Why You Shouldn’t Let Leaky Bladder Affect Your Life Anymore
Do you or anyone you know experience involuntary leakage of urine and just aren’t sure what to do about it? This condition commonly called urinary incontinence can interfere with one’s daily life in so many aspects – social, sports and even romance.
It is disheartening to learn that many would rather choose to suffer in silence than to talk about it, despite so many management strategies and treatments easily available. After all, urinary incontinence is also medical condition that deserves understanding and attention.
To shed some light on this topic, today we are going to answer all the questions that you may have regarding urinary incontinence. How common is it? What are the causes? Who are affected? Are there any effective solutions out there?
How common is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is more common than you may think. It affects millions of people, both men and women.
Who is more likely to have urinary incontinence?
Women experience this condition far more often than men. It is estimated that 30% percent of women aged between 30-60 suffer from urinary incontinence, while it only affects 1.5-5% of men. Studies also show that 1 in 4 women will undergo this problem sometime in their life.
Why does urinary incontinence affect more women than men?
Women have more unique health events than men that cause higher risk of getting urinary incontinence. Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause may affect the pelvic floor muscle that is meant to support the surrounding organs including urethra, uterus and bladder. These events can cause extra stress and pressure to the pelvic floor muscles, resulting in the bladder losing its original control. The female urethra is also shorter than male’s, meaning there is less muscle to keep the urine in.
What causes urinary incontinence?
Weak pelvic floor muscle is usually the suspect
Pelvic floor muscles can get weakened by pressure caused by life events such as childbirth, being overweight or pregnant. It can also be caused by activities such as coughing, sneezing, jumping or lifting heavy objects that can stress the inside of your abdomen. When the pelvic floor muscle is weak, it provides less support to the bladder that is responsible to hold or release urine.
Some people may suffer urinary incontinence due to nerve issues. It is when your nerves lose the ability to send the right signals to hold or release urine at the right timing. This nerve damage could be caused by other health conditions such as diabetes and stroke.
Urinary incontinence can also sometimes happen temporarily, and this is often caused by less serious factors like caffeine intake, or bladder infections. The bladder control usually returns once everything goes back to normal.
When to seek medical advice?
See a doctor as soon as you realise that you have urinary incontinence (there’s nothing to be embarrassed about!) Getting your condition addressed will help you find effective and suitable solutions to treat the condition, before it worsens.
What are the treatments to solve urinary incontinence?
Is regaining bladder control possible? Yes, with the right management strategies and treatments, you may regain control of your bladder, and live your life like normal again!
Watch your diet and observe
Some foods can irritate the bladder and trigger the condition even more. Caffeinated drinks or food, spicy food, alcohol, tomato-based products, carbonated drinks, and chocolates are considered as bladder-irritants. Gradually cut these foods from your diet and see if the condition improves.
Train your bladder
Depending on the type of urinary incontinence you are facing, you may work around how your bladder works by recognising the patterns. For an overactive bladder, determine the number of times you urinate, and try to ‘schedule’ the timing. For example, you start by going to the toilet every hour, and gradually lengthen the time to every two hours between trips to train your bladder to urinate less frequently.
Kegels to train your pelvic floor muscles
Help your pelvic floor muscles regain its ability to support the bladder by doing Kegels exercises. Refer to health practitioners to ensure you are doing it right. Or you could try alternative treatment such as Emsella that can definitely have the Kegels done for you right and easily, and you get much more contractions while you are comfortably sitting down.
Emsella is an FDA-approved non-invasive and non-surgical treatment for urinary incontinence that helps you do Kegels in a much more efficient, comfortable way. Emsella is done with you sitting down on a chair-like machine while you remain fully clothed.
Reduce those extra pounds
If you are overweight and experiencing urinary incontinence, losing those extra pounds may help. This is because excessive body weight puts more pressure on the abdomen and bladder, causing the condition. It is also found that overweight and obese people who
managed to reduce weight observe less leakage episodes.
The Retreat Clinic also offers body slimming and contouring #BodybyRetreat programme. It helps to reduce fats effectively, tone and strengthen muscles and tighten the skin. Using a combination of treatments that is customised to each patient’s personal needs, #BodybyRetreat does not only help people to look good, but also to manage a healthy body.
Depending on the type of urinary incontinence and severeness of the condition, your doctor may prescribe medications that can help with the urgency.
How can we prevent urinary incontinence?
Although urinary incontinence is not something that we can fully prevent, there are certain measures that you can take to reduce the risk. Practice Kegels daily during pregnancy or as suggested by your doctor, maintain healthy weight and reduce bladder-irritants food intake. Taking more high fiber food in your diet helps too. These will help prevent constipation that can cause stress to your pelvic floor muscle.
With so many management strategies and medical solutions that can help improve urinary incontinence, let us all play our role to increase awareness about the condition among the community, encouraging the ones suffering from urinary incontinence to seek the help they need. It should not be a taboo topic, after all it is just another medical condition that deserves attention and cure!
All treatment plans at The Retreat Clinic are highly customised to individual needs. Every individual’s body is different, and we strongly recommend you to consult a certified aesthetic physician to evaluate your body in order to identify the best treatment solution. For consultations with Dr. Ong Jin Khang of The Retreat Clinic, please call +6011-3302 8232 to make your appointment. FREE mini consultation available!