How To Stop Incontinence How Can I Stop Urinary Incontinence
A: There are a couple of ways that one could go about trying to stop incontinence, however there is no guarantee that any given treatmentwill totally cure you. Depending on your type, severity and cause of incontinence your treatment and likelihood of stopping symptoms will change. The most common options for stopping incontinence all together are either behavioral changes, such as changes in diet and weight, or surgeries to fix anatomical issues with the bladder. Your healthcare provider will be able to best advise you on the options available to treat and/or manage your type of incontinence. Your primary care physician may also refer you to a urologist or urogynecologist for consultation about treatment or potential cures.
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Treatment Options For Urgency Incontinence:
- Pelvic floor physical therapy This therapy helps to retrain the bladder.
- Medications A range of medications can help you hold your bladder for longer and decrease your urinary frequency symptoms.
- Botox injections in the bladder Botox relaxes the wall of your bladder in order to prevent it from contracting when itÃ¢s not supposed to.
- Peripheral nerve stimulation This treatment uses a needle to stimulate a nerve in your foot that travels up the leg to the spine, where it connects with the bladder and calms it down.
- Sacral neural modulation In this outpatient surgical procedure, a bladder pacemaker is implanted to help control how the bladder is stimulated by the sacral nerve.
Ã¢Regardless of which type of incontinence youÃ¢re experiencing, itÃ¢s important to get evaluated simply because there are so many options for treating urinary incontinence,Ã¢ says Dr. Lindo. Ã¢We always start with conservative treatment approaches, but if those donÃ¢t work, you donÃ¢t have to continue to suffer. We can help to improve your quality of life.Ã¢
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What Are The Causes Of Stress Incontinence
One of the main functions of the pelvic floor muscles is to support our organs, bladder included, and hold urine in. During activities like sneezing, coughing, or running, downward pressure on the bladder and pelvic floor increases.
In a perfect world, the pelvic floor muscles have to be strong and fast enough to contract upwards and close down the urethra, so urine doesnt leak out when that downward pressure gets too high.
If there are any problems in the pelvic floor muscles, like weakness, for example they arent able to do their job correctly and the urethra stays open. Weakness or pelvic floor muscle dysfunction can be from childbirth , pregnancy, low back pain, poor posture, chronic constipation, and others.
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Male Pelvic Floor Muscles
If either medicine or physiotherapy dont work, surgery to support your bladder and urethra is an option for some types of urinary incontinence.
There are also things you can do to reduce the impact of urinary incontinence. You can train your bladder to improve control and increase the amount of urine you can hold. Talk to your doctor or incontinence health professional about a bladder training program.
If you are caring for someone with incontinence, make sure they can access the toilet easily and that its clearly signposted. Make sure their clothing is easy to remove and monitor their routine so you can remind them to go to the toilet regularly. You can read more about caring for someone with incontinence on the Continence Foundation of Australia website.
How To Fix Stress Incontinence
If you are experiencing incontinence of any kind, first discuss symptoms with your medical provider to ensure you are receiving a thorough examination to rule out any complications. Once you have established your symptoms are due to stress incontinence and weak pelvic floor, muscle training should begin in order to prevent urine leakage and improve overall pelvic health.
The first line of treatment to prevent and correct stress urinary incontinence is to strengthen the pelvic floor with pelvic floor muscle training . Adding pelvic floor exercises to your daily routine is the most effective remedy to strengthen your pelvic floor especially when using Femvaults.
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Fast Facts On Urinary Incontinence
- Urinary incontinence is more common in females than in males.
- There are a number of reasons why urinary incontinence can occur.
- Obesity and smoking are both risk factors for urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence is when a person cannot prevent urine from leaking out.
It can be due to stress factors, such as coughing, it can happen during and after pregnancy, and it is more common with conditions such as obesity.
The chances of it happening increase with age.
Bladder control and pelvic floor, or Kegel, exercises can help prevent or reduce it.
Treatment will depend on several factors, such as the type of incontinence, the patients age, general health, and their mental state.
What Is Stress Urinary Incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence is a leakage of urine during moments of physical activity that increases abdominal pressure, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise. SUI is the most common type of urinary incontinence in women.
SUI can happen when pelvic tissues and muscles, which support the bladder and urethra, become weak and allow the bladder âneckâ to descend during bursts of physical activity. This descent can prevent the urethra from working properly to control the flow of urine. SUI can also occur when the sphincter muscle that controls the urethra weakens. The weakened sphincter muscle is not able to stop the flow of urine under normal circumstances and when there is an increase in abdominal pressure. Weakness may occur from pregnancy, childbirth, aging, or prior pelvic surgery. Other risk factors for SUI include chronic coughing or straining, obesity and smoking.
It is important for you to consult with your health care provider for proper diagnosis of SUI.
Image Source: National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse
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Pelvic Floor Muscle Training
Also known as Kegel exercises, these exercises can strengthen your urinary sphincter and pelvic floor muscles. These exercises can both improve stress incontinence, and prevent the condition from worsening. They can also help suppress the urge to urinate. In order to see tangible results, exercises must be done regularly and with the correct technique. Sometimes, it might help to initiate the program with specialized trained physical therapist.
Botulinum Toxin A For Overactive Bladder
Overactive Bladder symptoms are caused by the bladder muscle squeezing to empty out urine inappropriately, even when the bladder isnât full. This causes urgency and incontinence. It often happens without warning and when you do not want it to for example, when hearing the sound of running water, or putting the key into the latch.
Initial treatment involves bladder training exercises with a physiotherapist, and lifestyle changes including relaxation techniques and removing bladder irritants from your diet. There are medications called Anticholinergics that are excellent at calming the bladder muscle and giving you more control. However, if these treatments fail, then BOTA is an option.
BOTA is injected under cystoscopic vision into the bladder muscle. It works by relaxing the muscle of the bladder wall , reducing urinary urgency and incontinence. Following treatment, the effect of the toxins effects last for several months before the muscles return to their normal strength .
It is a day-stay procedure and you can return to work once you recover from the anaesthetic . It usually requires repeat treatments.
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What Are The Types Of Urinary Incontinence
More than half of people with stress incontinence also have urge incontinence. Having both stress and urge incontinence is known as mixed incontinence. An overactive bladder causes urge incontinence. This type of urinary incontinence causes you to leak urine when you feel an urgent need to pee.
Overflow incontinence is a different type of urinary incontinence. It causes you to leak urine because your bladder is too full or you cant completely empty it.
Do The Right Exercises
High-impact exercise and sit-ups put pressure on your pelvic floor muscles and can increase leaks.
To strengthen your pelvic floor to relieve symptoms, replace high-impact exercise, such as jogging and aerobics, with strengthening exercise, such as pilates.
Pilates strengthens your core muscles, which is beneficial for stress incontinence.
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Transvaginal Needle Suspension Procedures
Transvaginal needle suspension techniques evolved as a minimally invasive alternative to the retropubic procedures for SUI due to urethral hypermobility. The original transvaginal needle suspension was first described by Armand Pereyra, MD, in 1959.57 Since then, however, many modifications of this procedure have been reported. The common feature of each of these modifications is that the anterior abdominal wall fascia is not incised and the suspending sutures are passed through the retropubic space from the vagina to the anterior abdominal wall with a specialized long ligature passer.
Advantages to the transvaginal approach include the avoidance of a large, transfascial abdominal incision shorter operative times less postoperative discomfort shorter hospital stay and the ability to repair coexisting vaginal pathology through the same or slightly extended incision. Disadvantages include a potentially lower long-term cure rate49 poor intraoperative visualization risk of injury to the bladder and urethra during blind passage of the needles through the retropubic space risk of significant bleeding in the retropubic space with poor operative access from the vaginal incisions and, lastly, infection or erosion of a foreign body if suture buttresses are utilized .
Why Does Urinary Incontinence Happen
There are two main types of urinary incontinence:
- Stress incontinence
- Urge incontinence
“Stress incontinence occurs when your pelvic floor muscles the muscles that support your bladder and urethra weaken, either due to childbirth or over time,” says Dr. Lindo.
If you’re experiencing stress incontinence, you might find yourself leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, exercise or lift something heavy.
“Urge incontinence, on the other hand, occurs when the bladder muscle squeezes to empty out urine when it is not supposed to. It may be due to the amount or type of fluids you drink, resulting in spasms,” explains Dr. Lindo. “Additionally, urgency incontinence can sometimes be a sign of a larger health complication, such as a bladder infection.”
With urge incontinence, you likely experience an overwhelming, sudden need to urinate and leak urine before you can make it to the bathroom.
“For many women the exact cause of their urge urinary incontinence is unknown,” adds Dr. Lindo. “However, there are many treatments that can help you manage symptoms.”
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Personal Stories About Choosing Treatments To Manage Stress Incontinence
These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.
I started having stress incontinence after my son was born. After I had my second child, it got worse. I feel like I am way too young to be wearing pads or diapers, and I worry that other people will notice the smell. My doctor showed me how to do some exercises to strengthen the muscles that help hold urine in. I know other women who have been helped by them. I am glad to have options other than surgery.
Tina, age 39
I thought I had tried everything for my stress incontinence. I can manage it most of the time, but when I jog, I get quite a bit of dribbling. I went to my doctor to find out whether there was anything I hadnât tried or whether surgery was my only other option. We talked about a lot of options, like pelvic floor exercises and wearing a tampon when I jog to put a little pressure on my urethra and stop the leaking. I am going to give those methods a try.
Ever since I was in my 20s, I have leaked a little bit of urine when I cough or sneeze or exercise. After I had my kids, it seemed to get worse. I really wanted a solution that would take care of the problem all the time. Even though there are some risks, my doctor and I agreed that surgery was a reasonable choice for me.
Faith, age 39
Carrie, age 55
Faqs: Stress Urinary Incontinence
Weve compiled some of the most common questions that women ask when learning about stress urinary incontinence. Read for yourself or find a specialist today to learn more about stress urinary incontinence solutions and treatments.
What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the loss of voluntary control over your urinary functions. Approximately 18 million women in the U.S. suffer from urinary incontinence2. Thats 1 in 4 women over the age of 18.2
Are there different types of urinary incontinence?
Yes. The most common types are stress, urge and mixed, which is a combination of the two. Stress incontinence happens when urine leaks during coughing, laughing or exercise because the urethra does not function properly. Urge incontinence involves the sudden sensation of the need to urinate that can be hard to put off the sudden urge to go. Mixed is a combination of stress and urge incontinence.3
What causes female stress urinary incontinence?
Female stress incontinence generally occurs when your pelvic muscles are not strong enough to keep the opening of the bladder neck closed when theres pressure on your bladder from laughing, coughing, lifting, exercising or other activities that cause abdominal pressure. It can slowly develop as you age and may be the result of a specific event such as childbirth, or be a result of smoking, obesity or other previous tissue traumas in the area.1114
Can stress urinary incontinence be successfully treated?
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What Are Stress Incontinence Treatments For Men
Men are most likely to develop incontinence after prostate cancer surgery. Stress incontinence treatments for men include:
- Condom catheters cover the penis and have a catheter at the tip to drain urine into a bag. This would catch the leakage but not prevent it.
- Male sling procedure to place a surgical mesh sling that supports the urethral bulb .
- Surgery to place an artificial sphincter device that keeps the urethra closed until you press a pump to open the device to pee.
Treatment For Urge Incontinence
There are several different types of treatment for urge incontinence.
- Bladder training. This is usually the first treatment. Youll be asked to do it for six weeks to see if it works. The training includes lengthening the time between planned visits to the toilet. Distraction and relaxation techniques help you control the urge to pee.
- Medicines. Your doctor may offer medicines called anticholinergics . These help to stop the muscle in your bladder from tightening when it shouldnt. They can take about a month to work and can cause a dry mouth and constipation. But these can be signs that the medicine is working.
If these treatments dont work, there are other options.
- Botulinum toxin A. This is injected into the wall of your bladder. It helps to stop the muscle in your bladder being overactive.
- Nerve stimulation. This involves sending electrical signals to the nerves that control your bladder.
- Surgery. There are two main types of surgery for urge incontinence. One involves making your bladder bigger . The other redirects urine away from your bladder into a bag . Both are major operations and only used if other treatments havent worked.
Each treatment comes with risks and benefits. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options. Make sure you have all the information you need to decide whats best for you.
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Do Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
Strong pelvic floor muscles hold in urine better than weak muscles. You can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by doing Kegel exercises. These exercises involve tightening and relaxing the muscles that control urine flow. Researchers found that women who received pelvic floor muscle training had fewer leaks per day than women who didnt receive training.6 You should not do pelvic floor exercises while youre urinating.
Men can also benefit from pelvic floor muscle exercises. Strengthening these muscles may help a man leak urine less often, especially dribbling after urination.
A health care professional, such as a physical therapist trained in pelvic floor therapy, can help you get the most out of your Kegel exercises by helping you improve your core muscle strength. Your core includes your torso muscles, especially the lower back, pelvic floor muscles, and abdomen. These muscles keep your pelvis lined up with your spine, which helps with good posture and balance. Your physical therapist can show you how to do some exercises during daily activities, such as riding in a car or sitting at a desk.
You dont need special equipment for Kegel exercises. However, if you are unsure whether you are doing the exercises correctly, you can learn how to perform Kegel exercises properly by using biofeedback, electrical stimulation, or both. Biofeedback uses special sensors to measure muscle contractions that control urination.
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Choice Of Intervention In Sui
Many factors should be considered when determining the optimal therapy for a patient with SUI. These include the etiology and type of SUI bladder capacity renal function sexual function severity of the leakage and degree of bother to the patient the presence of associated conditions, such as vaginal prolapse, or concurrent abdominal or pelvic pathology requiring surgical correction prior abdominal and/or pelvic surgery and, finally, the patients suitability for, and willingness to accept, the costs, risks, morbidity, and success rates associated with each intervention. The decision to treat symptomatic SUI with surgery should be made when the patients degree of inconvenience and/or compromised lifestyle are great enough to warrant an elective operation and nonsurgical therapy is either not desired or has been previously ineffective.
There is no optimal therapy for all patients with SUI. However, the selection of an appropriate intervention for a properly motivated patient will most often result in an adequate improvement in symptoms. Oftentimes, the choice of intervention is made by the patient after appropriate diagnostic evaluation and counseling. Several therapeutic approaches may be appropriate for each patient with SUI. Interventions for one type of urinary incontinence, especially SUI, may not be applicable to other types of urinary incontinence .8
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