4 ways to stop bladder leaks.
Here are 4 Ways to stop bladder Leaks.
Do you want to stop bladder leaks? Bladder leaks are an incredibly common challenge many people face in life. An estimated 25 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence. Between 75-80% of people who experience bladder leaks are women according to studies.
As we age, the prevalence of bladder leaks increases. Research shows that 29% of people between 60-70 experience bladder leaks when coughing, sneezing, or laughing (stress incontinence) and approximately 33% of women over the age of 45, and 50% of women over the page of 65 experience some type of incontinence.
The most common type of bladder leaks is stress incontinence, which is the bladder leaks that happen when the bladder is placed in a stressful situation. This can affect people’s ability to live normal lives, restricting their ability to jog or run, participate in many exercises, and live a full and complete life. It is not surprising so many people, and specifically women reach out to find out how to stop bladder leaks.
How to Stop Bladder Leaks: - 4 methods
There is more then one way to stop bladder leaks. We will start with the least invasive methods to stop bladder leaks and work towards some of the more invasive and ultimately last-resort.
Stopping Bladder Leaks 1: Self Care:
There are many factors that will increase the prevalence of bladder leakage. Many of these minor issues can be improved with simple self care.
Stop smoking: Smoking causes chronic coughing, which adds stress to your bladder and pelvic floor. Smoking can also increase the risk of both stress incontinence and urinary incontinence, as well as increase the risk of bladder cancer.
Lose excess weight: Fatty tissue on your bladder and extra weight on your belly will add stress to your pelvic floor muscles. Keeping your body at a healthy weight will reduce stress on your bladder and pelvic floor and will lead to less bladder leakage.
Reduce caffeine Intake: Caffeine can increase incontinence and irritate your bladder. Of all caffeinated products, coffee has the biggest negative effect on your bladder, so try switch to tea or decaffeinated coffee. Reducing coffee intake by 1-2 cups can have a very positive effect on reducing bladder leakage
Reduce alcohol intake: Alcohol will make you urinate more often. Reducing the amount of alcohol consumption can improve your bladder control.
Avoid certain foods: Several known foods can irritate your bladder lading to greater risk of bladder leakage. These include spicy foods and strong citrus foods. Reducing or eliminating these types of food from your diet can reduce bladder leaks.
Reduce life stresses: Stress can cause havoc on your body, including your pelvic floor and bladder. Reduce your stress levels through activities like yoga, meditation, quiet times, scheduling your life, and counseling.
Stopping Bladder Leaks 2: Exercise!
If you don’t fully understand pelvic floor muscles check out this article I wrote called What is a pelvic floor?
If you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles it can really help to stop your bladder leaks. Strong pelvic floor muscles will give you more control over your bladder, as well as a host of other positive physical and psychological benefits.
How do you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to prevent bladder leaks?
Manual pelvic floor exercise – Kegel exercise
There are 3 muscle groups to consider for women in their pelvic floor exercises. I wrote an article about finding your pelvic floor exercise on Quora you can see here where I discuss how to do an effective kegel exercise.
Automatic Pelvic Floor Exercises – YoniFlex
At Yoniflex, we have developed an Automatic Pelvic Floor Trainer that takes the guesswork out of exercising your pelvic floor. Many studies have shown the effectiveness of pelvic floor exercises to reduce bladder leaks, along with a host of other benefits.
Automated pelvic floor devices are great for those of you who have pelvic floor muscles that are so weak that you cannot effectively manually control them. Let the YoniFlex Pelvic Floor Trainer do the work for you. Our pelvic floor trainer has 3 unique modes specifically targeting bladder leakage. We have a beginners program that will help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to reduce bladder leaks in just 20 minutes a day for 2 weeks.
Stopping Bladder Leaks 3: Medication
Note: Please discuss with your doctor or health care professional before using medicine to help with bladder leaks. Many issues can be resolved with the first two methods above, and medication is typically reserved for severe cases of urinary incontinence or stress incontinence.
There are several pharmaceutical drugs that have been shown to reduce bladder leaks and improve bladder control
Anticholinergics - Works by blocking the action of acetylcholine, that sends signals to your brain from your bladder. Side effects can include dry mouth and constipation
Imipramine – Works by relaxing the bladder muscle to reduce incontinence. It is a tricyclic antidepressant. Side effects include drowsiness. There are rare but serious additional side effects including cardiovascular problems, dry mouth, blurry vision, and constipation.
Duloxetine – This SMRI (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) is designed to relax the urethral sphincter and can improve urinary incontinence in some women. It is primarily designed as an anti-depression medication. Side effects including nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, constipation, insomnia, and fatigue.
Stopping Bladder Leaks 4: Surgery:
NOTE: Surgery should be a last resort to deal with bladder leak issues, as with surgery comes the greatest risks of complications.
The two most common surgeries to treat a weak bladder are sling procedures and bladder neck suspension procedures.
Sling Procedures – A sling surgery involves using synthetic mesh, or your own tissue to create a sling or ‘hammock’ that supports your urethra and your bladder neck. It supports your urethra and helps keep it closed during stressful activities.
Bladder neck suspension procedure - This procedure involves making an incision in your lower abdomen and stitches the tissue near the bladder neck. Recovery can take several weeks and the surgery will require general or spinal anesthesia.
I hope that this article has helped you answer the question "How to I stop bladder Leaks" and has given you some useful information as you work to improving your life. If you have any questions please reach out to us for support!