According to gynecologist Dr. Judith Reichman, who appeared in a segment on The Today Show about leaking bladders and bladder weakness, some women think a leaking bladder is just “a problem with aging,” and they blame something going wrong with their body.
Sometimes they believe that their bladder weakness or leaking bladder may be due to a bladder infection. But how can you tell the difference?
First and foremost, a leaking bladder can be a symptom of a bladder infection, but it’s temporary. Infections can irritate your bladder, causing you to have strong urges to urinate. This strong urge to urinate can cause episodes of bladder weakness. This can be your only warning sign of a urinary tract or bladder infection.
Dr. Reichman said there are three markers that can point to a possible bladder infection:
Discomfort – Bladder infections may cause pain; a stinging or burning sensation with urination.
Timing – Bladder infections often appear after you’ve been more sexually active than usual.
Medication – Antibiotics — even for one day will make a difference in the way you feel.
Unfortunately, the solutions to leaking bladders and bladder weakness caused by the 5 types of urinary incontinence that can affect otherwise healthy women are not as simple as a dose of antibiotics. But they’re still available!
Some possible solutions include:
Weight reduction: “In females, it is thought that the excess weight around the abdominal region increases the pressure on the bladder, causing urinary incontinence, especially when coughing, laughing or sneezing,” according to Dr. Weranja K.B. Ranasinghe.
Bladder control exercises: The great thing about Kegels is that they aren’t just a bladder control exercise. Kegels strengthens pelvic floor muscles which means fewer urgent trips to the bathroom, and a better sex life as well!
Surgery: An operation that takes about the same amount of time to complete as the average Friends episode could be a long-awaited cure for urine leakage. Women who have received the treatment report success to the tune of a 90% majority.
Medications: Most medications for overactive bladder syndrome work in essentially the same way: they decrease urgency to urinate, frequency of urination, and urge incontinence. They block the nerve impulses to the bladder that cause it to contract and leak.