If you have occasional bladder leakage but are too embarrassed to reveal this to your physician, you are not alone. Although this is a very common issue, it is believed that half of women do not report this to their doctor. Focus on the fact that bladder leakage is a treatable condition. Unless you want to battle this on your own for the rest of your life, read about the reasons why women should seek treatment for bladder leakage, and what those treatments are.
Types Of Bladder Leakage
Stress incontinence is an involuntary urine release while doing anything that puts stress on your bladder. It can be brought on by sneezing, coughing, laughing, bending over, or lifting heavy objects. Since most of these situations are usually in the company of others, yes, it can be quite embarrassing, especially if you’re not at home.
Other types of bladder leakage include the following:
- Urge incontinence is a condition with a sudden urge to urinate and then there is leakage.
- Functional incontinence occurs when a physical or mental issue prevents you from reaching the bathroom in time.
- Overflow incontinence is a situation where there is constant dribbling of urine because the bladder never completely empties.
- Mixed incontinence is when you have more than one type, usually a combination of stress and urge incontinence.
Common Causes Of Incontinence
Pelvic muscles which help to support your bladder and control urine release become weak as we age. They also can become weakened by a history of pregnancy or an injury.
In addition, alcohol, soda, chocolate, caffeine, smoking, and artificial sweeteners can contribute to incontinence.
Menopause and falling estrogen also increase the risk of incontinence along with certain drugs, and obesity which puts additional pressure on the bladder.
Treatments For Bladder Leakage
Before surgery is recommended, there are less invasive options.
Lifestyle changes are the first line of defense. Making more trips to the bathroom to reduce leaks, avoiding caffeine and other triggers, stopping smoking, and losing weight are all ways to reduce incontinence.
There are several medications which Dr. Pregenzer can prescribe to reduce the symptoms of incontinence.
Non-surgical treatments are available like the following:
- Kegel exercises after pregnancy can reduce the chances of developing stress incontinence.
- Pelvic floor muscle therapy with the aid of a physical therapist who is specifically trained in pelvic floor exercise.
- Biofeedback can reduce symptoms by increasing your awareness of your pelvic floor muscles.
- Vaginal pessary, or a ring placed inside the vagina to compress your urethra and support the bladder.
When all lifestyle, prescription meds and non-surgical treatments have been employed with little to no success, Dr. Pregenzer may suggest surgery. They may include the following:
- Injections into the urethra which contain bulking agents to thicken the area.
- Tension free vaginal tape is a mesh placed around the urethra for support.
- A vaginal sling is placed around the urethra to give additional support.
- Vaginal repair when the bladder is invading the vaginal canal.
- Retropubic suspension moves the bladder and urethra back into their normal places.
You don’t have to live with bladder leakage.
Talk with Dr. Pregenzer about your bladder leakage issues and find out what treatment will be best for you.