Losing control of your bladder, whether due to laughing, coughing, disease, or other issues, is never funny. It’s embarrassing and can also be a sign of a deeper problem. Our expert Urologists Craig Herman, MD and Steven C. Kester, MD at the Urology Center of Florida in Pompano Beach have helped thousands of patients lead better lives without the constant worry of urinary incontinence (UI) and other urological conditions.
Why are UIs so prevalent in the US?
Millions of Americans suffer from UI. Certain life changes, such as pregnancy, delivery, and menopause in females, and prostate problems in men, increase the likelihood of UI. Obesity also ups the odds, while losing weight can improve bladder function. Diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer's, dementia, and multiple sclerosis, as well as stroke and kidney stones can also cause UI.
What type of UI is it?
UI is a symptom of an underlying problem or disease. Dr. Herman and Dr. Kester work with all major types of UIs, which include:
Overactive Bladder (OAB) or urgency incontinence. Over 40% of women and 30% of men and in the United States suffer from this issue, where your brain instructs your bladder to empty itself before it’s completely full. Your bladder muscles may also be too active, creating an urge to urinate.
Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). One of the most common causes of UI, SUI occurs most often in women with weak pelvic floor muscles.
Overflow Incontinence (OI). Men who have had prostate issues or prostate surgery are more likely to suffer from overflow incontinence. This occurs when the body produces more urine than it can hold, something is blocking the flow, or the bladder muscle can’t contract correctly.
Mixed Incontinence (SUI and OAB). This combination affects people who leak urine while performing certain activities, such as heavy lifting or exercising. In addition, they feel a constant urge to urinate, which occurs with an overactive bladder.
Functional incontinence. This represents a problem of mobility and the inability to reach a toilet.
Treatments to improve your condition
After diagnosing the cause of your particular urinary incontinence, our doctors offer a range of treatments to support the neck of the bladder or help close the sphincter muscles to reduce incontinence. These include:
- Imagine therapy. This targeted physical therapy, invented by Dr. Herman, helps you exercise specific pelvic areas to improve bladder control using state-of-the-art medical sensing equipment.
- Behavior modification. Pelvic floor exercises, going more frequently, and other lifestyle changes can reduce your condition.
- Medication. This eases the problem while you take the medication.
- Devices. Medical devices, such as a ring-shaped vaginal pessary or disposable, tampon-like urethral inserts, may help.
- Surgery. Various surgical measures, such as a sling procedure or injecting bulking agents near the upper urethra, often work wonders.
Increase certain activities to decrease your risk
There are many ways to decrease your risk of UI through lifestyle adjustments. Our doctors recommend you:
- Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine, spices, and acidic foods, which irritate your bladder.
- Exercise moderately and eat right to maintain a healthy weight.
- Perform pelvic floor exercises, such as squeeze and release, to improve muscle control.
- Prevent constipation to avoid straining by increasing fruit and fiber.
- Do more strengthening exercises, such as yoga and pilates.
- Drink around eight glasses of water per day. This may sound counterintuitive, but avoiding liquids actually shrinks your bladder’s capacity, increasing the odds of urinary incontinence.
Regain control of your life
Our knowledgeable, caring doctors at the Urology Center of Florida look forward to answering your questions and addressing any concerns regarding urinary incontinence or other urological issues. Give us a call or book your appointment online today.