Urinary incontinence or more commonly known as bladder leak, bladder leaks or leaky bladder, is embarrassing. There you are enjoying yourself and having a great time at a party, laugh a little too hard and suddenly you are not laughing any more. Squeeze and your bladder may sneeze with you. Lift something a little heavy and you may end up with a little sprinkle. Oh boy! Welcome to the world of getting older. A bladder leak really does not have to be a part of the aging process. Women suffer from bladder leaks more than men. Women are especially susceptible to a leaky bladder after childbirth. The more children a woman gives birth to, the more her pelvic muscles stretch and weaken around the neck of the bladder.
There are quite a few things you can do to stop the unwanted flow.
Exercise your pelvic muscles. There are a few different ways to exercise your pelvic muscles. The most common pelvic muscle tightening exercise is Kegels. To do Kegels; when you are urinating, stop the flow of urine by using your muscles. Now you know how those pelvic muscles feel when they are tightened and released. That is the type of tightening and releasing motion you are aiming to perform. Do Kegels several times per day, no one will know what you are doing. You can do Kegels while you are sitting in traffic, watching TV or while you are at your son or daughters' soccer game. Another pelvic muscle exercise is performed through the use of vaginal weights. These are small weights that you insert in your vagina and you use your muscles to hold the weights in place and not allow them to slip out. Pelvic muscle exercises have an added benefit for you love life. When you feel the urge to urinate, wait. Hold your urine for an extra few minutes to help strengthen the pelvic floor.
Keep a food and drink journal and not episodes of urinary incontinence to determine if there is a correlation between what you are eating and drinking and your leaky bladder. Many women notice an increase in leaky bladder episodes after drinking caffeinated beverages, certain fruit juices, alcohol or eating hot or spicy foods. If any of these seem to increase bladder leaks, completely cut them out and see if your symptoms improve.
Talk to your doctor. Don't be embarrassed. Your doctor really has heard everything. From a medical stand point, this is not an embarrassing situation, it is a point of medical concern. Certain medications can cause bladder leaks. Your doctor will be able to help narrow down medications, both prescription and over the counter, that can cause urinary incontinence. If you have other symptoms besides bladder leaks such as pain or burning sensation while urinating, blood in your urine, particularly foul smelling urine, vision changes, weakness in arms or legs or excessive urination can all be signs of an infection or other medical condition.
Stay away from diuretics unless they are medically necessary. Take what you doctor has prescribed for you, don't play doctor with prescription medications. Stay away from natural diuretics such as black coffee or products with Juniper berries. The diuretics will stimulate your bladder and worsen bladder leakage.