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8 Ways to Control Bladder Problems

8 Ways to Control Bladder Problems
Are you a person who knows where every bathroom is on every road or building you are in? Have you been embarrassed by loss of urine? If so, this article is for you. Nearly 20 percent of women have a problem with los of urine prior to menopause; and half will experience a problem in or beyond menopause. A decade or two ago, there weren’t many options to correct incontinence and the most common choice offered was a hysterectomy. Today, there are many more options to consider. Here are some of the more common ones:

1. Bladder training – This approach teaches you to urinate only at scheduled times and waiting longer between trips to the bathroom. Start by going to the bathroom every 30 to 60 minutes while you are awake, even if you don’t have to go. After about one week, slowly increase the time interval by thirty minutes every week.
2. Kegel exercises – These exercises are used for stress incontinence, overactive bladder and overflow incontinence. This exercise can improve symptoms of urinary loss by 25 percent to 50 percent. It’s muscle building for what is called the pelvic floor muscles. And like any other muscle building exercise, it works best if you perform a lot of repetitions. Start the next time you go to the bathroom by squeezing off the urine flow and holding it for up to 10 seconds. Start slowly, doing two sets of 10 contractions each, twice a day. Over the course of a month try to do this exercise 6 to 10 times every one to two hours of the day. By the end of a month you should begin to notice a difference.
3. Biofeedback Therapy– This is a fancy and effective tool to teach you Kegel’s exercises and improve bladder control. It uses computer graphs and sounds you can hear to show you which muscles you are exercising so you can perfect the exercises.
4. Pelvic Floor Electrical Stimulation – These devices use mild electrical stimulation to train the bladder muscles when and how to squeeze. In a way, it is a personal trainer for Kegel exercises. Fifty-five percent of women report being satisfied with this form of treatment. Although it’s not 100 percent, you are avoiding surgery.
5. Medications – Estrogen can be very helpful in improving the symptoms of some cases of incontinence. Studies have demonstrated improvement in 40- 70 percent of women. I have found that estrogen cream (one fourth to half an applicator) works better than either tablets or patches for this particular problem. Medications called antimuscarinic (examples are oxybutynin and tolterodine) can also help if the problem is caused by abnormal bladder contractions. Of course, antibiotics are the first line treatment for infection. If you don’t respond to these medications, you may be a candidate for Botox injections via cystoscopy directly into the bladder muscle.
6. Pessaries – These donut-like plastic or rubber rings are similar to a diaphragm used for birth control. They are fit into the vagina to lift and offer added support for the bladder when the pelvic muscles are weak.
7. Special devices – A new group of devices are constantly coming on to the market to block or capture urine leakage.  They include absorbent products, external urine collection devices, and different types of catheters.
8. Surgery – There are many new operations that have been developed to support the bladder and improve or correct incontinence. These include mid-urethral slings done in only half hour as an outpatient, implanted sacral nerve stimulators that stimulate the lower area of the spinal cord to control urine and pulsed magnetic technology that stimulates nerve impulses for bladder control. It’s called Extracorporeal Magnetic Innervation (ExMI). You don’t need to have a hysterectomy unless there are other reasons to consider it as well. Most of these operations can be performed as day surgeries. Some use laparoscopy and others only small incisions. They all are designed to repair tears in the support tissue and/or strengthen or support the urethra. If your doctor is not familiar with these techniques, talk with your doctor about them or get a referral to a urogynecologist.
*Remember to ALWAYS talk to you doctor or medical team about anything you add to your health regimen.
For more information for women in and around menopause, visit the Apple Newsstand and get your free app and free first issue of My Menopause Magazine, a Web Health Award winner.

Read more: Health, Aging, Caregiving, Diabetes, General Health, Gynecology, Healthy Aging, Menopause, Obesity, Stay Well With Dr. Seibel, Women's Health, , , , ,

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Dr. Mache Seibel

Women's health expert and guest speaker Dr. Mache Seibel addresses consumers' critical needs from weight control to HRTmenopause and beyond. He served on the Harvard Medical School faculty for 19 years and is founder of My Menopause Magazine on the Apple Newsstand (http://bit.ly/MyMenoMag). Download the Free App and first Free issue. He works with companies and organizations to bring exciting educational content to consumers. Visit his award-winning website DoctorSeibel.com to sign up for his free monthly newsletter.

76 comments

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1:38AM PST on Nov 16, 2013

Thank you :)

6:18AM PDT on Oct 5, 2013

Thank you Dr. Mache Seibel, for Sharing this!

3:30PM PDT on Jul 28, 2013

thanks

5:06AM PDT on Jul 27, 2013

Thanks.!!

2:00PM PDT on Jul 26, 2013

Thank you for info.

8:49PM PDT on Jul 25, 2013

Will keep this info in mind should I ever need it in my golden years!

9:59PM PDT on Jul 24, 2013

Thanks so far i am in pretty good condition ;)

3:08AM PDT on Jul 21, 2013

Without telling the story of my life, I must just say, I am not there, thank goodness!!!!

9:50PM PDT on Jul 13, 2013

I'm 70. I recently had a medical checkup...doctor said "I don't mess with perfection,"

I did have some bladder problems but I stay in excellent communication with my body. I talk to my body and my body responds. If I'm out somewhere and bladder decides she has to go, I think to my bladder, "I'll get you to a restroom as fast as I can. Hold on for now. I know you can hold it. You're a good bladder. Just a little while. I know you can do it."

You know what, my bladder does do it. It holds on and once I'm ready..... whew!

I do remember to thank my bladder.

I believe every system in our bodies is alive and conscious. If we have a good relationship with our bodies, the organs are able to carry out the assigned duties. And I say, "Thank you, my body. You're a good body and I appreciate you. You take care of me and I'll take care of you."

Works for me!

7:23PM PDT on Jul 12, 2013

Thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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