Is Urinary Incontinence Normal (And What Can I Do About It)?

Urinary incontinence can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable problem to talk about. But if you’re suffering from an overactive bladder, know that you’re not alone. According to the federal Office on Women’s Health, women are twice as likely as men to develop urge and stress incontinence, two of the most common types of urinary incontinence. 

Factors like childbirth and menopause tend to make urinary incontinence much more common in women, but options are available if you suffer from bladder control issues. Dr. Brandon M. Lingenfelter offers treatment for stress and urge urinary incontinence in Princeton, West Virginia. 

What to do if you have an overactive bladder

Urinary incontinence isn’t just uncomfortable and embarrassing; it can interfere with your quality of life and ability to fully participate in your daily routine and the activities you enjoy. If you suffer from urge or stress incontinence, here are some of the things you can do: 

Stay hydrated

Drinking more water might seem like the last thing you’d want to do when you have an overactive bladder, but it’s the right thing to do. When you don’t drink enough water, the urine becomes more concentrated, which can actually irritate the bladder. 

Aim for 4-8 glasses of water per day, spread out throughout the day so you’re not overloading your bladder, especially before going to bed. Keep track of the frequency and intensity of your urge to urinate throughout the day.

Limit caffeine and alcohol

Caffeine is a diuretic, so it increases the need to urinate. Alcohol and carbonated drinks like soda and sparkling water can also irritate the bladder.

Maintain a healthy weight

When extra weight increases pressure on the bladder and the urethra, it can worsen cases of stress incontinence — when you have leaks due to pressure, usually from activities like laughing, coughing, or jumping.

Quit smoking

Smoking and tobacco use are known culprits in wreaking havoc on your health in a number of ways, from cancer and heart disease to eye problems. Like caffeine and alcohol, smoking is a bladder irritant. Long-term smokers are also at risk for developing a chronic cough, which increases the risk of stress incontinence.

Pelvic floor exercises

Strengthening your pelvic muscles is a proactive step to deal with urinary incontinence. Also known as Kegel exercises, they strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and are especially helpful for women after childbirth. 

See a doctor

If conservative treatments and lifestyle modifications don’t work or provide only limited results, several medical treatments can help to control your bladder. Dr. Lingenfelter offers a number of treatment options depending on the severity and type of urinary incontinence, such as Botox®, InterStim™, and tension-free vaginal tape (TVT).

Don’t suffer in silence

Urinary incontinence may be common, but it’s not a natural or inevitable part of the aging process. For more information about your treatment options, contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lingenfelter by calling 681-217-0758. You can also send us a message here on our website, or request an appointment online.

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