Weak bladder symptoms

A weak bladder or bladder control problems will typically mean that you have problems in stopping the flow of urine from the bladder. This is often referred to as urinary incontinence. This uncontrollable leaking of urine is not considered normal, but is still a very common problem. Incontinence is not only considered a health problem, but may also cause problems socially. Many people who suffer from incontinence may be wary about going outdoors or leaving home and can often become isolated and lonely. Incontinence is also known to cause skin irritations, infections, falls, fractures, and may even disturb your sleep. Unfortunately, a vast majority of people are far too embarrassed to talk to their doctor or health care provider about incontinence and will often simply try to live with it.

It is estimated that up to 30% of elderly people will suffer from incontinence. This is actually the number one reason why many people end up going into a nursing home, but this should never be considered an inevitable consequence of getting older. At this moment in time it is believed that urinary incontinence affects up to 13 million people in the United States alone. Incontinence is known to affect both men and women of all ages however it is typically most common in the elderly. With that said, you will actually find that incontinence is far more common in women, although older men with incontinence may be prone to some type of prostate disease.

Incontinence is actually a symptom that has a wide variety of causes which may include urinary tract infection, impacted stool, side effects of medication, bladder irritation, an overactive bladder or a blocked urethra, which is typically a sign of an enlarged prostate in men. The majority of these causes are actually temporary and incontinence should go away once the underlying condition has been treated. There are also certain risk factors you should consider that can contribute to urinary incontinence and these include obesity, diabetes, smoking, spinal-cord injury, chronic constipation, neurologic diseases, disability or impaired mobility, radiation therapy or surgery, pregnancy, hysterectomy, menopause, an enlarged prostate in men, prostate surgery or bladder disease.

The main symptoms of a weak bladder and incontinence include:

An urgent need to urinate, having to urinate frequently, difficulty in urinating, hematuria or blood in the urine, dysuria or a burning sensation whenever you urinate, dribbling urine even after you finished urinating, nocturia or the need to urinate at night and straining to urinate. You may also experience certain problems due to incontinence and this can include bedwetting, which may typically originate from a nerve problem or a blockage. If you suffer with dripping incontinence this will usually occur immediately after you have urinated and maybe a sign that there is a retention of urine in your urethra. Unfortunately, many people also suffer from functional incontinence which will typically occur when you are unable to reach the bathroom in time.

There are numerous treatments for a weak bladder, although many people wrongly believe that surgery is the only option available. The treatments for a weak bladder and incontinence will include behavioral, medical and surgical approaches. Behavioral therapies are usually the first choice as they are considered non-invasive and will not produce any side-effects. Behavioral treatment will always be the safest option. There are numerous medical treatments available and these will very much depend on the type and severity of your problems. You will need to discuss these with your doctor or health care provider before a course of medication can be recommended.

Surgery for weak bladder problems with either look at correcting an anatomical problem or may even involve fitting a device that is able to alter your bladder muscle function. It is important to realize that the majority of people would not actually require surgery and also that a surgical procedure may not be successful for everyone. As with all forms of surgery there are risks and complications associated and these should be taken into consideration. It is usually best to speak to a urologic or urogynecologic surgeon prior to considering surgery.

The surgical procedures that may be considered will include altering the position of the bladder neck, removing a blockage, repairing or providing support for weakened pelvic floor muscles, implanting a sling around the urethra, implanting a device that will stimulate nerves in order to make you aware of the need to urinate, for women a collagen injection may be considered and as a very last resort the enlargement of the bladder.

You are able to prevent incontinence and ensure that you maintain good urinary and bladder health. You should aim to drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol and caffeine, avoid foods that you know will irritate your bladder, urinate regularly, ensure that you eat a healthy diet and engage in some physical activity on a daily basis. You should also make sure that you visit your doctor or health care provider on a regular basis.

Last updated on Feb 13th, 2011 and filed under Genitourinary Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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