In Control of Incontinence during Menopause
Leaking is for faucets. Dribbling is for the NBA. If urinary incontinence is controlling your life, here¹s what you need to know!
What is urinary incontinence and what causes it? If you are dealing with urinary incontinence, you don¹t need us to tell you that it is an uncomfortable and embarrassing problem. But it might comfort you to know that you are one of many, many women who have this problem, and it is often treatable.
There are two main types of urinary incontinence–stress and urge. Treatment options are different for each one.
Stress incontinence is the most common type. It can occur when the pelvic floor muscles are weakened by dramatic changes (such as weight gain or menopause) or trauma (like a hysterectomy or other abdominal surgery). Certain antidepressants, diuretics, and blood pressure medicines can also contribute to the problem. If you find yourself leaking a little when you laugh, cough, or sneeze, you may be dealing with a bout of stress incontinence.
Urge incontinence is believed to be caused by bladder spasms, which can be caused by other medical conditions. If you find yourself frequently darting to the bathroom with a sudden urge to urinate‹and maybe not making it to the bathroom in time‹you likely have urge incontinence. If you have frequent, sudden urges to urinate, but you are able to hold it, it may be classified as overactive bladder rather than incontinence.
HOW IS IT TREATED?
The first step is to see your doctor and give him/her all the nitty gritty details about your medical history, medications, and symptoms so he/she can provide an appropriate diagnosis. Depending on the severity, doctors may recommend:
- Strengthening pelvic floor muscles with Kegels
- Weight loss, if necessary
- Drinking less fluids, especially less caffeine
- Emptying your bladder every few hours, even if you don¹t feel like you need to go
- Bladder training
Medical treatment options may include:
- Collagen injections
If you are motivated and willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes and patiently try several treatment options, odds are good that you will see results!
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: In Control of Incontinence during Menopause.