Women's Health: Bladder Conditions

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Understanding Bladder Conditions

Your bladder is responsible for storing and releasing urine. There are a number of bladder conditions that people develop. Here are some of the most common ones.

Urinary incontinence involves the involuntary loss of urine, often from laughing or sneezing. Some of the causes of incontinence include medications, nerve damage, pelvic floor weakness, urinary tract infections and childbirth.

To treat urinary incontinence, your family doctor or urologist will probably recommend lifestyle modifications and pelvic floor physiotherapy. You may also need to take urinary incontinence medications. There are also bulking agents, surgical treatments, Botox, laser treatments and temporary inserts that might help. You might also get relief from lifestyle changes like adjusting how much water you drink and better managing your weight.

Overactive bladder is the feeling that you have to urinate right away. Men and women experience overactive bladder at almost equal rates. This condition is more common as you get older. 

  • An enlarged prostate in men can lead to the flow of urine being obstructed. 
  • Urinary frequency occurs when you have to go to the bathroom about eight or more times in 24 hours
  • Nocturia simply refers to urinary frequency at night. You wake up and have to use the bathroom.
  • Urgency and comment refers to feeling like you need to rush to the bathroom, but you don't make it before urine leaks out.

How to Treat Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Urinary tract infections are more common in women, and they’re bacterial infections. You’re at risk of developing a urinary tract infection if you’re not drinking enough water, have a weakened immune system, have a catheter, are experiencing hormonal changes or are sexually active. If you have a UTI, you may feel a burning sensation when you urinate, and feel like you have to rush to the bathroom frequently. 

Urinary tract infection treatments include over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, and/or cranberry tablets. Your family doctor or urologist should take a urine culture.

Bladder cancer is cancer that develops in the lining of your bladder. Symptoms of bladder cancer include pain while urinating, blood in the urine and urinary urgency. The earlier your bladder cancer is detected, the better your outcome will be.

Bladder stones might form in the bladder as a result of the minerals in your urine crystallizing. Common bladder stones symptoms include difficulty urinating, pain while urinating and blood in the urine. 

If you experience any of the above symptoms, or you want to learn more about bladder conditions, talk to your local family physician or urologist. They can help you diagnose and treat common bladder conditions like urinary incontinence, bladder stones, urinary tract infections and overactive bladder.
 

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