A leaky bladder, or urinary incontinence, can range from a slight, involuntary loss of urine to larger, uncontrolled amounts of wetting. Adult men and women of all ages can experience the condition, but it becomes more common after the age of 50.
A leaky bladder interferes with your quality of life. Social occasions, intimate relations, and exercise can all be negatively affected if your bladder leaks.
You don’t have to buy stock in adult diapers and just accept a leaky bladder. At Buschemeyer Urology, board-certified W. Cooper Buschemeyer, III, MD, offers treatments that include nerve stimulation, medications, behavioral and physical therapy, and surgery to help you feel more in control of your bladder.
Why do I have a leaky bladder?
A leaky bladder is common among older people, but it’s not inevitable as you age. Women are more likely to suffer a leaky bladder due to changes in the physical structure and tissues of the pelvic area during pregnancy, childbirth, and hormonal changes that occur during menopause.
Specific diseases, use of medication, and dietary habits can contribute to a leaky bladder. Sometimes, the condition is temporary, such as when it occurs due to a urinary tract infection or overconsumption of caffeine.
Urinary incontinence can come in the form of stress incontinence. This type occurs when activities raise the pressure inside your abdomen, causing urine to leak through weakened muscles near your bladder. Stress incontinence happens when you sneeze, laugh, or jump, for example.
Urge incontinence is another form of urinary incontinence. This form is a result of your brain, spinal cord, and bladder not communicating properly, so you don’t hold and release urine at the right time.
It’s possible to have both stress and urge incontinence together.
How do I stop a leaky bladder?
In many cases, simple lifestyle changes help you regain full bladder control. We can assist you with these changes that include dietary adjustments and physical therapy.
For example, avoiding certain foods and drinks, like alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, corn syrup, and spicy foods can help you ease a leaky bladder. If you’re overweight, losing weight may help ease symptoms of stress incontinence.
We here at Buschemeyer Urology can also teach you specific physical exercises to train the muscles around your bladder. These include Kegel exercises that help strengthen certain muscles in your pelvis responsible for holding your urine in. The Knack is a type of Kegel that you do at the moment of coughing or sneezing that causes leakage.
Are there medical interventions for a leaky bladder?
If physical therapy and lifestyle changes aren’t helpful in reducing your instances of urinary leaking, we can offer treatments like medications that help increase your bladder’s capacity, reduce feelings of urgency, and promote better emptying.
Dr. Buschemeyer may also recommend a pessary, a small rubber device that you wear inside the vagina to prevent leakage. Surgical insertion of a mesh or sling to support the area where leaking occurs is another option. We also have advanced technology that includes pelvic floor electrical stimulation to stimulate muscle contractions and retrain your pelvic floor to hold urine in as well as biofeedback to help you gain awareness of your pelvic muscles.
Don’t just live with a leaky bladder, contact Buschemeyer Urology, to set up a consultation and learn about treatment options. Call one of the Texas offices of Buschemeyer Urology today or use this website to arrange your appointment.