If you involuntarily pass a bit of urine whenever you cough, or sneeze, or laugh too hard, chances are you have Stress Incontinence.
Stress Incontinence is when small amounts of urine leak while playing sports, lifting heavy objects, and yes, also laughing, coughing, or sneezing. These activities can push down on the bladder causing small (or sometimes large) amounts of urine to escape.
Causes of Stress Incontinence
Stress Incontinence is more common in women especially those between the ages of 49-55, who have had children, and /or going through menopause. Pregnancy and childbirth weaken and stress the pelvic floor muscles that support the urethra and bladder. During menopause, women produce less estrogen which can thin the lining of the urethra which helps keep it sealed after passing urine.
Women who have never had children can also experience stress incontinence due to age, post-surgical procedures, and lifestyle.
Men usually experience stress incontinence after surgery, particularly prostate surgery. Surgery can weaken the sphincter which is right below the prostate and encircles the urethra.
Factors that can contribute to both women and men experiencing stress incontinence are a chronic cough associated with illnesses like bronchitis or asthma, diabetes, constipation, and obesity.
Bladder leaks can be embarrassing and make everyday life a little challenging, but the good news is, there are options to help you effectively manage stress incontinence.
This is one of the easiest solutions to improve a leaky bladder. Eating right, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight is paramount for overall health but it can help incontinence too. Quitting smoking and cutting down on alcoholic, carbonated, and caffeinated beverages are essential. You may want to limit the recreational activities that you know will cause leaks at least until you try other preventative options.
Strengthen Pelvic Muscles
Exercises such as “Kegels” strengthen the pelvic floor. Performing the techniques properly and regularly can suppress the urge to urinate, improve incontinence, and prevent it from getting worse. To get started on a proper routine, consider consulting a trained physical therapist.
Urethral bulking is a low-risk, outpatient procedure that injects a substance into the urethra to fortify the walls. People who have done this are usually able to be active immediately, however it may need to be done again over time.
This is a ring-shaped silicone device that is inserted into the vagina to push the urethra closed and control leakage. Some women wear them all the time, but others will wear them only during exercise. Frequency depends on the severity of their condition and comfort level.
High Quality Absorbent Incontinence Products
Products such as bladder leak pads, adult diapers or pull ups can protect you against those unexpected leaks. Many products are thin and absorbent enough to discreetly wear under your clothes, so no one is aware if you happen to have a little accident.
Surgery is usually the last resort when the cause of incontinence is unknown or all other efforts to manage it fail. Your doctor will determine if it is necessary and what procedure will be the best for your condition.
Consult Your Doctor
Any of the above options may work for you, but to know which one (or combination) is best for you, you need to consult your doctor. Your doctor can provide the proper diagnosis and create a plan to effectively manage your incontinence. With the proper diagnosis, you will also be able to get the right treatment, products, and supplies so you can effectively manage your incontinence.
We Can Help
Your incontinence management program may include the use of high-quality absorbent products and ActivStyle can help you with all your incontinence needs, just call us toll-free at 888-280-8632, Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM CST. Our helpful Product Experts are trained to answer all your questions and provide comfortable, premium incontinence products shipped in discreet packaging directly to your home. Our enrollment process is easy. We’ll even work with you on the required prescription, process the insurance paperwork, and remind you each month when it’s time to reorder.