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Bladder Control Problems

Involuntary loss of urine is reportedly experienced by upwards of 95% of women in their reproductive and post-menopausal years. This, however, does not mean that this overwhelming majority has urinary incontinence. To qualify as urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine must have a negative impact on the quality of the individual's life, particularly for hygienic and/or social standpoints. As such, the only person who can ultimately determine the presence of urinary incontinence is the woman herself.

If you or someone you know is affected by loss of bladder control, you are not alone. Incontinence affects 30 to 50% of women; although the rates go up with age, incontinence among young women is quite common. . This condition affects men and women, although it is nearly twice as common in women. The prevalence of incontinence does increase with age, but it is not considered normal at any age. Women over age 65 should be routinely questioned about bladder problems.

Certain events or conditions may make a woman more likely to experience incontinence. Sometimes, very clear-cut events such as pregnancy, vaginal delivery, surgery, radiation or accidental injury can lead to these kinds of problems; other times, causes may be much less well-defined. Some other causes include:

  • Chronic constipation, which causes excessive bearing down.
  • Some lung conditions, where pressure from breathing disorders can increase the pressure in the abdomen and pelvis.
  • Neurological conditions, like multiple sclerosis or spina bifida, where nerves and/or muscles may not function correctly.
  • Certain occupations (usually those that involve heavy lifting or exertion) may also increase the risk
  • Some kinds of incontinence can be related to medications taken for other health conditions (such as diuretics), or smoking and caffeine use, and obesity certainly has an effect.
  • Uncommonly, certain other health conditions such as kidney or bladder stones, or even some forms of cancer can cause the bladder to lose urine.
  • And, in many cases, there is no obvious underlying reason for why incontinence occurs.

Many women who have these kinds of bladder problems are reluctant to discuss it with anyone, or are embarrassed to acknowledge that they have a problem, even to themselves. Sometimes women are made to feel that these conditions are “normal,” especially as they get older, and that, since bladder problems like this are rarely life-threatening, they are not really a problem. These points of view are often shared among family and friends, or even among some healthcare providers.

But the truth of the matter is that incontinence can have a very significant impact. We know that can undermine your sense of well-being and self-worth, and your ability to live your life the way you want to. Scientific studies show that measures of quality of life show significant changes for the worse when a woman experiences these kinds of bladder problems; they may begin to stop exercising or participating in physical or social activities as a result of leakage, which can further reduce health and quality of life. Work activities, travel and intimacy may also suffer as a result.

But there is no reason to allow this to go on. The good news is that 80-90 percent of women who seek help will experience significant improvement. A wide array of treatment options, ranging from behavioral and diet changes all the way through surgical options exist, and are being used every day to help women recover parts of their lives they may have let go. Get evaluated and review treatment options appropriate to your urinary incontinence. The more you know, the more confident you will be in choosing the direction of treatment.

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Address: 6512 S McCarran Blvd, Suite D, Reno, NV 89509
Phone: (775) 826-1285 - Fax: 775-284-4093


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