Urinary Incontinence is one of those things many women have at some point in their life but few will mention or admit. It is NOT one of those things that is to be accepted as a given with womanhood and aging. Whether the problem is dribbling, sudden leaks or needing to dash to the bathroom, most types of leakage can be helped by a few simple changes in lifestyle. And those that need more will usually respond nicely to medication or surgery.
Hormone changes, pregnancy, childbirth, physical stress, obesity, diabetes and aging can influence bladder behavior. And a misbehaving bladder can dampen one’s enthusiasm for sex, exercise, and social activities.
Better bladder control begins with Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor which supports the bladder and urethra. Overactive bladders are more demanding when stimulated by carbonated beverages, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, citrus and tomatoes. Low levels of vitamin D (common in Oregon in winter) are associated with urinary incontinence.
Your health care provider can test for infection, review medication use (ie diuretics), and evaluate for prolapse. Effective medications are available for overactive bladders. Pessaries or surgery can correct the effect of prolapse. Call Women’s Health Care – 503-435-2020 – if bad bladder behavior is ruining your day.
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