Incontinence is the loss of bladder control, and it often results in urinating at inconvenient, if not embarrassing, times, such as before you can get to the bathroom. Incontinence affects about 33 million men and women every day. It can directly affect your ability to socialize and can cause you to avoid people for fear of embarrassment if such an accident happens.
Furthermore, incontinence can often indicate other problems. If you’re dealing with issues from incontinence, Dr. Craig Herman, Dr. Steven Kester, and the Urology Center of Florida team have decades of experience caring for those specific needs. There are ways to manage incontinence and get back to a normal life.
Urinary incontinence is a symptom rather than a disease, and it often develops from a combination of common habits and aging. There are also different types of incontinence, including stress, urge, overactive, functional or mixed (a combination of two or more factors).
Age, infection, pregnancy and many other factors can contribute to incontinence. Fortunately, there are ways you can manage it, including using medicine and making lifestyle changes. Here are some examples:
This is a type of exercise that strengthens the pelvic floor, the muscles that support the bowels and bladder in the pelvic area. These exercises involve fast and slow contractions that you do throughout the day. The result prevents leaking and improves bladder control.
Controlling your diet
Both an unhealthy body mass index (BMI) and eating foods that cause constipation can lead to incontinence. Too much weight can contribute to stress incontinence. Certain foods like chocolate, red meats, white rice and breads can lead to constipation, while caffeine and alcohol can create more urine. So reducing foods and drinks that contribute to problems and reducing weight can help to control issues with incontinence.
Several medications can help to stabilize bladder problems. Ditropan XL®, Detrol® and Enablex® are generally used to treat overactive bladders. For overflow issues, alpha blockers like Flomax®, Uroxatral®, Rapaflo® and Cardura® help. Myrbetriq® can help to relax bladder muscles, and some women get relief from topical estrogen.
Devices are available for men and women to better ensure bladder control as well. These include:
- Pessary: A silicon device for women that rests against the back of the pubic bone.
- Urine seal: Adhesive pads for women to prevent urine leakage.
- Bladder neck support device: A flexible ring for women to support the urethra.
- Artificial sphincters: A doughnut-shaped device for men that inflates the urethra.
Other therapies and treatments are available, including surgeries if nothing else works to treat the problems causing incontinence.
If you’re dealing with the embarrassment and complications of incontinence, make an appointment at the Urology Center of Florida to help find the best treatment to get your life back to normal. Call 954-361-3235 or use the online booking feature. You can also send a message to Dr. Herman, Dr. Kester, and the team here on the website.