What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is a debilitating and sometimes embarrassing condition that can make you lose control of your bladder. In some cases, you might leak urine during physical activity or when you cough or sneeze. In more severe cases, you might urinate completely unexpectedly for no reason at all and will be unable to make it to the toilet in time.
When should I see a medical professional?
If urinary incontinence is disrupting your everyday life, it might be embarrassing but it’s important to speak to a medical professional because it could:
- Point to a more serious underlying condition
- Limit your social life
- Increase the risk of injury to older adults when they rush to a toilet
- Be easily resolved and you’re suffering for no reason
At Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare, we’re sensitive to your needs and will put you at ease in a comfortable, relaxing environment.
What causes urinary incontinence?
Temporary urinary incontinence can be caused by your reaction to certain foods or medications that stimulate your bladder, including:
- Carbonated drinks and sparkling water
- Artificial sweeteners
- Chili peppers
- Spicy foods, sugar or acid
- Heart and blood pressure medications, sedatives, and muscle relaxants
Urinary incontinence can also be caused by easily treatable medical conditions like urinary tract infections and constipation. Underlying physical conditions or changes you might be experiencing can also lead to urinary incontinence. These include:
- Prostate cancer
- Neurological disorders
By going over your detailed symptoms, your medical history, performing a physical and/or pelvic exam, and possibly calling for testing, our team of nurse-midwives and physicians can determine the cause.
How do you treat urinary incontinence?
We will develop a treatment plan with you that works for you and your specific symptoms and lifestyle factors.
Pelvic floor exercises can help strengthen your pelvic muscles and restore bladder control.
Bladder training or even scheduled bathroom trips can help with urinary incontinence.
Simple lifestyle changes like dieting and fluid management can also help. You might need to cut back on certain foods and alcohol.
Your healthcare team can counsel you and be a constant well of resources and guidance to get your life back on track so this condition doesn’t restrict you from living life to the fullest.