Heights OBGYN

Urinary Incontinence

What you should know about urinary incontinence

Studies show that as many as 61.8% of adult women in the United States have had or are currently dealing with urinary incontinence, and 27% of them have moderate to severe symptoms. The sad fact is that many women don’t seek help because they are too embarrassed or uncomfortable to talk about their bladder control problems. You can rely on our San Antonio OBGYNs and staff to put you at ease and treat you with the compassion you need to open up about your issues and get relief.

What are the causes and risk factors for bladder control problems?

Risk factors are things that increase your risk of developing urinary incontinence. Many of the risk factors for incontinence – such as age, menopause, childbirth and pelvic floor disorders –are also things that cause the problem. Here are the causes and risk factors of which you should be aware.

  • Being age 65 or older
  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Pelvic floor problems
  • Anatomical issues
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Medications, alcohol and caffeine, which have a diuretic effect
  • Constipation
  • Neuromuscular problems
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Past reproductive surgeries

Bladder issues cause a variety of symptoms

When you think of incontinence, you probably think of leaking urine when you laugh or cough. This is a symptom of stress incontinence.

If you have urge incontinence, you have that “gotta go” feeling frequently, but when you go to the bathroom, you may not produce much urine. You may leak urine or even involuntarily lose control of your bladder completely. Waking up more than twice a night to go to the bathroom is another symptom.

If you have mixed incontinence, you experience symptoms of both stress incontinence and urge incontinence.

No matter how old you are, how many children you have, or whatever your doubts may be, you don’t have to accept urinary incontinence. Our San Antonio OBGYNs can help you cope with the problem and improve your quality of life.

Preventing and reducing symptoms

If you aren’t dealing with incontinence yet, but you are concerned that you might be in the future, take steps to prevent bladder control problems. These tips also help you reduce leakage and other incontinence symptoms you may already have.

  • Eat a healthy diet and exercise to get to and stay at a healthy weight.
  • Change your diet to avoid foods and drinks that irritate your bladder. These include carbonated beverages, alcohol, caffeine in coffee and chocolate, citrus-based items, and acidic foods such as tomato sauce.
  • Treat frequent constipation.
  • Keep a bladder diary to determine how often you go to the bathroom, and note whether certain foods, drinks or circumstances such as vigorous exercise add to the problem.
  • Talk to our OBGYNs about bladder training to help lengthen the amount of time between visits to the bathroom.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Learn how to do Kegel exercises.

Our San Antonio OBGYNs diagnose and treat urinary incontinence

If you have any of the symptoms of urinary incontinence, talk to our OBGYNs as soon as you can. Don’t waste time trying to deal with bladder control problems on your own, becoming isolated and missing out on life. We can help. Contact us for an appointment.