Urinary Incontinence

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  • 2 Answers
    A , Gynecology, answered
    Smoking nearly doubles the likelihood that a woman will develop stress incontinence (leaking when coughing or jumping), perhaps because it can lead to frequent and violent coughing. Compared with other incontinent women, female smokers develop incontinence at a younger age, despite having relatively stronger sphincter muscles (a circular band of muscle that surrounds and is capable of closing off an opening to one of the body's hollow organs). Nicotine has also been linked to urge incontinence. In studies involving men, current or former smoking is associated with several bothersome urinary symptoms, including urge incontinence, but the increase in risk (about 39%) is not as striking as that for stress incontinence in women.
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  • 3 Answers
    A OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered on behalf of
    How Does Obesity Contribute to Urinary Incontinence?
    In this video, Beri Ridgeway, MD from Riverside Community Hospital discusses the influence obesity has on urinary incontinence.
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  • 1 Answer
    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered

    Caffeine in general is a diuretic as well as a bladder irritant for some people. Drinking or eating too many caffeine-containing products, including coffee and tea, carbonated soft drinks, sparkling water, and, alas, dark or milk chocolate can also contribute to incontinence. Studies indicate that individuals with bladder control problems who reduce their caffeine consumption to less than 100 mg per day show marked improvement in their symptoms.

    Patients can use a voiding diary to monitor their consumption of caffeine-containing products and fluids and make necessary adjustments to their diet. When reducing your intake of caffeine, do proceed slowly over a period of several weeks. Trying to go cold turkey may result in withdrawal symptoms, such as strong or migraine headaches. Beware of the more than 1000 over-the-counter drugs that contain caffeine, such as some pain medication intended to relieve symptoms of migraine headaches and menstrual cramps, as well as some substances to prevent sleepiness. Read labels before making a purchase.

  • 1 Answer
    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered

    Caffeine in general is a diuretic as well as a bladder irritant for some people. Drinking or eating too many caffeine-containing products, including coffee and tea, carbonated soft drinks, sparkling water, and, alas, dark or milk chocolate can also contribute to incontinence.

    According to the National Association for Continence (NAFC), certain foods and non-caffeinated drinks are also thought to contribute to the loss of bladder control. Although their effect on the bladder is not always understood, eliminating one or all of the items may help prevent bladder leakage. These products include the following foods and beverages:

    • Acidic fruits: apples and apple juice, cantaloupe, citrus fruits and
      juices, grapes, guavas, peaches, pineapples, plums, and strawberries

    • Alcoholic beverages, including wine and beer

    • Any product containing an artificial sweetener

    • Carbonated beverages that do not contain caffeine

    • Coffee or tea (decaffeinated)

    • Corn syrup

    • Honey

    • Milk and milk products

    • Spicy foods

    • Sugar

    • Tomatoes and tomato-based products

    • Vinegar

    • Vitamins: B Complex and C (ascorbic acid)

  • 1 Answer
    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered

    High-impact physical activities, whether recreational or occupational, can cause increased pressure on the bladder because of the shaking movements and increased pull on the urinary organs. It is believed that approximately one-third of women who participate in these activities are subject to some degree of stress incontinence. Weak urethral muscles allow small amounts of urine to leak out.

    Sports that may increase pressure on the bladder include: running, jogging, jumping, power walking, high-impact aerobics, gymnastics, tennis, basketball, volleyball, handball, horseback riding, bodybuilding with heavy weights, karate, judo, and lifting heavy objects.

    Low-risk sports and activities include: swimming, yoga, low-impact aerobics, and bicycling.

  • 1 Answer
    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered
    Certain anatomical and neurological abnormalities place people at risk for incontinence. An ectopic ureter (the tube that connects the bladder to the kidney) is one that is not in its correct place. It may not connect to the bladder but enters the urethra or the vagina instead. Because the bladder is bypassed, leakage will occur. Spina bifida is a birth defect in which the individual does not feel the urge to urinate when the bladder contracts. The bladder will void unpredictably when full or when exposed to other stimuli, such as cold.
  • 1 Answer
    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered
    Although many of us tend to pooh-pooh them, emotional problems such as anxiety, confusion, depression, nervousness, or stress can lead to or aggravate already existing bladder problems and incontinence. As far-fetched as it may sound, it is essential to keep a clear, sound mind to maintain good bladder function. Anxiety, confusion, depression, nervousness, or stress can change your bladder habits and make you unaware of your bladder needs. Messages between your nervous system, your urinary tract muscles, and your brain must coordinate properly if you are to stay continent. So one of the keys to staying dry is maintaining good mental health.
  • 1 Answer
    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered

    Your doctor will first ask you about your symptoms, medical and surgical history, and family history, so make sure you’ve done your homework and kept a list of all your symptoms and problems. You will be questioned about your degree of discomfort, recent illnesses, and use of medications. Sometimes a simple change in prescription can cure incontinence.

    You shouldn’t be embarrassed if your doctor asks you the following questions; if they’re not asked, be ready to offer the answers:

    • Do you have issues with bladder control?

    • Do you have trouble holding your urine?

    • Do you feel that you empty completely?

    • How often do you urinate during the day?

    • How often do you wake at night to urinate?

    • How much fluid do you drink per day?

    • Are you constipated?

    • Have you accidentally leaked urine with a physical activity such as
      coughing, sneezing, lifting, or exercising?

    • How large an amount of urine do you lose?

    • Have you felt a sudden urge to urinate that did not allow you to get
      to the toilet fast enough?

    • Do you have pain or burning when you urinate?

    • Does your bladder feel empty after you urinate?

    • Do you feel any dropping of your bladder or uterus, and do you feel
      any bulging from your vagina?

    • Do you feel pulling or pressure in your pelvis, especially when you’ve
      remained standing for a long period of time?

    • Do you wear protective pads even though you don’t want to?

    • Have your sexual habits changed?

  • 2 Answers
    A answered
    To find out what's causing your urinary incontinence -- and what can be done to treat it -- make an appointment to see a doctor. Before you go, follow these steps to help you and your doctor better understand your symptoms and situation:

    1. Make a list of your symptoms that you can take with you to share with your doctor.
    2. Make a list of all the medications you're taking, and add it to your symptoms list.
    3. Keep a diary for a few days to track your fluid intake and output. The more specific you are, the better. For each 3-hour period, make note of the following:
    • What and how much you drank
    • How much urine you voided when you went to the bathroom (A little or a lot? Did it feel like you emptied your bladder completely?)
    • How much leakage occurred (A little or a lot? Did you have to change your underwear or your clothes?)
    • What you were doing when the leakage occurred
    • What level of urgency you experienced before urinating (None? Mild? Strong?)
    • Don't forget to note any nighttime disturbances:
    • How many times did you get up to go to the bathroom?
    • Were you able to empty your bladder?
    • Did you have an accident? If so, how severe was it?

    Take this information to your doctor appointment. It will help the doctor determine what may be causing your bladder problems and what tests you may need.

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  • 10 Answers
    What Type of Doctor Should I See for Urinary Incontinence?
    You should first see your primary care physician (PCP) for urinary incontinence, says Timothy Atkinson, MD, from Frankfort Regional Medical Center. Find out what doctor to see next by watching this short video.
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