There are some medical conditions that don’t lend themselves to comfortable conversation either out of misunderstanding or embarrassment. It’s safe to say that bladder incontinence is one of those medical conditions. Bladder incontinence is the frustrating condition of being unable to control urination to varying degrees from frequent urgency all the way to soaking one’s clothes. While urinary control issues can be embarrassing and cause socially avoidant behavior, it’s important to know that this is a very common condition and many people suffer with incontinence issues. Women in particular have a tendency to suffer with bladder incontinence at different stages of their lives, which is why it’s important to speak with your urogynecologist if you’re beginning to develop issues or, worse, you’ve been living with them for some time.
The different kinds of bladder incontinence
While bladder incontinence often has the same end result, it’s important to point out there are a few different actual types. This is why your own individual situation may not line up exactly with someone else’s that you know or stories you have heard. Some women might experience some leakage on occasion while others are actually afraid to leave the house because they’ll saturate their clothing with enough regularity that it disrupts their entire lives. While severity varies, it’s important to get the facts on bladder incontinence and also talk to your urogynecologist about it because not only is incontinence a complicated condition, but it can also sometimes be a symptom of a different underlying issue that you’ll want your doctor to investigate.
The most common type of bladder incontinence is related to stress created by exertion. Stress incontinence is often related to common life events that many women experience, thereby increasing the chances of developing it with age. Probably the most common cause of stress incontinence is experiencing multiple childbirths, though that doesn’t mean it’s the only reason. Essentially, your muscles will reach a point where they’ll be weak enough that you’ll feel an urge to urinate when your body is put in a position of exertion. You may have the feeling you’re going to urinate after such otherwise innocuous events as lifting heavier objects, sneezing hard, or even laughing.
There is also urge incontinence which differs a bit from stress incontinence. This is the second most common type, but possibly the most frustrating not that any scenario is pleasant. Exertion isn’t the root cause behind urinary urges. Instead, it’s a near constant unprovoked feeling of having to go. This urgency is hard to manage and you may find yourself wetting your clothes with regularity. You absolutely want to speak to your urogynecologist in this situation for a few reasons. Of course, the obvious one is that it’s hard to live your life in constant fear that you’ll be embarrassed and need to excuse yourself from social situations. But there could be something more medically serious at work here as well. It’s important to note that isn’t always the case and in fact is probably unlikely. Often, bladder incontinence is a condition in and of itself, but not always, which is why it’s better to be safe than sorry. Some illnesses that can cause urge incontinence include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, or diabetes.
Getting the treatment you need
So, you understand bladder incontinence, the types, and why you should speak to your urogynecologist about it. But, what can actually be done? Where is the relief? Treatment can take on a few different forms and will often go for the simplest solutions and move on up to more complicated ones depending on how your body responds. Of course, wanting to avoid invasive procedures is always the goal but sometimes that is not possible. Your doctor may start by encouraging you to start doing more Kegels, which can strengthen the muscles, hopefully, to the point where your urges lessen. Some behavioral exercises may be put into place as well, depending on the severity of your urges. Cutting down on fluids, removing diuretics like caffeine, and other lifestyle changes will be suggested. Trying to train yourself to extend voiding your bladder by 10 minutes may strengthen the muscles along with Kegels.
For more severe cases, medication like alpha blockers will be prescribed to see if that can stop the urges. There are a variety of medication types and your urogynecologist can go over the options as well as evaluate the efficacy. Finally, there are certain surgical procedures or the insertion of medical devices that can be used to stop the incontinence. These options are usually deployed when all other methods are exhausted.
The first step to finding relief is getting answers. That’s why if you’re suffering with bladder incontinence, you should contact us todayand set up an appointment for a consultation. The team at UroGyn Specialists of Florida is here to treat you with friendliness and professionalism. Stop suffering with this treatable condition and get your life back.