For a lot of adults, we avoid seeing the doctor if we can. Taking time off of work and rearranging your day just for a quick check-up or to ask a question about our own health is such a hassle, especially for something as embarrassing and trivial as light bladder leaks! While the occasional leak doesn’t feel like it warrants a trip to your physician, talking with your doctor can ensure nothing more is happening and that you’re taking the best steps to help improve your quality of life.
Find the Right DiagnosesSome women may have resigned to accepting that accidentally leaking every once in a while is just another sign of aging. While it is true that older women do experience more leaks as they age, it’s important to tell your doctor what you’re going through and be descriptive in your experiences. Any details that may seem trivial to you could change the way your doctor looks at your symptoms and ultimately impact the final diagnoses and how to approach a solution. While it may seem that all leaks are the same, there is actually a difference between SUI and a problem called Urge Incontinence. While both end in involuntary leaks, the characteristics of the triggers, causes, and leaks themselves are different and it is important for your doctor to make the distinction. Urge Incontinence - The sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. Women that have UI often have to go in the night and more frequently. Oftentimes, UI is linked to an infection like a UTI and treating the main cause will help reduce leaks. Stress Incontinence - Caused by the weakening of pelvic floor muscles and surrounding tissue. This can be a result of childbirth, surgery, repeated impact over time, or even age. Leaks occur because the muscles that are damaged can no longer effectively seal and regulate the flow of urine whenever the urinary tract, abdomen, or bladder is put under pressure or stress. The pressure that triggers these leaks can be very small - a sneeze, laugh, or cough is enough stress to cause a leak. As mentioned before, it is important to be descriptive in your symptoms when explaining them to your doctor, no matter how small or trivial the details may seem. If you notice any of these symptoms start to develop alongside your leaks, make sure to let your doctor know:
- Muscle pain or cramps
- Burning sensation with urination
- The leaks become increasingly heavier and more frequent