontinence. An underlying medical condition may require medication, surgery, or other treatments.

You may also be encouraged to do certain exercises, such as pelvic floor exercises or bladder training, which can help to increase your bladder control.

In certain situations, your healthcare provider may not be able to cure your bladder incontinence. In these cases, there are steps you can take to manage your condition.

For example, your healthcare provider may advise you to:

  • adjust your diet or fluid intake
  • maintain a clear and well-lit path to the bathroom

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Toileting Suggestions For Carers Of People With Incontinence

Suggestions include:

  • Consider aids such as a raised toilet or a wall-mounted grab bar if the person is unsteady on their feet. Remove floor mats and make sure the seat is securely fastened to the toilet.
  • Dont rush the person while they are on the toilet. Music can help create a calm and unhurried atmosphere.
  • Run a tap or give the person water to sip if they have trouble urinating.
  • Take note of the persons toileting patterns and suggest they visit the toilet at times that are appropriate to their pattern. Making notes on how often the person urinates and defecates can also help you and your doctor or continence professional to recognise and assess the severity of problems such as constipation.
  • Consider keeping a portable commode by the bed if the toilet is too far away for the person to reliably reach in time.
  • Use disabled toilets if they are available when you are out. A disabled toilet is usually unisex and has room to fit two people.
  • Try to accommodate the persons need for privacy whenever possible. If privacy isnt possible, use a relaxed demeanour to set the mood. Humour may help to dispel embarrassment or upset.

Why Does Menopause Make Your Bladder Weaker

According to experts, urinary incontinence is highly associated with menopause. Estrogen plays a role in the health of our organs and tissues, such as our pelvic muscles and urinary tract. Before menopause, adequate levels of estrogen keep our pelvic and bladder tissues strong and flexible.

During menopause, our pelvic floor and bladder tissues become weak due to a drop in our estrogen. The lining of the urethra, the tube that empties urine from the bladder, starts to thin as well.

Prolapse of the pelvic organ is also one reason why incontinence happens. As we get older, muscles in the pelvic region tends to weaken. As a result, the muscular support provided to the pelvic wall is lost. This causes herniation or the actual prolapse of the pelvic organs, such as the bladder and the urethra, into the vaginal canal.

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What Treatment Options Are Available If Urinary Incontinence Still Won’t Go Away

Seeing a urogynecologist as early as possible can help ensure that you have a complete understanding of your condition and treatments options.

“Both stress and urgency incontinence typically respond well to behavioral modifications, but if things are not improving, it’s best to get evaluated,” says Dr. Lindo. “This is why I always recommend seeing a specialist about your condition right away. You never want to play the guessing game with your health, especially when your condition affects your quality of life.”

In addition, your doctor can recommend a pelvic floor physical therapy program. While Kegels can play an important role in alleviating urinary incontinence, Dr. Lindo says they’re performed incorrectly more than 80 percent of the time.

“An incorrect Kegel will not help correct urinary incontinence,” warns Dr. Lindo. “Seeing a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor exercises can help ensure you’re performing Kegels and other exercises correctly and truly strengthening your pelvic floor.”

And if your condition continues to progress or worsen, your urogynecologist has expertise to perform testing and recommend a range of urinary incontinence treatment options and procedures that can help to correct your condition and address your specific situation.

Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation

Urinary Incontinence

Your posterior tibial nerve runs down your leg to your ankle. It contains nerve fibres that start from the same place as nerves that run to your bladder and pelvic floor. It is thought that stimulating the tibial nerve will affect these other nerves and help control bladder symptoms, such as the urge to pass urine.

During the procedure, a very thin needle is inserted through the skin of your ankle and a mild electric current is sent through it, causing a tingling feeling and causing your foot to move. You may need 12 sessions of stimulation, each lasting around half an hour, one week apart.

Some studies have shown that this treatment can offer relief from OAB and urge incontinence for some people, although there is not yet enough evidence to recommend tibial nerve stimulation as a routine treatment.

Tibial nerve stimulation is only recommended in a few cases where urge incontinence has not improved with medication and you don’t want to have botulinum toxin A injections or sacral nerve stimulation.

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Medicine For Stress Incontinence

If stress incontinence does not significantly improve with lifestyle changes or exercises, surgery will usually be recommended as the next step.

However, if you’re unsuitable for surgery or want to avoid an operation, you may benefit from an antidepressant medicine called duloxetine. This can help increase the muscle tone of the urethra, to help keep it closed.

You’ll need to take duloxetine tablets twice a day and will be assessed after 2 to 4 weeks to see if the medicine is beneficial or causing any side effects.

Possible side effects of duloxetine can include:

Do not suddenly stop taking duloxetine, as this can also cause unpleasant side effects. A GP will reduce your dose gradually.

Duloxetine is not suitable for everyone, however, so a GP will discuss any other medical conditions you have to determine if you can take it.

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