Featured Image Caption: Senior Citizen in Park
Many women and some men experience urinary incontinence as they age. It can also happen or worsen because of childbirth or other experiences. The problem may be a urethra that doesn’t tighten enough or a bladder that constricts when it shouldn’t. It can also occur when you’re not able to urinate and the urine overflows. Here’s some advice for dealing with urinary incontinence, a major health issue that can be embarrassing and upsetting no matter when it happens.
Self-treatment may work for infrequent or minor inability to control urination. Losing weight if you’re overweight or obese can reduce systems. You may find that avoiding certain foods like tomatoes and grapefruits and certain drinks including alcohol and caffeine help. Additionally, you can try Kegel exercises to strengthen bladder muscles, behavior modification to gradually increase time between toilet visits, and you need to reduce your fluid intake. All these things should help you with your urinary incontinence, but give them time to help, remember that. YOu might have to work at it for a few months or more to really make some progress.
Overcome Treatment Reluctance
Because urinary incontinence is a major health issue that can impact your quality of life and your ability to participate in normal activities, you might need to see a doctor. Even if self-treatment helps, a medical professional can determine the underlying cause of your urinary incontinence and recommend the best treatment. Doctors deal with this condition frequently and are trained to treat you with dignity and respect, so there’s no reason to feel apprehensive or reluctant to seek treatment.
Explore Non-Surgical Treatments First
Some people avoid getting treated for incontinence because they think there’s nothing that a doctor can do for it. Non-surgical treatments are available in many cases that reduce bladder leakage, strengthen the pelvic floor, reduce urination urgency, and help you sleep through the night without an incident. They may include low-dose vaginal estrogen, a removable vaginal pessary to treat pelvic organ prolapse, or medication for overactive bladder. Other things can help as well, just ask your doctor what options might work best for you and your individual situation.
Turn to Surgical Procedures
Surgical options are often successful for stubborn cases of urinary incontinence that don’t respond to less invasive treatments. Options involving surgery or an invasive procedure include insertion of a suburethral sling, sacral nerve stimulation, and Botox injections into the bladder. For incontinence from an accident or cancer, doctors may be able to insert an artificial urinary sphincter or perform bladder reconstruction. Depending on the type of incontinence you have, other options may be available. Surgical procedures are useful when nothing else is working for the patient.
Urinary incontinence isn’t necessarily a permanent condition and isn’t something to be embarrassed about or hide from your doctor. Treatments are available to reverse or control the condition in many cases. You may be surprised how many good options are available to get your symptoms of this inconvenient and disconcerting health issue under control so you can get back into life.
By Anita Ginsburg
who is a freelance writer and residing in Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing.