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Bladder Leakage Is Not A Normal Part Of Aging

The way our culture looks at aging has changed in the last several decades. We no longer think of all seniors as sitting in a rocking chair. Now we see our older relatives traveling and enjoying all that life has to offer. Likewise, bladder leakage, although common, is not a normal part of aging. Let’s learn some facts.

Bladder Leakage Is Not Inevitable

Just because it is a common complaint does not make it an inevitable consequence of getting older. In fact, younger women, and especially young athletes, suffer from bladder leakage. One in four women between 18 and 59 have involuntary leakage.

Aging may increase the likelihood, but it is not preordained. One half of women don’t tell their doctor they are experiencing leakage due to shame of thinking it’s just plain “normal.” It is not.

Woman with hands holding her crotch, she needs to pee

Two Types Of Bladder Leakage Or Urinary Incontinence

There are two different types of urinary incontinence: stress incontinence and urge incontinence.

Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence is an involuntary leakage of urine when you cough, laugh, sneeze, or during exercise. It normally occurs due to an imbalance in abdominal muscle coordination and strength, and both of these are required for continence. During exercise, pelvic muscles contract and relax depending on what you are doing, but stress on your system from weak muscles can cause pressure on the bladder and urethra. In addition, poor technique when exercising and problems with structural support both can lead to stress incontinence.

Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence is involuntary leakage coupled with a strong urge to pee. Certain triggers of urge incontinence can be running water or simply the act of getting home after errands. If you know you have this common condition, you probably think to drink less fluids if you won’t have easy access to a bathroom. You may feel you need to pee, then it subsides, but it comes back with a vengeance. This can become a vicious cycle of needing to pee, panicking, then becoming more stimulated which then concludes with you wetting your pants or barely making it to the bathroom.

Risk Factors For Urinary Incontinence

There are some common risk factors for developing urinary incontinence.

They include the following:

  • Weak or overactive bladder muscles
  • Weak pelvic floor muscles
  • Damage to nerves caused by diabetes or Parkinson’s Disease
  • Obesity
  • Enlarged prostate gland
  • Arthritis
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Alzheimer’s Disease

Short term urinary incontinence can be a result of urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, and constipation.

Don’t hide urinary incontinence from your physician. Although it’s a common problem, it’s not normal. Find out what you can do about it.

Contact Dr. Steven Gange at (801) 993-1800 or request an appointment online to discuss your urinary incontinence and the treatments available.

Learn the benefits of UroLift!

I have seen Dr. Gange for a number of years and developed the typical symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate. During my annual urologist visit, Dr. Gange laid out my options. After doing some personal research, I elected to have the Urolift procedure performed by Dr. Gange on an outpatient basis.

The procedure was uncomfortable but not particularly painful compared to other surgeries I have had. Recovery was relatively quick and I was back at work after two days of rest.

I did experience some significant discomfort associated with urination but was counseled that I was not drinking enough water. Once I increased my consumption of water, most of the discomfort went away and I was back to normal after about two weeks.

In the wake of the surgery, the urgency to urinate has gone away. The interval between trips to the bathroom has lengthened significantly such that I usually get up to urinate only once each night and sometimes not at all.

Having talked with others who have had more drastic prostate surgery, I feel that the Urolift procedure was much less stressful and the results were as hoped for.