Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)

weak strong pelvic muscles

Weak pelvic muscles can allow urine to leak out causing stress urinary incontinence.

Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is the most common type of incontinence. The “stress” in this incontinence refers to a physical stress that’s placed on the urinary system, such as a cough, sneeze, or laugh. About 50% of women occasionally experience SUI. While women experience stress incontinence more often then men, some men do experience it as well.Continue reading

Functional Incontinence

bathroom functional incontinence

Keeping a bathroom free of trip hazards will help a person with functional incontinence.

Functional incontinence is urinary or fecal leakage that occurs when the urinary or fecal body systems, respectively, are physiologically working fine. Functional incontinence is the result of mobility challenges with getting to the bathroom and/or dexterity challenges with removing clothing in a reasonable amount of time.Continue reading

Sacral Nerve Stimulation for Incontinence

sacral nerve stimulation

Sacral nerve stimulation involves the placement of an implant to stimulate the sacral nerve.

Sacral nerve stimulation (SNS), also called sacral neuromodulation, involves surgical implantation of a device that sends a low-voltage electrical current to the sacral nerve. The sacral nerve is located at the base of the spine that affects the bladder, bowel, and pelvic floor. The implant stimulates the sacral nerve and to alleviate fecal and/or urinary incontinence.  A hand-held device is used to stop the contraction of your sphincter muscles when you need to empty your bowels.Continue reading

Bulking Agents to Restore Urinary Continence

collagen used a bulking agent

Collagen is one of several bulking agents that may used to help restore continence.

Injections of one of several kinds of bulking agents is an outpatient procedure that may be used to restore urinary continence.  In this procedure a bulking agent (such as collagen, silicon and Teflon) is injected into the neck of the bladder.  This bulks the bladder neck and helps compress the urethra (the tube that leads urine out of the body), and thus helps to prevent urinary leakage.

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Bladder Retraining for Urinary Incontinence

bladder retraining timed intervals

Bladder retraining incorporates going to the bathroom at set times.

The first goal of bladder retraining for your urinary incontinence symptoms is to empty your bladder before you leak. The second goal is to begin to train your bladder to hold more urine for longer periods of time. Bladder training is usually safe, but you should see a health care provider to make sure that you don’t have a bladder infection before starting bladder retraining.Continue reading

Avoiding Bladder Irritants

citrus fruits may be bladder irritants

Citrus fruits may be bladder irritants for some people – but not everyone.

There are a number of foods and drinks that most people eat or drink every day that can irritate the lining of your bladder.  We call these bladder irritants.  These foods and drinks may cause people with sensitive bladders to have to go to the bathroom more often and need to get to the bathroom sooner.  Sometimes this may cause incontinence.

An easy way to check if any food or drink is causing bladder problems is to do a special diet, called an “elimination diet”. Stop eating and drinking all the foods and drinks listed in our “10 Bladder Irritants You Can Avoid” below for two weeks. Also take out any other foods or drinks that you think may be causing a problem.Continue reading

Smoking and Incontinence

Man smoking a cigarette

Smoking may lead to bladder leakage.

Current and previous cigarette smokers are at an increased risk of experiencing stress urinary incontinence (SUI), bladder cancer, and other major health problems.  Cigarette smoking causes chronic coughing. A constant cough can damage the muscles of the pelvic floor. When these muscles are damaged, this can cause urine to leak due to a loss of stability and strength of the pelvic floor. Smoking is also known to be a bladder irritant, which could cause overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms.Continue reading

Neurogenic Bladder

Drawing of a brain, spinal cord, and bladder

Damage to nerves may cause a neurogenic bladder.

Injuries, surgeries, diseases and birth defects may affect the how the body’s nerves work … or don’t work! Some medical conditions that commonly affect how our nerves work include Spina bifida, Multiple sclerosis (MS), Type 1 and 2 Diabetes, spinal cord injuries (SCIs), Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. And each of these conditions may create a neurogenic bladder.  A neurogenic bladder is a disorder of the lower urinary tract that is the result of damage to — or diseases of — the nervous system leading to a loss of voluntary control of your bladder.  Continue reading

Using Kegels for Bowel Incontinence

My Story – Submitted by: Anonymous

I developed bladder incontinence years before I began to have bowel incontinence. The bladder incontinence began in my late fifties, and the bowel at age 61.

Neither of them were due to accident, disease or other outside causes. Perhaps they were inherited, as I know my mother had bladder incontinence in her later years. I don’t know if she had bowel incontinence, and I no idea whether my father suffered from either condition.Continue reading