Contrary to what some may think, a frequent need to urinate is not the only symptom of a urology issue. If you experience occasional urine leaks when you do things like cough, sneeze, or even during exercise, you may be experiencing urinary incontinence symptoms.
Bladder leaks can be inconvenient at best and embarrassing at worse. At Rio Grande Urology, we want to help you discover the cause and get the treatment you need so you can go about your day without having to worry about how close you are to a bathroom. Wondering if what you’re experiencing is urinary incontinence? Here’s what you need to know:
What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. Some individuals may experience minor leaks during certain activities, while others may experience more moderate leaks more frequently. While it can sometimes be associated with aging and occur more frequently as individuals get older, uncontrolled leaking can happen to individuals of all ages.
If you experience regular leaking, while minor or moderate, it’s important to pay attention to symptoms and how frequently they’re occuring. Make an appointment with your urologist so you can find out the underlying cause.
What are urinary incontinence symptoms?
Not all symptoms for urinary incontinence are the same for each individual depending on many factors, including age, health history, and underlying cause. Symptoms typically fall into one of the following categories:
- Stress incontinence: When extra pressure on your bladder as a result of an action like exercise or even coughing, sneezing, or laughing causes an uncontrolled leak.
- Urge incontinence: When you frequently have the urge to urinate, or suddenly have the urge to go and experience a leak.
- Overflow incontinence: When your bladder doesn’t empty completely, you may experience frequent loss of control.
- Functional incontinence: When a physical or mental impairment impacts your ability to make it to the toilet on time.
Individuals can experience one or more of these symptoms, and all can impact your daily life significantly. Don’t let urinary incontinence keep you from living the life you want. If you fall into one of these categories, contact your urologist right away to find out what’s going on and identify a treatment plan.
What causes urinary incontinence?
Loss of bladder control is often a symptom of something else going on in your body. It may be a temporary issue caused by stimulants in your diet. Other causes of temporary incontinence can include:
- Urinary tract infections
More persistent urinary incontinence can be due to a number of underlying health conditions. That’s why it’s important to work with your doctor to discover the cause so you can begin treatment as soon as possible. Conditions may include:
- Your body changing as you age
- Pregnancy or childbirth
- Enlarged prostate
- Prostate cancer
- Blockage caused by urinary stones or a tumor
What can be done?
Because urinary incontinence is a symptom, the treatment will depend on the underlying cause. In some cases, lifestyle changes such as diet and even bladder exercises can provide relief. Other cases may require medication or surgery. That’s why it’s essential to connect with your urologist right away to determine the cause of the bladder loss. Putting off treatment can sometimes lead to more serious conditions.
Don’t live your life in discomfort or fear of leaks. If you’re experiencing any urinary incontinence symptoms, reach out to schedule an appointment with an RGU urologist. We’re here to help.