Urinary incontinence is the accidental or uncontrolled release of urine from your bladder. In and of itself, incontinence doesn’t constitute a significant medical problem, but it can be an embarrassing condition to deal with, and one that can have a severely negative impact on your life.
There are two types of incontinence:
- Stress incontinence: usually occurs when you apply sudden pressure on your bladder, such as when you cough, sneeze, laugh, or exercise.
- Urge incontinence: an urge to urinate, even when your bladder isn’t full, but you can’t get to the bathroom in time. Women with urge incontinence may accidentally leak urine.
What causes incontinence?
Many conditions can lead to incontinence, chief among them:
- Menopause and age: your vaginal muscles weaken over time and are unable to support your bladder
- Pregnancy: extra pressure on your bladder can cause stress incontinence
- Overactive bladder: a typical condition that falls under urge incontinence
- Weight gain: added pressure on your bladder
- Brain conditions such as Parkinson’s or a stroke: contributes to overactive bladder, which pushes urine out of your bladder involuntarily
- Irritation of the bladder: inflammation of the bladder can cause urge incontinence
What are the treatments for incontinence?
There is no cure for incontinence, but there are many ways to treat it, including:
- Medications: Some prescription medications can relieve overactive bladder symptoms.
- Exercises: Kegel exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor help keep your bladder supported.
- Weight: Maintaining a healthy weight can go a long way toward correcting and preventing incontinence.
- Caffeine: Cutting back on caffeinated drinks, such as coffee or tea, may help relieve incontinence.
- Bladder training: Train your bladder to empty at several intervals throughout the day. Also, you can slowly train your bladder to wait longer to be emptied.
Often, treating urinary incontinence involves an approach that uses several of the methods listed above. We offer in-office pelvic floor rehabilitation and urodynamic testing. Depending on your situation, the OB/GYNs at Fort Lauderdale Women Care create a plan that best suits your situation, and gets you back to your active lifestyle without worrying about embarrassing mishaps.