Some women who have incontinence aren’t very bothered by it, especially when it doesn’t happen very often, or doesn’t prevent them from doing things they want to do. Very often, however, many women suffer with this problem for a long time before bringing it up with someone who can help.
UI is Not a Normal Part of Aging
You may be under the impression that leakage of urine is normal, especially for a woman who has had children, or may have gone through menopause. While incontinence is very common, at any life stage it is not be considered normal.
Some women notice that as the day progresses their ankles and legs swell. By elevating your legs for a while, your body is able to remove this retained water from your body. Many women with this condition will need to get up to urinate multiple times during the night. This can be dangerous because it increases your risk for falling and potentially fracturing a bone. Elevate your legs above your heart (lay on the sofa or bed with your legs propped on 2 pillows for 30-60 minutes prior to going to sleep). Talk to your medical doctor about the benefits of a “water pill” or diuretic.
A nagging cough can be the symptom of a variety of health conditions. For some women, this continual hacking puts significant pressure on the pelvic floor and can lead to urine leakage. The cough may be due to allergies or a more serious health condition. Some women develop a nagging cough during pregnancy. If you smoke—QUIT. Smoking can cause a chronic cough, too. See your health care provider to find out the cause of the cough and your treatment options.
Most Women Who Seek Help Find Relief
The good news is that most women (80 to 90%) who seek help find that their symptoms improve. There is a wide array of treatment options, ranging from lifestyle and behavioral changes to surgical options. Get evaluated and review potential treatment options for your UI. The more you know, the more confident you will be in choosing the direction of treatment. With treatment, you can recover parts of your life that you may have let go. Depending upon the extent of your symptoms and treatment goals, there may be one or more options for your bladder control problem:
- Lifestyle & Behavior
- Diet and fitness
- Pelvic floor muscle exercise
- Bladder retraining
- Physical therapy for the pelvic floor
- Vaginal Devices (Pessary)
- UI Medicines
- Nerve stimulation
- Botox and bulking agents
- UI surgery