HEALTHY LIVING Managing loose bladder in women
Have you been in that situation where you can’t hold urine and just realise that is trickles without your knowledge? If yes, then you may have loose bladder. Urinary Incontinence (UI) is the unintentional trickling of urine. It can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing problem that is pretty high up there on the list of medical Issues no one talks about. Those affected may be hesitant to speak up or ask questions about their condition; even at the doctor’s office.
Urinary Incontinence occurs more often in women and it is a lot more common than you may expect. UI is more than just a medical condition; it distresses people on social, psychological and emotional levels. People who have UI often avoid certain places or situations for fear of having an “accident”. According to Dr. Ayesha Adama of Nisa Hospital, “There are two main types of UI: Stress UI (SUI) and Urgency UI (UUI) and both types can exist concurrently, each type is caused by something different and needs to be treated differently.” SUI which is more common occurs as a result of pregnancy, child birth, menopause, among others, because of the physical changes which our body undergoes like vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) which is an abnormal communication between the bladder and the vagina that leads to urine leaking out uncontrollably through the vagina. VVF usually occurs in developing countries due to complicated childbirth.
In many cases, SUI can be treated with pelvic floor muscle exercise called Kegel exercises; these movements strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and urinary sphincter or bladder training. Symptoms can be improved by weight loss, certain medications and surgical intervention.
UUI is when your bladder contracts involuntarily, leaving you with little or no time to get to the toilet. This is a sign of overactive bladder.
Older people are also known to experience higher rates of UUI. Medication called anticholinergics or surgically placed nerve stimulators help. However, appropriate treatment will be decided by your doctor.
Seeing a doctor who has experience treating incontinence so as to learn what type you have and to diagnose the problem and find solution is a step towards finding relief.