When should I see a healthcare professional?
If you’re experiencing incontinence symptoms, don’t let embarrassment keep you from getting the help that’s needed. Urinary incontinence can be a serious problem, particularly when it impacts the quality of your daily life and social interactions. The good news is: in most cases, urinary incontinence can be treated or cured.
Make an appointment with your primary care provider if:
- You’re embarrassed by urine leakage and avoid important activities because of it
- You often feel the urgency to urinate and need to rush to a bathroom
- You are unable to pass urine even though you feel the urge
- Your urine stream is weaker, or you feel your bladder isn’t emptying.
- You are experiencing pelvic or vaginal pain.
Many healthcare providers can evaluate bladder control problems without referring you to a specialist. However, some lack enough time in training in pelvic care, leading them to make wrong assumptions about the patient’s situation before recommending further evaluation from other specialists.
If your doctor dismisses symptoms that impact the quality of life, or if the prescribed treatments fail and you are not satisfied with these options, ask for a referral.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists are orthopedic professionals who have specialized training in assessing and treating conditions resulting from the dysfunction of pelvic muscles for both males and females.
A geriatrician is a medical doctor who specializes in the care of older adults, often emphasizing problems related to common quality-of-life issues such as urinary incontinence and vaginal dryness.
Urogynecologists are physicians who have completed medical school and a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology or Urology.
Urologists specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases affecting the genitourinary tract, such as the kidneys and bladder in both female and male bodies. They also specialize in male reproductive organs and are trained to treat diseases of these parts with surgical or medical techniques.
What causes bladder control problems in women?
There are certain life events and health problems that can weaken the pelvic floor muscles in females. Some common examples include:
- Pregnancy Or Childbirth
- Trauma Or Injury
- Cystocele And Organ Prolapse
The pelvic floor is made up of a group of muscles that support the uterus, bladder, and rectum. Weakness in this area can cause problems with urine or fecal incontinence. Activities such as lifting, running, and even laughing or coughing can put pressure on the bladder resulting in leakage.
Cystocele also known as a prolapsed, herniated, dropped or fallen bladder occurs when ligaments that hold your bladder up and the muscle between vagina weaken. This allows the bladder to sag into the vaginal canal.
What causes bladder control problems in men?
Males can develop urinary incontinence along with prostate problems. The prostate gland surrounds the opening of the bladder and gets bigger as a person ages. Prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia is when the prostate gets too big but is not cancerous. Males with an enlarged prostate may have:
• Problems With Starting To Urinate
• A Slow Urine Stream
• Problems Fully Emptying The Bladder
Those who have a history of prostate cancer may experience urinary
incontinence. Cancer can damage or block the passage to your bladder,
and surgery for treatment might also lead to nerve damage that causes
stress in some cases. Injuries from these procedures can heal over time,
What else causes bladder control problems in women and men?
There are many causes of urinary incontinence, including those with your nervous system and lifestyle factors.
- Bladder Infection
- Block Urinary Tract (For Example, Urinary Stone)
- Chronic Coughing
- Overweight Or Obesity
Some health problems can be short-term, like constipation or coughing. However, when these symptoms last for more than a few weeks, they may cause temporary incontinence.
Problems with your nervous system can cause several different conditions, including incontinence. For example, Neurogenic Bladder is a type of bladder dysfunction caused by nerve, brain, or spinal damage and affects the bladder and urination. It happens when the bladder’s muscles and nerves aren’t communicating properly with the brain.
Many conditions can affect the bladder nerves and muscles, including:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Certain Medications
- Multiple Sclerosis
Specific sensory triggers can cause a person’s bladders to leak, such as being in cold environments or hearing running water.
Can bladder leaks be fixed?
Treatments are different for each person and will depend on the type of incontinence you have. Some common treatments include pelvic floor training, medicines, a pessary, or a combination of these.
There are things you can do at home to control bladder leakage:
- Drink lots of water!
- Cut back on caffeinated and carbonated drinks
- Limit alcohol intake
- Eat foods high in fiber to avoid constipation
- Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels)
- Pelvic floor exercises using Femme Flexor
- Don’t smoke
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Keep track of your bladder symptoms
This may help you and your healthcare professional find the best treatment for you.
Is urine leakage a serious problem?
Bladder leakage isn’t just a medical problem; incontinence also impacts a person’s emotional wellbeing.
You may feel uncomfortable or shy discussing incontinence with your doctor. But if it’s frequent or affecting the quality of life, seeking medical advice is essential because bladder leakage can impact your overall mental health, such as restricting activities and limiting social interactions.
Many people think that incontinence is simply a sign of getting older or “normal” after childbirth. But it doesn’t have to be, and you can manage or treat your symptoms to live life fully!
How do you fix a weak bladder?
There are several things you can do at home to manage and treat a weak bladder. The best course of treatment will depend on the type of incontinence you have. A medical professional can help you find the cause of your bladder leakage.
Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels):
Pelvic floor exercises are an effective way to reduce leaks, but you must do them correctly. Pelvic floor exercises need to be done regularly and mindfully to be effective. Using the Femme Flexor adds gentle resistance to your pelvic floor exercises for more effective workouts.
Avoid high-impact exercises and any exercise that puts pressure on your pelvic floor muscles, which could lead to leaks. Try strengthening these areas with Pilates, yoga, or swimming instead so you can relieve symptoms of incontinence!
Lose excess weight:
Maintaining a healthy weight for your body type is optimal. Being overweight can weaken your pelvic floor muscles and cause incontinence because of the extra pressure on your bladder. Your symptoms may improve if you lose excess weight. Talk to a doctor before starting any diet, especially those that are very restricting or lead towards rapid weight loss. The slow-and-steady approach will give the best results; going too fast risks having complications which could end up costing more down the road – so pace yourself accordingly!
Straining to poop weakens your pelvic floor muscles and makes urinary incontinence worse. If you struggle with constipation, it may help to eat a high fiber diet, including lots of water, while exercising for at least 30 minutes per day.
Cut down on caffeine and carbonated drinks:
Caffeine and carbonated drinks can irritate the bladder and make incontinence worse. So, limit your coffee and pop intake; try switching to decaf and herbal teas instead!
Cutting down on alcohol may help you get more control over your incontinence symptoms. Alcohol is a diuretic that makes people urinate more frequently; cutting back can lead to less urine and better bladder pressure for people who have issues with it!
Drink plenty of water:
Many people with urinary incontinence limit their fluid intake to avoid frequent trips to the bathroom. However, restricting your fluid intake can cause constipation and make the condition worse.
Eat the right foods:
Avoid spicy and acidic foods to help prevent leaks. Curries, citrus fruits are just a few examples of items you should avoid if your bladder is sensitive.
Why is my urine leaking?:
There are two main types of incontinence: Stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Often bladder leakage happens due to weakened pelvic floor muscles, but pelvic floor tightness can also cause leakage. If you are unsure about the sources of your incontinence, it is best to check with a medical professional.