Urinary incontinence can make you avoid road trips, jumping jacks, and long hikes for fear you might leak urine or not find a bathroom in time to relieve yourself. Urinary incontinence affects women more often than men, but men can still struggle with the involuntary leakage of urine.
It’s normal to feel self-conscious about urinary incontinence; after all, who wants to experience leaks? However, in many cases, there are things you can do to lessen your episodes. Often simple lifestyle changes help, and in other cases, you need help from a medical professional like W. Cooper Buschemeyer III, MD, of Buschemeyer Urology.
If you’re embarrassed about your urinary incontinence, here’s what you can do.
All about urinary incontinence
When you experience urinary incontinence, your leakage of urine can range from small accidents to large amounts that require a change in clothing.
You might experience urinary incontinence due to muscle dysfunction, injury to the part of the brain that signals your bladder to empty, or infection.
Stress-related urinary incontinence means that a triggering event, like a sneeze or jump, results in urine leakage. Stress incontinence often results from changes in your anatomy due to childbirth, prostate surgery, or injury. You experience muscle weakness, urinary sphincter dysfunction, or alterations in the anatomy of the pelvis that alter your ability to control your bladder.
Urge incontinence describes when you have a sudden need to go to the bathroom and just can’t hold it. You may find yourself losing a large amount of urine at once.
Functional incontinence describes when you have trouble controlling urine due to a physical impairment. Patients regularly experience more than one type of incontinence.
What can I do about incontinence?
Stress incontinence responds well to exercises that strengthen the pelvic muscles and urinary sphincter. Known as Kegels, these help you develop greater awareness of the muscles involved in urination and how you can control them.
Dr. Buschmeyer also offers electrical stimulation to activate the muscles involved in urination and build their strength. The electrical stimulation also sends information to help stimulate the nerves around your bladder that tell the brain it’s time to go.
He may also recommend minor surgery if you need a fix of an underlying structural issue. Surgery involves the implantation of a medical device, like a catheter, that helps drain urine from your bladder. Urethral inserts that help prevent leakage and vaginal pessary rings that provide pressure to lessen leakage are other successful surgical treatments.
Urge incontinence can often be controlled with lifestyle adjustments. Dr. Buschemeyer recommends eliminating caffeine and other bladder stimulants. Strategically planning your bathroom visits is another tactic to reduce instances of urge incontinence. Make visiting the bathroom regularly a habit; don’t wait for the urge to hit.
If necessary, he can offer medications to help you better control your bladder. These may include bladder Botox® injections.
Urinary incontinence can be quite distressing, so if you need help, contact Buschemeyer Urology at either the Conroe, Willis, or The Woodlands, Texas, offices. Call or use this website to schedule an appointment.