Solutions For A Leaky Bladder
Research has found that at least half of people with urinary incontinence dont discuss the condition with a health care provider. But theres no need to feel embarrassed. If you have a leaky bladder, youre definitely not alone. Bladder leakage, or urinary incontinence, affects women and men of all ages, though it becomes more common later in life.
And its definitely worth discussing, because of the many ways it can interfere with enjoying daily lifefrom exercise and travel to social outings and romance, says E. James Wright, M.D., director of urology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
Keeping A Bathroom Journal
You may be asked to keep a bathroom journal before or after your appointment. In your journal, youll log all your bathroom trips and bladder leakage or issues. It can also be helpful to record what you eat and drink in your bladder journal. This record will help your doctor get a more accurate idea of your symptoms and how often they occur. Keeping a journal can also determine what triggers your need to pee or any accidents.
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 .
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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.
Natural Treatmentoptions For Dog Urinary Incontinence
Important Disclaimer: I am not a vet. Not even close. Im just sharing my own personal experience and information I have read. If you think you want to try something you read about here, talk to your vet! But first read this and many more articles to empower yourself for a good discussion in which you can ask your vet great questions about what you want to try.
Knowledge is power never forget that!
If you choose to treat your dogs incontinence with natural remedies, kudos to you! As with all natural treatments, be aware it can take a few weeks or months to see results. The advantage, however, is that there are fewer side effects most have none.
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What Are The Benefits Of Washable Incontinence Products
There are many benefits to using reusable incontinence pads. For starters, theyre discreet. You can go about your day-to-day activities without worrying that youll be caught out and about with a leak. Secondly, since theyre fully washable and reusable, youll never run out. Not only will this save you time and money, youll also be helping the environment by not adding to the massive problem of disposable sanitary products affecting the planet. Close to 20 billion sanitary aids are dumped into North American landfills every year, and, when wrapped in plastic bags, feminine hygiene waste can take centuries to biodegrade. Reusable washable sanitary products, meanwhile, are a sustainable and practical solution.
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Who Is At Risk For Urinary Incontinence
In adults, you are at higher risk of developing UI if you:
- Are female, especially after going through pregnancy, childbirth, and/or menopause
- Are older. As you age, your urinary tract muscles weaken, making it harder to hold in urine.
- Are a man with prostate problems
- Have certain health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, or long-lasting constipation
- Have a birth defect that affects the structure of your urinary tract
In children, bedwetting is more common in younger children, boys, and those whose parents wet the bed when they were children.
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Ways To Treat Bladder Leakage
With so many bladder leakage products and treatment options, how do you know what is the best one for you?
First, be sure to check in with your urologist or urogynecologist to see what may be causing your bladder leakage. Knowing the cause will help you and your doctor decide what treatment option will work best for you. While certain drinks, foods and medications may stimulate your bladder, there are other medical reasons that can cause your symptoms, including:
- Urinary tract infections
- Weakened pelvic floor, sometimes caused by pregnancy, childbirth, menopause or having had a hysterectomy
- Neurological disorders
Depending on what is causing your urinary incontinence, a unique treatment plan should be developed based on your personal situation, says Nina Bhatia, M.D., urogynecologist at Hackensack Meridian Health. There are several lifestyle changes, including bladder retraining techniques, dietary changes, avoiding bladder irritants, pelvic floor exercises and pelvic floor physical therapy that can help tremendously. If those fail to provide you relief, there are non-surgical and surgical options that we can offer.
How To Choose A Urinary Incontinence Treatment For You
With so many options, this can be a tough one. Ill break the process down to make it as easy as possible:
Those adamant about a particular type of device will have fewer options. If youre looking to treat the occasional leak, you may not need to spend hundreds of dollars. Also, if youre not picky about internal or external devices, youll have a lot of flexibility regarding prices.
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How To Eliminate Urinary Incontinence
Dr. Woods uses the Emsella® Chair treatment for male and female urinary incontinence. Its an FDA-approved, nonsurgical, and non-pharmaceutical treatment option to relieve overactive bladder and stress urinary incontinence.
You sit on the EMSella chair for 30 minutes, fully clothed, and the chair produces the same result in your body as doing 10,000 kegel exercises. The chair delivers high-intensity electromagnetic technology to stimulate the deep muscles of the pelvic floor. The muscles contract and get stronger, which relieves the symptoms of urinary incontinence.
Most people need six treatments total, and Dr. Woods recommends two sessions per week for three weeks.
Find out if the Emsella Chair treatment is right for you. Call the practice orbook a consultation online.
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Disposable Underwear For Severe And Total Incontinence
If youre experiencing total or severe incontinence the best option is disposable incontinence underwear. You can of course combine washable incontinence underwear with pads as well. But if youre looking for the easy answer, I think disposables are the way to go. There are tons of great and trustworthy options. I think theyre quite similar but as usual, people tend to care more for one brand than another. Ive tried to describe them briefly here below.
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What Can You Do To Relieve Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence almost never goes away on its own. But there are steps you can take to help relieve your symptoms.
“Alleviating urinary incontinence starts with understanding which type of incontinence you’re experiencing and what’s causing it,” says Dr. Lindo. “A specialist such as a urogynecologist can help provide those answers for you, as well as help you understand which behavior modifications and other treatments will be most effective for alleviating your incontinence.”
Weight loss almost always helps relieve urinary incontinence because it reduces the amount of pressure being placed on your pelvic floor. In fact, losing just 5 percent of your weight can improve your urinary symptoms by up to 70 percent.
Similarly, pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels, can help reduce symptoms of either type of incontinence. In the case of stress incontinence, pelvic floor exercises are a way to restrengthen your weakened muscles. For urge incontinence, these exercises can help calm and retrain your bladder.
“For women experiencing stress incontinence after childbirth, sometimes weight loss and postnatal pelvic floor exercises are all it takes for symptoms to resolve over time,” adds Dr. Lindo.
Depending on the type of incontinence you’re experiencing, your doctor may suggest trying additional modifications.
Behavioral modifications for stress incontinence:
- The use of a vaginal insert, such as a tampon, while exercising
Behavioral modifications for urgency incontinence:
How Is Urinary Incontinence Diagnosed
Your health care provider may use many tools to make a diagnosis:
- A medical history, which includes asking about your symptoms. Your provider may ask you to keep a bladder diary for a few days before your appointment. The bladder diary includes how much and when you drink liquids, when and how much you urinate, and whether you leak urine.
- A physical exam, which can include a rectal exam. Women may also get a pelvic exam.
- Urine and/or blood tests
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Will Urinary Incontinence Go Away On Its Own
There’s no doubt that urinary incontinence affects your quality of life. Leakages can not only irritate your skin and cause embarrassment, but constantly worrying about when one might happen next can keep you from living your life. So much so that you might plan everything you do around whether there’s a bathroom nearby.
It’s a very common problem affecting up to one in three women. If you’re experiencing urinary incontinence, you’re likely looking for answers. Specifically, what can you do to stop it?
“Urinary incontinence is a loss of urine when you’re not actively trying to urinate,” explains Dr. Fiona Lindo, urogynecologist at Houston Methodist. “It can happen without you being aware or with physical exertion, such as exercise or even when simply standing up, coughing or laughing.”
“Unfortunately, urinary incontinence isn’t likely to go away on its own. The good news, however, is that there are things that you can do on your own to improve it, and there are plenty of options for treating it,” adds Dr. Lindo.
What Causes Bladder Leaks
There are two main types of urinary incontinence:
If you have this type, activities that raise the pressure inside your abdomen cause urine to leak through the ring of muscle in your bladder that normally holds it in. Coughing, sneezing, jumping and lifting heavy objects could lead to a leak.
Going through childbirth, smoking or being overweight can raise the risk of stress incontinence for women, Wright says. Stress incontinence in men is rare, and when it arises, its often due to prostate cancer treatment, such as radiation or surgery.
With this type, your brain, spinal cord and bladder dont work together properly to allow you to hold and release urine at the right time. Your bladder may suddenly empty itself without warning. Or you may feel like you need to urinate frequently, a problem called overactive bladder.
Some diseases that affect the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, can cause this kind of incontinence, says Wright. In men, an enlarged prostate may be the culprit. But in many cases, doctors dont know what causes urge incontinence.
It is possible to have both types of incontinence at the same time.
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When You Should See A Health Care Professional
You shouldnt have to wear a pad to soak up urine every day. Also ask yourself these questions:
Is the urge to urinate interfering with your work because of leaking or frequent bathroom breaks?
Do you map out where bathrooms are when you run errands?
Is incontinence interfering with your sex life or intimacy with your partner?
These are all signs of a problem, and that it may be time for you to talk with a gynecologist.
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.
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Medications For Urinary Incontinence
If medications are used, this is usually in combination with other techniques or exercises.
The following medications are prescribed to treat urinary incontinence:
- Anticholinergics calm overactive bladders and may help patients with urge incontinence.
- Topical estrogen may reinforce tissue in the urethra and vaginal areas and lessen some of the symptoms.
- Imipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant.
What Causes Urethral Incontinence
There are several potential causes of urinary incontinence. These include:
- Neurological causes including spinal injuries, disruption of the nerves controlling the bladder, and brain diseases or lesions.
- Bladder storage dysfunction including bladder hypercontractility in which the bladder contracts frequently resulting in small amounts of urine leakage.
- Urinary tract infections or bladder tumors, or any condition that compresses the bladder from the outside.
- Urethral disorders in which the muscles that close the urethra fail to tightly contract, and urine leakage occurs. This is one of the more common causes and is often associated with hormone responsive urinary incontinence, urinary tract infection or inflammation, prostatic disease in male dogs, and vestibulovaginal anomaly in females.
- Anatomic abnormalities such as a congenital defect, an injury, or a surgery that has caused damage or altered the normal bladder function. Ectopic ureters , urethral hypoplasia, and vulvar or perivulvar conformation abnormalities are some of the anatomic abnormalities that can cause urinary incontinence.
- Urine retention results when a dog will not urinate due to stress, fear, or behavioral abnormality and ultimately urine leakage occurs when the pressure inside the bladder exceeds urethral outlet resistance.
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Making The Best Choice For You
Choosing the best incontinence underwear for you will likely boil down to three considerations: cost, convenience, and style preference. Because we believe semi-reusable products are the most cost-effective option, we encourage you to try out our Two-Piece System before throwing out your underwear with every change.
Our disposable or semi-reusable Protective Underwear delivers all the features necessary to keep you comfortable, dry, and secure. But if youre still uncertain, try using the Product Finder Tool on our website.
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.
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How Can I Manage Incontinence At Home
Incontinence can be uncomfortable and disruptive. It can cause sleeping problems, make you feel ashamed or angry, or affect your daily life in other ways. In addition to working with your health care team to find the best treatment, there are things you can do at home to help make incontinence better or more comfortable.
Limit how much you drink, especially coffee and alcohol. Avoid foods that can irritate the bladder, including dairy products, citrus fruits, sugar, chocolate, soda, tea, and vinegar.
Go to the bathroom right before bedtime and any vigorous activity.
Wear an absorbent pad inside your underwear or disposable incontinence underwear.
Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight can put pressure on the bladder and muscles that support it.
Go to the bathroom regularly each day. Do not wait too long or put off going.
Quit smoking. Nicotine can irritate the bladder. It can also make you cough and leak urine.
Do Kegel exercises. Ask your health care team about doing Kegel exercises at home. They can make your bladder stronger. To do Kegel exercises, first tighten the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine. Then, relax those muscles. Repeat the exercise several times. During this exercise, relax the muscles in your belly, buttocks, and thigh.
Finally, it can help to find support. Talk with your health care team or join a support group for people with bladder problems. It can help you feel better to know that other people are also dealing with incontinence.
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.