Don’t wait. With a little effort, you can overcome the challenges of a leaky bladder. It can be as easy as few simple changes in your daily routine.
First, you’ll want to know what’s going on. You might have leakage when you laugh, cough, or sneeze. Doctors call that “stress incontinence.” Or you could feel an unexpected, sudden urge to pee. That’s called “urge incontinence.” Though it happens mostly to women, it can happen to anyone at any age. Although people who have it may not talk about it, it’s more common than you think.
Lou Dunn is one of those women who's always on the go. The Pittsburgh mother and wife runs her own calligraphy business and usually has energy to burn.
But for years, her active schedule was hampered by a serious downside. Nature called way too often.
Like millions of others, Dunn suffers from overactive bladder, or OAB, in which the bladder wall muscle inappropriately contracts, causing the urge to urinate. The urge can be so strong and sudden that there is not enough time to get to a bathroom...
Great news. You have plenty of treatment options, and the outlook is good. About 80% of those who are affected by urinary incontinence can get better with treatment.
Sometimes a simple dietary change, such as cutting back on fluids, is all that is needed.
Try a combination of approaches. For instance, your doctor may recommend that you do Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and to use pads or disposable underwear just in case. Experiment to see what you’re comfortable with that works best for you.
If you need a little more help, your doctor may recommend prescription medication or a surgical procedure. He might suggest “sling surgery,” an operation designed to support the bladder or urethra and prevent leaks.