Over 13 million Americans suffer from bladder weakness and urinary incontinence. Many people believe that urinary incontinence is an older woman’s problem, but really, it can affect anyone at any age. Many bladder leak sufferers don’t believe that there is anything they can do about their problem, but they are wrong. The real problem is that many sufferers never talk to their doctor about it, so they do not receive the treatment they need to help reduce bladder leaks, meaning they continue suffering in silence.
The bladder itself is a muscle, and like any other muscle in your body, it can become weak over time. The average bladder can contain up to two pints of fluid, and in order to release that fluid, the muscles contract to release the urine.
Sphincters are responsible for the release of urine and ensuring that leaks don’t occur. Nerve signals tell the brain that the bladder needs to release urine. When you do finally release the urine, the brain tells the bladder to squeeze so the urine can be released. As long as signals are not interrupted, the process of urinating is normal.
Common Myths about Bladder Leaks
There are some myths that circulate regarding bladder leaks, but as the word myth implies, these are not facts and you should not believe them.
Common bladder leak myths include:
- Only older women experience leaks: Women aged 18 and older can experience some form of leaks and 10 percent of patients are between 18 and 30 years of age.
- Urinary incontinence has no treatments: Based on the type of incontinence you have, there are actually several different types of treatments available. The first step is to speak to your doctor to determine the cause of your bladder leaks.
- Urinary incontinence is only treated by surgery: If you have a fear of surgery, don’t fret, you can still treat your incontinence with non-surgical means.
- Drink fewer fluids to prevent leaks: By limiting your fluid intake, you could actually be promoting bacteria growth in the bladder along with more concentrated urine that can irritate the bladder, further worsening your condition.
- You need to wear diapers: We have come a long way in preventing leaks from being noticeable. Long gone are the days of bulky, noisy diapers. Undergarments that prevent leaks are sleeker and less noticeable.
Natural Ways to Treat Urinary Incontinence
- Quit smoking
- Reduce intake of caffeinated beverages and foods
- Practice Kegel exercises
- Partake in bladder training
- Try acupuncture
- Stay hydrated
If you’re concerned about your bladder leaks, your first step is to talk to your doctor about your options. There could be a very easy and simple solution available to help you start feeling relief.