Urine travels to the bladder from the kidneys after it has been removed (as waste) from the blood. 1 Blaivas, JG, (1998). Conquering Bladder and Prostate Problems, Plenum Trade, New York.
UI can contribute to sleep deprivation, embarrassment, social withdrawal, depression, stress and sexual dysfunction1 Levy, R. & Muller, N. (July/August 2006). Urinary incontinence: economic burden and new choices in pharmaceutical treatment, Advances in Therapy, Volume 23, Number 4.
While aging doesn’t necessarily mean a person will become incontinent, the aging process does put certain risk factors into play: the bladder’s loss of elasticity and contractibility, weakened pelvic floor muscles and urethral support, limited mobility, etc.
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine. Urinary incontinence is usually caused either by an OAB or by a weak sphincter muscle. Other causes can include: UTI or vaginal infections, enlarged prostate, pregnancy, childbirth, medications, MS, parkinson’s disease.
Overflow Incontinence , while rare, occurs when the bladder doesn’t empty properly and the amount of urine produced exceeds the capacity of the bladder. The bladder usually becomes distended (stretched out of shape) first, either because of blockage causing retention or because of a neurological issue failing to transmit to the brain that the bladder needs to be emptied.
There are a number of non-surgical management & treatment options for healthy bladder control. For additional information on these techniques and more please visit www.nafc.org
You should seek treatment for incontinence when you are not able to control your bladder as you once did. Loss of bladder or bowel control could be the first symptom of something more serious. Many people change their lifestyle when their bladder habits begin to control their lifestyle. They may stop visiting friends, going to church, doing aerobics, having sexual intercourse, or traveling to see their children. You should seek treatment whenever changes in your bowel habits keep you from going and doing what you want to do.
Your primary care provider is the best place to start. If your PCP does not have special interest in diagnosing and treating incontinence, ask to be referred to a specialist.
Bladder Health Matters
Bladder Health Matters A presentation by the National Association For Continence in honor of the Bladder Health Awareness CampaignLed by Nancy Muller, PhD, executive director of the National Association For Continence
What Is The Bladder? The bladder is a hollow, balloon- shaped organ made of a thin layer of muscle behind the pubic bone. The function of the bladder is to store urine. The bladder stretches as it fills. It can normally hold between seven to 20 ounces of urine (200-600 ml) before the urge to urinate becomes uncomfortable. www.bladderhealthawareness.org | www.nafc.org
Why Is Bladder Health Important? Loss of bladder control is a common condition that affects many Americans. An estimated 25 million adult Americans and 200 million people worldwide suffer from bladder control loss The effect of urinary incontinence on a person’s quality of life can vary considerably. In the U.S., the total direct and indirect costs of urinary incontinence including overactive bladder range up to $32 billion. www.bladderhealthawareness.org | www.nafc.org
Where Do Urinary Problems Begin? In the bladder: failure to store or failure to empty the urine In the sphincter: failure to open, to close, or stay closed In the spinal cord: absent or incorrect signals In the brain: no message or the wrong message www.bladderhealthawareness.org | www.nafc.org
Risk Factors Associated With Bladder Control Issues• Limited mobility • Diabetes• Multiple pregnancies • Cigarette and vaginal deliveries smoking/chronic coughing• Neurological disease or injury • Diet• Menopause • Surgical treatment for prostate cancer• Constipation • BPH• Obesity • Advanced dementia and cognitive impairment www.bladderhealthawareness.org | www.nafc.org
Types of Bladder Health Issues Stress Incontinence Occurs during increased physical effort or activity. This condition allows urine to leak when you do anything that strains or stresses the abdomen. Example) coughing, sneezing, lifting, laughing, exercise Urgency or Overactive Bladder (OAB) Sudden urgency occurs when the bladder contracts without you wanting it, without warning. You may feel as if you can’t wait to reach a toilet and you may leak urine on the way (urgency incontinence). Frequency (> 8 times in 24 hour period) is also a symptom of OAB. www.bladderhealthawareness.org | www.nafc.org
Types of Bladder Health Issues Continued… Mixed Incontinence Combination of urgency and stress incontinence www.bladderhealthawareness.org | www.nafc.org
Techniques That Promote Bladder Control Pelvic Muscle Exercises (Kegels) Through regular exercise you can build strength and endurance to help improve, regain, or maintain bladder control. Dietary Changes Eliminating or moderating caffeine, alcohol, & artificial sweeteners can reduce known bladder irritants. Weight Loss Loss of 10% of body weight can decrease incontinence episodes as much as 50%. www.bladderhealthawareness.org | www.nafc.org
When Should I Seek Treatment For My Bladder Health? Routine leakage of urine Frequent, urgent need to rush to the toilet Frequent bladder infections Pain related to filling the bladder Inability to urinate/urinary retention Weakness of the urinary stream with or without a feeling of complete bladder emptying Changes in urination related to a neurological condition When your quality of life is impacted in meaningful ways www.bladderhealthawareness.org | www.nafc.org
Who Should I Talk To About My Bladder Health? Urologists - surgeon who specializes in the lower urinary tract of men and women. Many urologists have advanced training in the surgical correction and medical treatments for incontinence. Some specialize in female urology. Urogynecologists- OBGYNs who become surgical specialists with additional training and experience in the evaluation and treatment of urinary incontinence, pelvic floor disorders, pelvic organ support, and other female bladder health issues. www.bladderhealthawareness.org | www.nafc.org
Who Should I Talk To About My Bladder Health? Continued… Gynecologists - a doctor specializing in the reproductive health of women and general pelvic health over a woman’s lifetime. Geriatricians - an internist who specializes in medically treating older people and who may have advanced training in the diagnosis, treatment intervention, and management of incontinence. Nurse specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and behavioral scientists – may have training that qualifies them to offer nonsurgical treatments for incontinence. www.bladderhealthawareness.org | www.nafc.org
What Should I Do If I Have Symptoms of Incontinence? Get educated! Become your own health advocate by arming yourself with information relevant to your symptoms and concerns Get organized and prepared for your appointment with a health provider. Write down your symptoms as they occur. Keep a bladder diary for 2 days, recording consumption of beverages, activities, and accidents as they occur. Find an expert. Get NAFC’s help in looking. www.bladderhealthawareness.org | www.nafc.org
Want Additional Information? For free additional information contact NAFC firstname.lastname@example.org www.nafc.org www.bladderhealthawareness.org