What Else Causes Bladder Control Problems In Women
- pregnancy and childbirth
Weak pelvic floor muscles can make it hard for your bladder to hold urine in during stress incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when an actioncoughing, sneezing, laughing, or physical activityputs pressure on your bladder and causes urine to leak. A weak pelvic floor can also cause fecal incontinence, or bowel control problems.
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The Difference Between Overactive Bladder And Uti
Two-thirds of women experience urinary tract discomfort. If youre one of them, you might be wondering if a urinary tract infection or an overactive bladder is the cause. Both urinary tract infection UTI and overactive bladder are characterized by a Read More
Two-thirds of women experience urinary tract discomfort. If youre one of them, you might be wondering if a urinary tract infection or an overactive bladder is the cause.
Both urinary tract infection UTI and overactive bladder are characterized by a strong, frequent urge to urinate. That can make it difficult to know if your symptoms are the result of an overactive bladder or UTI. In fact, research finds that many women with overactive bladder are often misdiagnosed with UTI, resulting in improper treatment and overuse of unnecessary antibiotics.
Despite their overlapping symptoms, UTI and overactive bladder are completely different conditions. Overactive bladder, as its name hints, happens when the bladder muscles contract excessively. A UTI, by comparison, is most often a bacterial infection of the bladder, although it can occasionally infect the kidneys.
How can you tell the difference between overactive bladder and UTI? Here are the symptoms, causes and treatments to know about.
International Prostate Symptom Score
Youll be asked to complete a questionnaire to assess your symptoms. Each question has five possible answers that carry a score, and your overall score is used to assess the severity of your symptoms.
The checklist includes the following questions.
Over the past month:
- How often have you had the sensation of not completely emptying your bladder after urinating?
- How often have you had to urinate again less than two hours after finishing urinating?
- How often have you found that you stopped and started again when urinating?
- How often have you found it difficult to postpone urination?
- How often have you had a weak stream of urine?
- How often have you had to push or strain to begin urinating during the course of one night?
- How often have you had to get up during the night to urinate?
After your GP has assessed the severity your symptoms, theyll aim to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms using certain tests.
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Is Bladder Training Right For Me
The decision to try bladder training depends on whats causing the problem. Bladder control training is typically used to treat urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine. Incontinence is most common in women, especially after childbirth and menopause. Different types of urinary incontinence exist, including:
- Stress incontinence: Sudden pressure on your abdomen causes you to accidentally lose urine.
- Urge incontinence: You feel a sudden, strong urge to go to the bathroom because your bladder contracts even when its not full. You may not always be able to reach the toilet in time.
- Mixed incontinence: A combination of stress and urge incontinence.
- Overflow incontinence: A problem emptying the bladder completely that leads to urine leakage.
Bladder retraining may also be used to treat bed-wetting in children.
Can Using Incontinence Pads Cause Utis
Multiple studies indicate that urine control pads are associated with an increased risk of UTIs, however, its not entirely clear what the reason is. In some cases, it may have to do with how long a pad is worn, while in other cases, its the environment caused by the pad that leads to a urinary tract infection.
Below, we outline some specific reasons your pads may be causing your UTI and what you can do to help prevent future infections.
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What Is A Typical Program
Often, programs begin with a four-week period of holding your urine for a set amount of time that is somewhat longer than your average voiding interval. For example, if you tend to void every 30 minutes, at your 30-minute mark, wait to void for 15 more minutes. Although the goal is to try to wait for the specified amount of time, even if you have the urge to void, go ahead and void if you have pain or discomfort before the time is up. On the other hand, if you feel the urge to urinate diminish after you wait, then try to keep waiting to stay on schedule.
Usually, after one month of training, you will increase your wait time, and after another month, you will increase it again. Although you will be trying to meet your voiding interval most of the time, it is okay if intervals are occasionally longer or shorter. Also, you dont need to practice this technique throughout the night. The progress that you make during the day will help you to achieve a better voiding pattern around the clock.
Help The One You Care For Use The Toilet
Toilets can be difficult to use for those who have a mobility problem, or another disability, and many people with medical health conditions have trouble completely emptying their bladder. This can cause problems since the remaining urine can act as a medium for bacteria. By helping your relative with good toilet habits, you can avoid an unnecessary risk of infection.
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Change Menstrual Pads Tampons Or Cups Frequently
Low-absorbency pads made of synthetic materials can expose your vulva to bacteria and increase your risk of infection. Using tampons can encourage bacteria to develop faster, so its important to change your tampon regularly. Tampons and menstrual cups may increase your risk of getting or worsening a UTI if its not positioned correctly. If it pushes on your urethra and traps your urine, bacteria can spread to the bladder. Changing the size or shape of a menstrual cup may help prevent recurrent UTIs.
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Risk Factors For Urinary Incontinence
Other conditions that can lead to incontinence in both males and females are:
- Other medical conditions, such as diabetes
- Neurological condition such as MS, spinal cord injuries, or Parkinsons disease
- Being overweight
- Obstructions along the urinary tract that block the flow of urine
- Certain medications
Issues Around Sexuality And Aging Must Be Recognized
Because of this, oth urinary incontinence and later-life sexuality are likely to be under-reported as coexisting health problems, said David Lee, MD, of Manchester Metropolitan University in England and the lead author in the ELSA study, in a press release. Given the relatively high occurrence of incontinence, particularly among women, healthcare professionals should be aware of the potential impacts on quality-of-life and well-being, and recognize that sexual activity and satisfaction are key factors in this equation.
How Urinary Tract Infection Can Cause Incontinence
UTI can have many complications that are associated with incontinence.
It is common for women who suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections to develop incontinence later in life. This is because the bladder becomes irritable and overactive due to damage to the pelvic floor muscles or nerves.
The pelvic floor muscles can also become weak and atrophied due to a urinary tract infection.
This is because the muscles have been overworked due to having to constantly hold in urine.
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How Is Incontinence Diagnosed
Often, the diagnosis process for incontinence will start with a conversation with your healthcare provider about your medical history and bladder control issues. Your provider might ask you questions like:
- How often do you urinate?
- Do you leak urine between trips to the toilet, how often does this happen and how much urine do you leak each time?
- How long have you been experiencing incontinence?
These questions can help your provider figure out a pattern with your leakage, which often points to a specific type of incontinence. When your provider is asking about your medical history, its important to list all of your medications because some medications can cause incontinence. Your provider will also ask about any past pregnancies and the details around each delivery.
There are also several specific tests that your provider might do to diagnose incontinence, including:
While at home, your provider might recommend you keep track of any leakage in a journal for a few days. By writing down how often you experience incontinence issues over the span of a few days, your provider might be able to identify a pattern. This can really help in the diagnosis process. Make sure to write down how often you need to urinate, how much you are able to go each time, if you leak between trips to the bathroom and any activities you might be doing when you leak urine. Youll then bring this journal with you to your appointment and talk about it with your provider.
What Are The Symptoms Of Constipation
One of the most obvious signs of constipation is having too few bowel movements. This may be different for everyone some people empty their bowels several times a day and some may only go a few times each week. What you should look for is any abnormalities in your own schedule. Typically, going longer than 3 days without having a bowel movement is too long, as your stool gets harder and more difficult to pass in that time.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Utis In The Elderly
The most common sign of a UTI is a painful, burning sensation while urinating. Other classic signs include frequent urination, pelvic pain, fever, chills, or blood or abnormal color in urine. But for older adults and the elderly, symptoms can be much more convoluted.
Some older adults have slower or suppressed immune responses, secondary conditions that mask symptoms, or conditions like Alzheimers or dementia that make it difficult to recognize or communicate symptoms. Any of these factors can make recognizing a UTI in an older adult significantly more difficult.
Keep an eye out for the following symptoms if youre unsure an elderly patient has a UTI:
Can Constipation Cause Incontinence
If you suffer from bladder leaks, you may notice that they get worse when you are constipated. Thats because when you are constipated, your colon becomes enlarged and places more pressure on your bladder. This in turn can make you feel like you have to go more urgently and more often, and may lead to more bladder leaks.
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Dont Wait To Get Help: Early Treatment = Better Outcomes
The silence is tragic because with medical help, most UI conditions can be cured or at least lessened and controlled. UI is easier to treat in early stages, and there are effective therapies for it. You should be seen by a urologist or a urogynecologist, says Dr. Dmochowski.
Here are some common forms of UI and their treatment options.
Stress incontinence Incontinence related to effort sneezing, laughing, lifting, jumping, or anything that increases abdominal pressure.
- Avoidance of caffeine and fluid intake reduction
- Bladder relaxant medications that suppress bladder spasms and contractions
- Interstim, a sacral nerve stimulator that acts like a pacemaker for the bladder. This is a minimally invasive surgical implant.
Mixed incontinence A combination of stress and urge incontinence.
- A combination of treatments used for both types of UIs generally bladder behavior retraining, a pelvic muscle exercise program, and biofeedback
When To See A Doctor For A Physical Exam
You should see a doctor if you are having difficulty getting an erection. You may have erectile dysfunction and an underlying condition that needs to be treated, such as high blood pressure. Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, risk factors, and medical history. They will also perform a physical examination. This will help your doctor to identify the cause of your problem. Your doctor will recommend the treatment that is best for you.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should see your doctor:
Its painful to have an erection.
Its painful to have an erection that lasts for a long time.
You are unable to achieve an erection.
You have an erection that lasts for a long time, but its painful.
You have an erection that lasts for too long, but its not painful.
A burning feeling when you get an erection.
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What Are The Treatment Options For Leaking Urine
Heres some really great news: Most patients can be cured or really well-managed with treatment, says Dr. Sheyn. The most common thing I hear from patients is, I wish I would have done this sooner.’
There are a lot of ways to treat leaking urine, but the best option for you will depend on which type of incontinence you have, how intrusive your symptoms are, what your treatment goals are, what your insurance covers, and whether you are interested in invasive or noninvasive treatment. Practical matters like time commitment and access to medical providers will also play a factor.
Here are some general treatment categories your doctor may discuss with you:
If treatment doesnt work, the Mayo Clinic points out that you can take measures to ease the discomfort and inconvenience of leaking urine, including wearing pads and protective garments to collect any leakage or using a catheter to drain your bladder.
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What Are The Different Types Of Urinary Tract Infections And Their Symptoms
A urinary tract infection may involve different sections of the urinary tract including the following:
- An infection of the urethra: The hollow tube that drains urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. Urethritis typically presents as painful urination or a more constant urethral pain not necessarily occurring with urination.
- A bacterial infection in the bladder: The most common type of UTI. It is associated with symptoms of painful urination, urinary frequency, urinary urgency, pain or pressure in the bladder, blood in the urine, and rarely fever. The urine may appear cloudy or foul smelling.
- An infection of the kidneys: Usually a result of an infection that has spread up the urinary tract from the bladder. It can be associated with kidney stones or obstruction in the urinary tract. Patients usually experience pain in the flank and it is often accompanied with fever and./or chills.
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Additional Factors To Consider When Utis Occur While Using Incontinence Pads
Now that weve covered the importance of using urine control pads versus menstrual pads, lets take a closer look at some additional factors that may be contributing to your UTI.
Perhaps youre already using the right pad , but are still experiencing the pain and discomfort of a UTI. Frustrating, right? We hope the suggestions below will prove helpful for the future.
#1: The Amount of Time Pads Are Worn
Can pads cause UTIs if theyre not changed often enough? Its possible.
Experts recommend changing your incontinence pad around four to six times daily, or whenever it gets wet.
Not only can you experience chafing and skin conditions if the pad is left too long, but youll also be contributing to bacteria growth and bad odors.
Pads designed for overnight use are recommended when sleeping. They tend to absorb more and provide additional coverage to avoid leakage when youre tossing and turning in your sleep.
Your incontinence pad should be changed immediately after waking up to avoid irritation or possible infection.
#2: Hand Hygiene
Your hands are hosts to all kinds of bacteria. When changing pads, its important to wash your hands before and after you handle the pad.
Its estimated that more than 75% of elderly patients in nursing care require assistance with using the toilet. Naturally, absorbent products such as pads and diapers are required.
Transmission of bacteria is associated with UTIs, making hand hygiene among nursing home staff extremely important.
How Does Bladder Retraining Work
Bladder retraining helps you to begin to hold more urine for longer periods of time. It is possible to train your bladder to do this by gradually increasing the time between each visit to the toilet.
This method sounds simple, however bladder retraining takes time and determination and will not work overnight. To have a chance of successful bladder retraining you must try and ignore the feeling that you need to go to the toilet for as long as possible.
If you can learn to ignore the feeling that you need to go straight away your bladder will begin to relax and will become less irritable. It is possible for you to be in control of your bladder and not the other way round.
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Can You Get A Uti From Sex
Sexually transmitted diseases can cause UTI-like symptoms, such as pain during urination. Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis can also cause an inflammation or the urethra, a condition known as urethritis. Unlike UTIs however, STDs are contagious so make sure you get a proper diagnosis if youâre considering having sex.
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