Don’t be embarrassed about incontinence

It’s a topic too embarrassing for many to discuss. But urinary incontinence, the loss of bladder control, is a common problem.

No need to feel shame or guilt. You can get help.

Although men with prostate and nerve conditions are susceptible to incontinence, most sufferers are women.

Your Signature Medical Group OB/GYN can be your first stop to get options for treatment or he or she can refer you to someone that specializes in urogynecology.

Types of urinary incontinence, according to the Mayo Clinic, include:

  • Stress incontinence. Urine leaks when you exert pressure on your bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting something heavy.
  • Urge incontinence. You have a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. You may need to urinate often, including throughout the night. Urge incontinence may be caused by a minor condition, such as infection, or a more-severe condition such as a neurologic disorder or diabetes.
  • Overflow incontinence. You experience frequent or constant dribbling of urine due to a bladder that doesn’t empty completely.
  • Functional incontinence. A physical or mental impairment keeps you from making it to the toilet in time. For example, if you have severe arthritis, you may not be able to unbutton your pants quickly enough.
  • Mixed incontinence. You experience more than one type of urinary incontinence.

Incontinence isn’t always preventable. However, to help decrease your risk, the Mayo Clinic recommends:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Practice pelvic floor exercises.
  • Avoid bladder irritants, such as caffeine, alcohol and acidic foods.
  • Eat more fiber, which can prevent constipation, a cause of urinary incontinence.
  • Don’t smoke, or seek help to quit smoking.

If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to call your Signature OB/GYN. Make an appointment today and start to feel better.