Urinary incontinence is the loss of control over one’s bladder. This problem can range in severity, but it is always uncomfortable and embarrassing. Incontinence affects people of all ages, but it is especially prevalent in women who have given birth and older women. Visit a vConfidence-certified doctor in Baltimore, MD to get the treatment you need.
What is Incontinence?
Incontinence is when a patient loses control over their bladder functions. However, there are multiple types of incontinence.
- Stress incontinence occurs when coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising, or excessive lifting creates stress on your bladder causing a leak. It is usually minor but can happen frequently. This type of incontinence affects up to 60% of women.
- Urge incontinence occurs because of an infection, a neurological condition, or diabetes. It is much more severe, and it creates a sudden, strong, and uncontrollable need to urinate.
- Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder does not completely release its contents, and the leftover urine expels itself unexpectedly. This type of incontinence does not give the patient a strong indication when the need to urinate arises.
- Overactive Bladder (or OAB) occurs when the bladder is overstimulated and causes the patient to urinate with excessive frequency.
Causes of Incontinence
Temporary urinary incontinence can affect a patient for a number of reasons and may not be indicative of anything serious and usually is able to fix itself. Things that can cause temporary incontinence include (but are not limited to) alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, chili peppers, blood pressure medications, heart medications, muscle relaxants, sedatives, and vitamin C. Except for the medications, you should try eliminating these from your routine and see if that helps.
Pregnancy, menopause, and a hysterectomy can also cause incontinence. While uncomfortable and embarrassing, this is relatively normal. A doctor can give advice on how to manage your symptoms, but a doctor might not be necessary.
It’s important to remember that incontinence can be indicative of more serious conditions such as prostate cancer, urinary cancer, and neurological damage. Incontinence can also cause rashes and UTIs. Go to a doctor when the symptoms become severe or there is no discernible reason behind it.
Managing and Preventing Incontinence
There are a number of things you can do to proactively prevent symptoms or if you start to notice symptoms. You can make sure you stay in your recommended BMI, use Kegels and other pelvic exercises, eat fiber, and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Treatment of Incontinence
Treatment varies depending on the severity and type of incontinence. Your doctor may simply recommend pelvic exercises and scheduling bathroom breaks. However, other treatments include electrical stimulation and medication. Popular medications are alpha blockers, mirabegron, topical estrogen, and antichronolniergics.
Contact a vConfidence-certified physician in Baltimore or throughout Maryland to help manage your incontinence symptoms. Schedule an appointment to discuss your incontinence struggles and learn more about treatment.
Dr. Maria Canter is a board-certified gynecologist and offers minimally invasive treatments in the Baltimore, MD area. She uses her education and expertise to find the best solution for every one of her patients, emphasizing the importance of comfort and education.