Urinary incontinence is the loss of all the urine in your bladder, or you may have small amounts of urine leakage. If you have this problem, it is a symptom of an underlying disease. For example, you may have a urinary tract infection, stones in your bladder, or you could be stressed. Below are three other things that can cause this problem that you may not be aware of.
Pelvic Floor Disorder
Pelvic floor disorder refers to weakened muscles in the opening of the pelvis. When these muscles are strong, they support the uterus, bladder, and rectum, and keep them in place. When the muscles are weak, the bladder can drop down into the vagina, and when this happens urine can leak out easily without your control. The pelvic floor disorders can be the result of a vaginal delivery or pelvic surgery.
Some treatments you doctor may use for pelvic floor disorder include:
- Biofeedback: A physical therapist can perform biofeedback to help with this disorder. Your gynecologist may choose this form of treatment first, as it is non-surgical and it is not painful.
- Relaxation techniques: Your gynecologist may send you to a physical therapist to teach you relaxation techniques, such as exercises, yoga, and taking warm baths.
- Medication: In some cases, the pelvic muscles will have spasms. In a case like this, your gynecologist may prescribe a muscle relaxant.
Painful Bladder Syndrome
Painful bladder syndrome (PBS) is a chronic condition that causes frequent and painful urination, as well as urinary incontinence. With this disorder, there may be abnormalities in the lining of the bladder, which can weaken it and cause urine leakage.
Your doctor will diagnose this problem based on your symptoms. They may also take a blood test and check for abnormal potassium sensitivity (PST). For treatment, heparinoid drugs are used to restore the abnormalities in the lining of the bladder. The doctor may also use other oral medications.
When you go through menopause, your body starts to produce less estrogen. This hormone keeps the lining of the urethra and bladder healthy. Once estrogen drops, the decrease in the hormone causes this lining to thin out and weaken, which leads to urine incontinence.
If you are going through menopause and suffering with urine incontinence, your gynecologist will perform a pelvic exam to see if the urethral tissue is white or pale instead of moist and pink. He or she may also take a blood test to test your estrogen levels.
If you are found to be low on estrogen, a gynecologist, like the ones at South Ave Women's Services, can prescribe estrogen pills for you, or they may suggest you use an estrogen cream placed on the skin or placed inside the vagina.