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Insights from the WebMD Incontinence/ OAB Community

WebMD Incontinence/OAB Community: What Can Be Done About a Leaky Bladder?

One community member feels frustrated by her leaky bladder. “I am overweight and have had three kids, but this has gone past the normal cough and leak,” she says. “I can just be standing there and it just leaks out. I’m almost to the point of wearing diapers.” She says that she can’t afford to see a doctor, but will go if it is something serious. She says the leaking is especially bad when she coughs, sneezes, or laughs really hard. But at other times, it can happen without any pressure at all. “If anyone has an idea I would greatly appreciate it,” she says.

Lainey, a WebMD Community Moderator, suggests that Kegel exercises may help and asks the member to provide an update on her progress.

Diane K. Newman, RN-C, MSN, ANP, says she might have a combination of urge and stress incontinence. “If you can’t afford a doctor, I suggest you learn about conservative treatments or behavioral treatment, which include pelvic muscle exercises as well as bladder training for urgency and frequency,” she says. Newman explains that pelvic muscle exercises can strengthen the muscles that support the bladder and the urethra. “These exercises have been shown to decrease urinary leakage,” she says. Bladder retraining involves learning to control urgency by relaxing the bladder and delaying emptying the bladder.

Newman also suggests trying dietary changes. “There are certain foods and beverages that contain ingredients that can cause bladder irritability,” she says. These can include food and drinks that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and soft drinks. Other foods that may trigger problems with incontinence include spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, and tomato products.

“There are also many medications that can help with these symptoms,” Newman says.

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