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Bladder Incontinence: What Women Should Know About it?

Angela Norman, Sponsored Post

Something that is not nearly talked about enough is bladder incontinence among women.

Now you may be wondering what that is. Have you ever laughed so hard you peed a little? Or sneezed? What about lifting something heavy and feeling your underwear go a little damp? A lot of us have. And this is particularly true as we get older and after having children.


But there is an unwanted feeling often associated with this as embarrassing. But the more we talk about it, the more we can normalize that it happens to everyone. And most importantly, there is quite a bit we can do about it.


Let’s talk about it.


BLADDER INCONTINENCE IN WOMEN

Bladder incontinence in women is more common than in men. There are many different types that a woman can have, and sometimes it’s a combination of types. It is important to understand how prevalent it is and why.


THE FACTS

  • 4 in 10 women during pregnancy will get/and experience some type of urinary incontinence. This number is also true for women over the age of 65.

  • The two most common types of bladder incontinence affecting women are urge and stress incontinence. The urge is also called overactive bladder incontinence.

  • Pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause are major contributors to changes in urinary tract function, leading to some sort of urinary incontinence for many women.

  • When it comes to urinary incontinence in men and women, there are twice as many women affected by this issue as there are men.



TYPES OF BLADDER INCONTINENCE

There are several types of urinary incontinence, but these two affect women the most.

  • Stress Incontinence - This occurs with urine leaks out due to pressure that is placed on your bladder. This could be sneezing, coughing, laughing, exercising, or sudden movements. Stress incontinence is prevalent during pregnancy. The constant pressure of the baby on your bladder is a factor. And post pregnancy, it can be due to weak pelvic floor muscles.

  • Urge Incontinence - This is due to the intense urge or feeling that you must urinate often. But you may not even urinate that much. This is something that happens commonly in older women, and it may cause them to feel like they need to go to the bathroom more than eight times a day. It can be caused by infection, diabetes, or a neurological disorder.



But it’s worth knowing that other types of urinary incontinence may also affect women. They are.

  • Overflow Incontinence - Overflow happens when you can never fully empty your bladder, and it feels like there may be a constant leaking feeling.

  • Functional Incontinence - This is different because it deals with a physical or mental limitation that prevents you from getting to the toilet on time. This is different than a condition that affects the actual bladder. This is common with elderly women or women who deal with conditions like arthritis.

  • Mixed Incontinence - As mentioned above, it can sometimes be more than one thing causing issues. And for women and people in general, it can be a combination of urge incontinence and stress simultaneously.


WHAT WOMEN CAN DO ABOUT IT

The good news is that there are several proactive steps you can take to ease your conditions and react in case you experience bladder incontinence. Your approach may depend on your age and reason for diagnosis.


PELVIC FLOOR AND MUSCLE STRENGTHENING

One of the best things you can do as you get older and post-pregnancy (even during pregnancy) is to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This includes strengthening your lower abdomen, glutes, and upper legs. You can also do Kegel exercises. It’s important to consult a medical professional if you are pregnant to ensure you are training safely.


CHANGES IN DIET

There are several things you can change in your diet to help. For instance, being overweight is a common contributor to bladder incontinence. While exercising can help you lose weight, eating plays a major role in that as well.


But certain drinks and beverages can also make you feel like you need to urinate more often. Alcohol and caffeine are two of the biggest culprits. Cutting back or eliminating them helps.


MEDICATIONS AND PROCEDURES

Doctors can help prescribe medication and creams that can ease the need to urinate frequently. It’s important to go through your gynecologist or primary care to ensure these medications don’t mix with any others you may be taking or affect pregnancy. In more serious situations, a doctor may recommend several available procedures.

WOMEN’S BRIEFS

Accidents happen despite efforts to prevent urinary incontinence. That's where adaptive clothing like women's briefs for incontinence comes in. Available in various styles and patterns, they offer comfort and confidence. It's essential to choose ones that are odor-resistant and absorbent for added convenience.


NO SHAME HERE

Many women experience bladder incontinence, yet many are embarrassed about it. This often leads to a lack of information that could help them ease their situation. With the proactive steps listed below, women can feel confident and comfortable when they go out.


The first step is always opening up to your doctor or gynecologist about this. Chances are, if it’s a female, she has experienced it too. There is no reason to feel ashamed, and all the more reason to talk about it.

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