Do you leak when you cough, laugh or sneeze? You may have stress urinary incontinence. This condition can often be treated with a simple outpatient procedure.
Do you often urinate urgently and can’t get there in time? You might have overactive bladder. Some people have urinary frequency but don’t lose urine on the way to the bathroom. Others can’t hold their bladder and have to wear pads on a daily basis.
Many treatment options exist for urinary incontinence, schedule a consultation today.
What is Stress Urinary Incontinence?
Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is the involuntary leakage of urine during activities such as coughing, sneezing, lifting, laughing or exercising. SUI affects at least 10-20% of women, many of whom do not realize that there are simple, effective treatment options available. SUI affects the quality of women’s lives in many ways. Incontinence may limit women’s social and personal relationships, as well as limiting physical activity.
Causes of Stress Urinary Incontinence
- Pregnancy and vaginal birth.
- Obesity, chronic cough, chronic heavy lifting and constipation. These can cause an increase in abdominal pressure and aggravate stress incontinence.
- Genetically inherited factors.
What is Overactive Bladder (OAB)?
OAB is the name given to the following collection of bladder symptoms:
- Urgency – a sudden and intense need to pass urine that cannot be put off. This can happen even when your bladder is not full. Sometimes you may not make it to the toilet in time and may leak-this is called urge incontinence.
- Frequency – going to the toilet many times during the day (usually more than 7).
- Nocturia – waking up more than once at night to go to the toilet.
OAB affects women (and men) of all ages, and is not simply a result of getting older.
Causes of Overactive Bladder (OAB)
OAB symptoms are caused by the bladder muscle squeezing to empty out urine inappropriately. This often happens without warning, and when you do not want it to.
Your doctor or nurse will test your urine to rule out an infection, which is a common cause of OAB symptoms. You may have other tests to look for bladder stones and growths as well. OAB can also be caused by conditions affecting the nervous system. If you have had a previous operation for stress incontinence, you may also be more likely to have OAB. The amount and type of liquids that you drink may also contribute to your symptoms; for example, caffeinated drinks are thought to significantly worsen OAB symptoms.
For many women however, the exact cause of their OAB is never found. Despite this, there are many treatments which can help you to manage your symptoms.
How does a normal bladder work?
As urine is produced and fills the bladder, the bladder (detrusor) muscle relaxes and stretches to accommodate the fluid. When the bladder is filled to a certain level, an urge to pass urine is felt, and when it is appropriate, the brain signals the detrusor muscle to contract and the urethral sphincter to relax, thus allowing urine to be passed. The bladder usually needs to be emptied about 4-7 times per day, and once or twice at night.
The urethra and bladder are supported by the pelvic floor muscles, which contract during coughing, sneezing and exercise to prevent leakage. Weakness in the muscles or damage to the Bladder Neck support can result in leakage.