Stress incontinence refers to the bladder’s inability to hold urine when there is pressure (stress) placed on it. The bladder serves two purposes: to hold urine after it is passed down from the kidneys, and to push the urine through the urethra when it needs to be expelled.
The urethral sphincter muscle is responsible for voluntarily controlling the flow of urine. Stress incontinence happens when the sphincter muscle and/or the pelvic floor muscle are too weak to control the flow of urine – causing an unintentional loss of urine – when there is pressure against the bladder and these muscles. The result is leaking of urine.
Individuals who suffer from stress incontinence often experience a sudden leaking of urine when they laugh, cough, sneeze, or do other activities that put pressure on the bladder. This is why it is called stress incontinence, because the person does not experience incontinence unless there is a force that suddenly causes bladder leakage.
Treatments for Stress Incontinence
The treatment that will work best for your own stress incontinence depends on your unique symptoms. If your symptoms are severe, your urologist may recommend invasive treatments like surgery.
If your symptoms are mild, the urologist may recommend exercises to see if they remedy your condition. Urologists always strive to treat stress incontinence (and other health conditions) in the safest and least-invasive ways possible before attempting other types of treatments.
Below are some examples of natural, noninvasive remedies for stress incontinence:
Kegel exercises involve strengthening the muscles responsible for controlling urinary flow. They are very useful in the early stages of incontinence, and they can help prevent or delay the progression of the condition significantly when done regularly.
Losing weight can help reduce the severity of a person’s stress incontinence because it removes some of the pressure from the pelvic organs, including the bladder. If you are overweight, you can help alleviate the condition by shedding some pounds. Your doctor can recommend ways to help you lose weight in an achievable fashion.
Magnesium and Vitamin D
Many urologists recommend adding foods that are rich in magnesium and vitamin D to your diet (or taking them as supplements) in order to help reduce stress incontinence. Magnesium helps improve muscle and nerve function, while vitamin D aids in calcium absorption and bone health – which can help you control your bladder and urinary muscles.
Making certain modifications to your daily lifestyle can help to improve stress incontinence and prevent it from getting worse. One example is reducing caffeine intake. Caffeine can reduce the urge to urinate.
Quitting tobacco can also help reduce incontinence, because smoking can cause chronic coughing – which puts a person at high risk for stress incontinence and other pelvic health problems, like pelvic organ prolapse.
Urologist in Mesa
The Urologic Surgeons of Arizona have many years of success in diagnosing, treating, and preventing a variety of urological conditions in both men and women. If you are in need of a trusted urological team for your medical needs like stress incontinence, our team is ready to help you.
Call us today at (480) 409-5060 to make an appointment. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you.